Patrick Henry Delivers "Give Me Liberty" Speech
Henry went on to serve as a member of the first Virginia Committee of Correspondence, which facilitated inter-colonial cooperation, and as a delegate to the Continental Congresses of 1774 and 1775.
At the second Virginia Convention, on March 23, 1775, in St. John's Church, Richmond, he delivered his most famous speech. As war with Great Britain appeared inevitable, Henry proclaimed:
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace —
but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!
The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are
already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear,
or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!
"'Give me Liberty, or give me Death'!" is a famous quotation attributed to Patrick Henry from a speech he made to the Virginia Convention. It was given March 23, 1775, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, and is credited with having swung the balance in convincing the Virginia House of Burgesses to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. Among the delegates to the convention were future US Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Reportedly, those in attendance, upon hearing the speech, shouted, "To arms! To arms!"