Tag Archives: Patrick Henry

On this day in 1775 … ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’

[It has been 242 years since Virginia’s own Patrick Henry issued his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Remembering that important part of Virginia and American history, I was reminded of 2007 and a special recognition presented from Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Originally published March 11, 2007.]

In 1775, unrest in America was growing (see background history here). When Delegate Patrick Henry stood up to speak, his words rang out in St. John’s Church but it was the closing lines that most remembered, then and today.

“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!”

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‘Give me liberty or give me death’ … on this day in 1775

Patrick Henry 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

On this day in 1775 Virginia patriot Patrick Henry stood in St. John’s Church in Richmond and spoke the words that still ring out today:

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!

The entire speech can be found here.

As a young student in Chesterfield County, I memorized Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech in fourth grade while studying Virginia history. Those powerful words have stayed with me throughout my life.

On March 11, 2007, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling visited the Augusta County area for our monthly SWAC breakfast, and I was the recipient of his “Patrick Henry Award,” something that was very special to me. Even today I am thankful to him for that moment in time.

Today the words still ring out, “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?”

Those who walked before us light the pathway even now at this time in history….

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Flashback to 2007: Patrick Henry Award from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling

Patrick Henry 2

Patrick Henry

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[It has been 240 years since Virginia’s own Patrick Henry issued his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Remembering that important part of Virginia and American history, I was reminded of 2007 and a special recognition presented from Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Originally published March 11, 2007.]

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has the “Patrick Henry Award” that he bestows to folks around the Commonwealth. Yesterday, at the SWAC-GOP Breakfast, I was very surprised and honored when the Lt. Governor presented the Patrick Henry Award to me.

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A tale of independence at St. John’s Church

Pat HaleyBy Patrick Haley

My wife, Brenda, and I lived and worked in Richmond, Virginia, a town rich in history, a few years ago.On the east end of town sitting atop a hill in one of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods, Church Hill, was St. John’s Episcopal Church. Still active, it was built in 1741.

One evening after work, Brenda and I decided to walk the three blocks up to the famous church where Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech. As we arrived, a reenactment of the famous speech had just taken place. It was quite impressive and dramatic.
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