Give me liberty or give me death
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Thread: Give me liberty or give me death

  1. #1

    Give me liberty or give me death

    In light of the fact that everthing seems to be going to hell in a hand basket I thought some of you might like to review the words of one of the greatest patriots of all.



    Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
    March 23, 1775
    By Patrick Henry

    No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.

    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

    Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlement assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

    There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

    It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. 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!
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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  3. #2
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    great reading!!!

    wisdom from the founders. great stuff.
    SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE IS TRAINING TO KILL YOU. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

  4. #3
    Thank you for sharing that. It is definitely a "must read" and timely, just as true now as it was then.

    - Ceicei

  5. #4
    When you read about the life of Patrick Henry you start to wonder if his great speeches had about the same meaning as those of Bill Clinton and B H Obama. A lot of hot air.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    When you read about the life of Patrick Henry you start to wonder if his great speeches had about the same meaning as those of Bill Clinton and B H Obama. A lot of hot air.
    Would you care to explain that statement?
    -= Piece Corps =-

  7. #6
    To compare Patrick Henry to Clinton or the Obamanation is like comparing light with darkness. Good with evil.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  8. #7
    Patrick Henry wa a professional politician relying on his oratory powers to BS his way right along. The difference between he and Obama is that he wrote his own speeches. When it came down to actual fighting and trading his life for liberty he was usually somewhere safe. A good example of this is in the little stories below.

    He was a great orator, lawyer, politician, patriot and BS expert.

    Patrick Henry: America's Radical Dissenter

    Second, while Henry may not have known the law as well as other attorneys, he was able to sway juries. His speaking style was a departure from traditional legal oratory, which emphasized rationality and allusions to classical texts. His style resembled nothing so much as an evangelical preacher, with biblical references and an appeal to passion and emotion rather than reason. This style came from his childhood. Although Henry had been baptized into the Church of England, he often attended Presbyterian services with his mother. The dramatic preaching of Samuel Davies and other ministers associated with the evangelical movement known as the Great Awakening was a basic influence on his oratory.

    While he was in the Legislature, British troops, under Benedict Arnold and Banistre Tarleton, invaded Virginia. Their attack sent the Governor, Thomas Jefferson, and the Legislature scurrying over the Blue Ridge Mountains to the relative safety of Saunton. An anecdotal story of Henry's flight remains and it also points out the high regard that the common citizens of Virginia had for the man.

    It is said that as Patrick Henry, Benjamin Harrison, Judge Tyler, and Colonel Christian were hurrying along, they saw a little hut in the forest. An old woman was chopping wood by the door. The men were hungry, and stopped to ask for food. "Who are you?" she asked. "We are members of the Legislature." said Patrick Henry; "we have just been compelled to leave Charlottesville on account of the British." "Ride on, then, ye cowardly knaves!" she said in wrath. "Here are my husband and sons just gone to Charlottesville to fight for ye, and you running away with all your might. Clear out! Ye shall have nothing here." "But," replied Mr. Henry, "we were obliged to flee. It would not do for the Legislature to be broken up by the enemy. Here is Mr. Benjamin Harrison; you don't think he would have fled had it not been necessary?' "I always thought a great deal of Mr. Harrison till now," answered the old woman, "but he'd no business to run from the enemy." And she started to shut the door in their faces. "Wait a moment, my good woman," cried Mr. Henry; "would you believe that Judge Tyler or Colonel Christian would take to flight if there were not good cause for so doing?' "No, indeed I wouldn't." replied the old woman. "But," Henry said, "Judge Tyler and Colonel Christian are here." "They are?" exclaimed the woman. "Well, I would never have thought it. I didn't suppose they would ever run from the British; but since they have, they shall have nothing to eat in my house. You may ride along." Things were getting desperate. Then Judge Tyler stepped forward: "What would you say, my good woman, if I were to tell you that Patrick Henry fled with the rest of us?" "Patrick Henry!" she answered angrily, "I should tell you there wasn't a word of truth in it! Patrick Henry would never do such a cowardly thing." "But this is Patrick Henry," said Judge Tyler. The old woman was astonished; but she stammered and pulled at her apron string, and said: "Well, if that's Patrick Henry, it must be all right. Come in, and ye shall have the best I have in the house."

  9. #8
    Yep that sounds like some of the revised politically correct crap that is taught today especially in public schools.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    Yep that sounds like some of the revised politically correct crap that is taught today especially in public schools.
    LMAO So if it doesn't fit your idea of what history should have been then it has been revised to be PC crap.

    The truth is that the Founding Fathers for the most part were mostly scoundrels looking out for their own best interest like today's politicians. Ever check out George Washigton's expense account? He volunteered to lead the armies for no salary but did ask for his expenses to be paid. His expense account would make a modern day CEO blush. Thomas Jefferson's mistress may have been a slave but she was also his wife's half sister.

    Benjamin Franklin got things done in France by partying all night primarily with the wives of the French Aristocracy and left his "calling card" all over Paris. patrick Henry was a great orator but a war hero he was not. When the time actually came for him to decide on Liberty or Death he was hightailing it out of there.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    LMAO So if it doesn't fit your idea of what history should have been then it has been revised to be PC crap.

    The truth is that the Founding Fathers for the most part were mostly scoundrels looking out for their own best interest like today's politicians. Ever check out George Washigton's expense account? He volunteered to lead the armies for no salary but did ask for his expenses to be paid. His expense account would make a modern day CEO blush. Thomas Jefferson's mistress may have been a slave but she was also his wife's half sister.

    Benjamin Franklin got things done in France by partying all night primarily with the wives of the French Aristocracy and left his "calling card" all over Paris. patrick Henry was a great orator but a war hero he was not. When the time actually came for him to decide on Liberty or Death he was hightailing it out of there.
    [IWelll lets just say I have heard the attacks before on the founding fathers and they usually come from the liberal left.[/I]
    WallBuilders | Presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.

    For those ouf you that would like to learn the truth about the founding fathers I sujest the above site.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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