Quotes by Patrick Henry
From the May 29, 1765 Caesar-Brutus Speech
"Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third—" [Cries of "Treason! Treason!"] "George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it."
From an October 14, 1774 Speech in the First Continental Congress, Philadelphia
“I am not a Virginian, but an American.”
From the March 23, 1775 Liberty or Death Speech
"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 the future but by the past."
"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth...
For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth;
to know the worst; and to provide for it."
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!”
"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!"
From the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Article 16- Adopted June 12, 1776
“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”
From the June, 1788 Virginia Convention on the Ratification of the Constitution, including the Shall Liberty or Empire be Sought? Speech
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.
Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.
Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.
Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
"The great object is that every man be armed.
Everyone who is able may have a gun."
From Henry’s Final Speech, March 4, 1799
“United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”