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PATRICK HENRY QUOTES "It is vain, sir, to extenuate 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!" - Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church, Redmond, Virginia, March 23, 1779 "I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past." - Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church, Redmond, Virginia, March 23, 1775 "United we stand, divided we fall, Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs." - Last Public Speech Before His Death, March 4, 1799 "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." - Article 16, Draft of the First Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Henry was a member of the drafting committee), June 12, 1776 "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." - Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778 "Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings - give us that precious jewel, and you may take every things else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel." - Speech in the Virginia Convention, June 5, 1788 Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
Scotchtown Plantation Beaverdam District, Hanover County Patrick Henry, his wife Sarah, and their six children are the first known inhabitants of Scotchtown after the Chiswells moved out. The family probably took occupancy in the spring of 1771 because by September Henry was producing Tobacco, which he sold to a local store owner. Around the time that the family relocated to Scotchtown, Sarah Henry began showing signs of mental illness. Eventually she had to be confined, probably in a small basement apartment. She died at Scotchtown in 1775. During his years at Scotchtown, Henry was busy with civic activities. It was from Scotchtown that he rode in 1775 to journey to St. John's Church in Richmond to deliver his famous "Liberty or Death" speech and again in 1776 to be elected first governor of Virginia. In 1777, Henry married his second wife Dorothea Dandridge and relocated to the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg. Scotchtown was offered for sale that year and again in 1778. Little is known about the house during Henry's time there. His brother in law described his furniture as being "all of the plainest sort, consisting of necessaries only-nothing for show or ornament" but few domestic accounts from this period, clouded as it was by family sorrow and political upheaval, have survived.
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