George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

Patrick Henry

Trumpet of the American Revolution

Patrick Henry was courageous orator and a fine fiddler! As a Representative at the Virginia House of Burgesses, Henry gave the famous “Treason” speech by responding to hecklers saying, “If it be treason make the most of it!” He translated difficult ideas to the common man. In 1774, he served as a Delegate to the Continental Congress stating, “I am not a Virginian but an American.” He has been called the “Trumpet” and the “Voice” of the American Revolution. Later, he helped in the passing of the Bill of Rights. Henry was always protecting the rights of Americans. He spoke out against the Stamp Act of 1765 and opposed the British government. There are numerous sites throughout Virginia where Henry’s life is still honored today.

“We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power… The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”

“I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

“When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”

“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.”

Patrick Henry was the second oldest of nine children.

Henry became Virginia’s first governor in 1776.

Henry became a businessman, helping his father run a store, at the young age of 15.

Patrick Henry opposed the U.S. Constitution and his criticisms of it led to James Madison’s creation of the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments).

Henry became a lawyer in 1760 and was know to be a very powerful and persuasive speaker.