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On May 29, 1736, Founding Father and skilled orator Patrick Henry was born in Studley, Virginia

May 29

On May 29, 1736, Founding Father and skilled orator Patrick Henry was born in Studley, Virginia. He may be best remembered for his famously impassioned “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech in Richmond, Virginia, which argued for the deployment of Virginia troops in the American Revolution. (The speech successfully convinced the convention to send troops to aid in the Revolution.)

His arguments in favor of Revolution appealed to many, including Thomas Jefferson – “It is not now easy to say what we should have done without Patrick Henry. He was before us all in maintaining the spirit of the Revolution.” And contemporary George Mason remarked of Henry, “Every word he says not only engages but commands the attention and your passions are no longer your own when he addresses them.”

After the war, Henry took an anti-federalist stance, strongly opposing the Constitution and endorsing a strong bill of rights. By the end of his life however, he had warmed to the Federalist Party, even running as a Federalist.

Did you know? Patrick Henry had not only seventeen children, but seventy-seven grandchildren – imagine holidays in the Henry household!

 

Patrick Henry, George Bagby Matthews, c. 1891

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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May 29
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