Patrick Henry: A Call for Action
Mr. Jonathan Davis
November 12, 2012
Patrick Henry, one of the most famous historical figures of the colonial period and an advocate for liberty, was something of a Renaissance Man. Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736, about forty years before his infamous “Liberty or Death” speech. John Henry, Patrick’s father, educated his son at home including teaching him Latin. While very bright Patrick Henry was only interested in things that brought self-pleasure. Seeing that Patrick would not be a farmer as his family was his father pushed him in academics although Patrick was disinterested. In a final attempt John Henry set twenty-one year old Patrick up in a business that quickly went bankrupt. With pressure from his family a very motivated Patrick studied law on his own and in 1760 he took his attorney’s examination in Williamsburg.
In 1764 Henry and his first wife, Sarah Shelton, moved to Louisa County, Virginia where he spoke before the House of Burgesses defending voting rights. Soon after he was elected to the House and proposed the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions. These five resolutions were considered acts of treason against Britain. During the First Continental Congress Henry continued to fight and push for independence and liberation from the mother country of Great Britain.
Henry was an adamant advocate for citizens’ right to bear arms and to defend themselves against tyranny and oppression. In March of 1775 at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia Henry urged Virginians to arm in self-defense. The imposition of the Intolerable Acts, as well as the Stamp Act on the colonies created a hostile relationship between the British and the colonists. Henry believed that the colonists should join forces and resist the monarchial policies of Britain. The colonists were forced into heavy tariffs that caused bankruptcy, starvation and sometimes...