Patrick Henry - (1736 - 1799)

Patrick Henry Signature

Quotes by Patrick Henry

Quote 1096 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1096 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1096
It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and the provide for it.

Patrick Henry: speech to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 687 details Share on Google+ - Quote 687 Linked In Share Button - Quote 687
I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian Religion. If they had that and I had not given them one shilling they would have been rich; and if they had not that and I had given them all the world, they would be poor.

Patrick Henry: Unknown

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The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is a instrument for the people to restrain the government...

Patrick Henry: the source for this quote is unsure. Some people say it was never actually said.

Quote 814 details Share on Google+ - Quote 814 Linked In Share Button - Quote 814 There is no retreat but in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston. The ware is inevitable. And let it come! I repeat it, sire, let it come! It is vain, sir to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen my cry, peace, peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that surveys from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand idle here? Is life so dark 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!

Patrick Henry: speaking to the Virginia legislature, march 23, 1775

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There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate these inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! - I repeat it sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us!

Patrick Henry: speech to the Virginia Convention, march 23, 1775
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 988 details Share on Google+ - Quote 988 Linked In Share Button - Quote 988 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 the precious jewel, and you may take every things else! ... Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.


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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.

Patrick Henry: Speech in Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775
The Quotable Founding Fathers

Quote 1259 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1259 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1259 There are certain maxims by which every wise and enlightened people will regulate their conduct. There are certain political maxims, which no free people out ever to abandon. Maxims of which the observance is essential to the security of happiness. It is impiously irritating the avenging hand of Heaven, when a people who are in the full enjoyment of freedom, launch out into the wide ocean of human affairs, and desert those maxims which alone can preserve liberty. Such maxims, humble as they are, are those only which can render a nation safe or formidable... We have one, Sir, That all men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into society, they cannot by an compact deprive or divest their prosperity. We have a set of maxims of the same spirit, which must be beloved by every friend of liberty, to virtue, to mankind. Our Bill of Rights contains those admirable maxims.


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There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, and active, the brave.


Quote 933 details Share on Google+ - Quote 933 Linked In Share Button - Quote 933 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: speech to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775. (Language altered to first person.)
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 812 details Share on Google+ - Quote 812 Linked In Share Button - Quote 812 I am not a Virginian, but an American.

Patrick Henry: Speech from the First Continental Congress, October 14, 1774

Quote 672 details Share on Google+ - Quote 672 Linked In Share Button - Quote 672 Doctor, I wish you to observe how real and beneficial the religion of Christ is to a man about to die....I am, however, much consoled by reflecting that the religion of Christ has, from its first appearance in the world, been attacked in vain by all the wits, philosophers, and wise ones, aided by every power of man, and its triumphs have been complete.

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 1109 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1109 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1109 We are not weak, if we make use of the means which God of nature hath placed in our power.


Quote 1099 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1099 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1099 Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation - the last arguments to which kings resort.

Patrick Henry: speech to the Virginia Convention, march 23, 1775
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 671 details Share on Google+ - Quote 671 Linked In Share Button - Quote 671 Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of the number; and indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 669 details Share on Google+ - Quote 669 Linked In Share Button - Quote 669 It is in 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!

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 686 details Share on Google+ - Quote 686 Linked In Share Button - Quote 686 Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 1057 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1057 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1057 I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

Patrick Henry: letter to Thomas Paine, 1789

Quote 670 details Share on Google+ - Quote 670 Linked In Share Button - Quote 670 This book is worth all the books that ever were printed, and it has been my misfortune that I never found time to read it with the proper attention and feeling till lately. I trust in the mercy of heaven that it is not too late.

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 673 details Share on Google+ - Quote 673 Linked In Share Button - Quote 673 This is all the inheritance I give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed.

Patrick Henry: November 20, 1798, in his Last Will and Testament

Quote 684 details Share on Google+ - Quote 684 Linked In Share Button - Quote 684 The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.

Patrick Henry: Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 9, 1788

Quote 685 details Share on Google+ - Quote 685 Linked In Share Button - Quote 685 Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.

Patrick Henry: Unknown


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