Lord Dunmore, British Governor of Virginia, had allowed the Virginia Militia act to lapse. Should Virginia raise a new Militia? Patrick Henry addressed the Second Virginia Convention:
“… This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country… it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
… Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other… Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming… If we wish to be free… we must fight! … An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! … we shall not fight our battles alone. 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, the active, the brave.
… The war is actually begun!… 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, Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death, March 23, 1775
James Still (Feb 2015), JamesStill@RetraceOurSteps.com
“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death, March 23, 1775