Give Me Liberty or

I am about to cast my vote for the next Conservative Leader of Canada. Is it serendipity that I came across this story and my relationship to Patrick? Four years ago I decided if I was to be vocal about politics I needed to educate myself and become involved by exercising my right to vote. I hope I never have to say, “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!”

Patrick Henry’s March on Williamsburg, May 1775

The dawn of April 21, 1775 began with a startling alarm, in the town of Williamsburg, Virginia. The British had absconded with a wagon load of gunpowder. London thought if they took all the powder away at the same time, there could not be a war. A thousand militia were about to march and correct the wrong. Peyton Randolph, the Speaker of Virginia’s House of Burgesses and the President of the Continental Congress, convinced them to disperse.

Patrick Henry, from Hanover Couny, who just a month earlier at the 2nd Virginia Convention in Richmond, had uttered his famous statement, “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!, had become known as a firebrand orator. He was surprised and disappointed when he learned the march on the capital had been cancelled. “You may in vain talk to the people about the duties on tea, but when the next step is to disarm them, you bring the subject home to their bosoms, and they will be ready to fly to arms to defend themselve,.” he said.

To the militia he laid open the plan on which the British was reducing the colonies to subjection, by robbing them of defending themselves. He spread before them in vivid description, the fields of Lexington and Concord, still covered in the blood of their countrymen, gloriously shed for the American cause; showed them that the recent plunder of the magazine in Willaimsburg, was part of the general system of subjugation. Henry Patrick gave them a stark choice: chose to live free and hand down a noble inheritance to their children, or become hewers of wood, and drawers of water to the corrupt and tyrannical lords. The assembled voted to march under Patrick Henry’s command to demand compensation for the powder the King’s military had stolen. The matter was resolved without bloodshed in exchange for 330 pounds to pay for the gunpowder. Patrick Henry returned home to Scotchtown, to prepare for his journey to Philadelphia to attend the 2nd Continental Congress.

(info from Charles Dabney to William Wirt, Dec 21, 1805, Papers of Patrick Henry, Rockefeller Library Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Partick Henry born May 29, 1736 was an American attorney, planter, politician and orator. A Founding Father of the United States, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776-1779 and from 1784-1786. He was a major figure in the American Revolution.

Geneology: Alexander Patrick Henry 1674-1735 married Jean Robertson;

sons John 1704-1773 William Christian Robertson Henry 1709-1769

Patrick Henry 1736-1799 George Henry 1737-1815

Elizabeth Betsy Henry 1768-1848 m William Buchanan

William Buchanan Jr. 1789-1879 m Mary Ann Stewart

Elizabeth Jane Buchanan 1825-1879 m Washington Walker Wise

James Alexander Wise 1853-1891 m Angeline Penrod

Lydia Ruth Wise 1883-1923 m George Arthur Gibbs

Olive Vivian Gibbs 1899-1988 m Gordon Reid Waddell

John Gordon Waddell 1921-2003 m Verna Jeane Miller

me 1955 – not done yet

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