The Virginia Convention

Topics: Rhetoric, Virginia, Question Pages: 4 (1351 words) Published: August 18, 2013
"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!"

To avoid interference from Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore and his Royal Marines, the Second Virginia Convention met March 20, 1775 inland at Richmond--in what is now called St. John's Church--instead of the Capitol in Williamsburg. Delegate Patrick Henry presented resolutions to raise a militia, and to put Virginia in a posture of defense. Henry's opponents urged caution and patience until the crown replied to Congress' latest petition for reconciliation. On the 23rd, Henry presented a proposal to organize a volunteer company of cavalry or infantry in every Virginia county. By custom, Henry addressed himself to the Convention's president, Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg. Henry's words were not transcribed, but no one who heard them forgot their eloquence, or Henry's closing words: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Works Cited

“‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!’” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. n.p. history.org n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm  

Excerpt from Opening ParagraphQuestions to Assist with Paraphrasing and Analysis St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.
MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country…

1.Who is Patrick Henry addressing?
2.Why is it important that he acknowledges the audience’s patriotism? 3.Why does Patrick Henry tell his audience that he is going to be direct and speak freely? 4.What is the awful moment that he refers to?...

Cited: Henry, Patrick. “Speech to the Virginia Convention.” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. n.p. history.org
n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm
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