By Bob Jamison

          This wasn’t just an ordinary fiddler. He was an excellent musician and personality which led him to a destiny of becoming one of the most famous persons in the world. His brave revolutionary thoughts and speeches rang out through the rafters of the Congress and elsewhere.

          In his youth his mother, Mrs. Henry, would take him to church and returning home by their horse and buggy, she would test his attention during the message by asking him to repeat the sermon as best he remembered. He got so good at it along with an almost evangelical style; he would become a most noble statesman with marvelous oratorical perfection.

          His speaking ability also led him to engage the study of law that led to a reputation of winning over eleven hundred cases after passing bar exam of Virginia. Then he was soon to be elected to the legislature. Aside from the advice of his elders, young upstarts should remain quiet and listen to the wisdom of seasoned politicians. Patrick Henry had other ideas.

          At age 29 he boldly introduced an extremely difficult bill introducing the repeal or resolutions against the Stamp Act. In fact, it was actually bordering on treason as the British Government over the colonies enacted this law to collect taxes from the colonist to pay for their own occupation and did so without the least representation.

          “If this be treason, make the most of it!” That was the introduction of his oratory concerning the matter. And that happened only nine days after he was seated in the House. No doubt, the spirited declaration inspired confidence in the most reluctant colleagues. So much then for the older polititians who advised him to be quiet and behave.  

          The American Spirit magazine of the Daughters of the American Revolution furnished much of this information that deserves to be summarized as a reminder to all of us how this nation faced adversities of the most threatening nature. Statesmen such as Patrick Henry and most certainly George Washington and Thomas Jefferson plus many others literally laid their lives on the line for this country. Also, neither lost the fact of the importance of Devine guidance.

          “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 of the future but that of the past.” This statement alone should be a reminder of our government that if the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights ever fails (and today it is certainly threatened) then the knowledge of the fall of nations in our historical past was totally ignored.

          Patrick Henry was a good father and husband and raised six children. His first wife, Ann Reid, unfortunately suffered great depression. Some rather flippant comments were made about it such as; “If you were married to a prominent person that traveled around the country suggesting war and lived with treasonous circumstances, then she might have had a reason to be depressed.” But Henry loved this country and liberty.

          Certainly, he still faced skepticism about entering war against the largest army and navy in the world. Congress realized far too vividly that a rag tag group of squirrel hunters had little hope against such odds. But indeed, liberty that we are known for around the world was in jeopardy.

          Likely, the most important and politically inspiring speeches ever made was delivered in the most dramatic manner he could muster. It happened in St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia when he suggested that Virginia should raise a militia. Many delegates applauded the speech as well as onlookers. But then there was great fear of war and disaster by other members.

          At the summation of his speech that quite vividly revealed his persuasive nature, the following quote met with a resounding effect by delivering this winning sentence: “Give me liberty or give me death! The militia was established.