Patrick Henry was the Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and again from 1784 to 1786. He was one of the most radical patriots of his day. During the war he was a Colonel in the Continental Army. He was a delegate to the 1788 Constitutional Convention and argued as an anti-federalist, as he saw that the New Constitution which replaced the Articles of Confederation endangered the individual freedoms and violated state’s rights as sovereign nations. When the Constitution was finally completed, Henry refused to sign it, saying “I smelt a rat in Philadelphia.”
In 1775, Patriot Patrick Henry gave this speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. We offer it today to remind our readers that the issues that compelled him to give this speech have come full circle to 2010. Remember as you read his stirring words that the colonials were British citizens who were being treated as slaves by the Crown. Every right they enjoyed as British citizens was being trampled, and the King’s army was enforcing King George’s edicts all over the colonies. And most of the early skirmishes of the war happened as a result of the Redcoats attempting to confiscate the private ammunition and firearms owned by colonials.
“Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is coming on. We have petitioned…we have remonstrated…we have supplicated. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with comtempt… In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free…if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have so long contended…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 to our contest shall be obtained…we must fight!! I repeat it Sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all that is left to us!
They tell us Sir that we are weak…unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we require the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power…Besides Sir, 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…The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged; their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable…let it come! Gentlemen may cry peace, peace…but there is no peace. 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.”
Frederick Douglass was a self-freed black slave who became one of the most important abolitionists of his day. Here are his words from a speech in 1857.
“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand.
Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
DumpDC brings you these two voices from history today to attempt to awaken the slumbering, and to warn the naive. The Texas Nationalist Movement goes out of its way to state that they are not a militia…and rightly so. They state that they are promoting the peaceful, legislative process for Texas independence. That’s fine, too. But at some point, any secessionist group must admit to itself and its state citizens that Federal resistance to secession COULD be armed resistance. And any state that has not regained the Power of the Purse (its own money) and the Power of the Sword (its own militia) has not a snowball’s chance in hell of successfully seceding from the Union.
Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?
DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.
© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.