On March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry delivered an impassioned speech to the Second Virginia Convention, famously ending with the words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Then a Delegate for Virginia to the Convention, and later Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry had become fed-up with political and economic aggression from Britain. Previously vehemently against the Stamp Act ten years before, Henry simply had enough of trying to negotiate with an unresponsive Britain, and implored the Convention to form a militia and prepare for the inevitability of rebellion and war.

Henry remains one of the most prominent names associated with the American Revolution, as well as being one of the foremost orators to urge the United States to push back against unfair British laws. Thanks to his rhetoric, many people in power were swayed to enter into war against Britain and ultimately attain independence for the Colonies.