The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat. Although now among the most recognizable soldiers in the British Army, Scottish Highlanders were once regarded with suspicion and hostility. A number of clans revolted against the king inand this act was punished severely with the proscription of Highland dress and weapons.
John's Episcopal Church in the town of Richmond on March 20, Richmond was selected as better protected from royal authority. The convention debated whether Virginia should adopt language from a petition by the planters of the Colony of Jamaica.
This document contained complaints about British actions, but admitted the King could veto colonial legislation, and it urged reconciliation. Henry offered amendments to raise a militia independent of royal authority in terms that recognized that conflict with Britain was inevitable, sparking the opposition of moderates.
He defended his amendments, concluding with the statement he is best known for: If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. 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 and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! 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!
Henry's speech carried the day, and the convention adopted his amendments. All agreed that the speech had produced a profound effect, but it seems that only one person attempted to render an actual text.
George Tuckerwho had been present for the speech, gave Wirt his recollections and Wirt wrote back stating that "I have taken almost entirely Mr. Henry's speech in the Convention of '75 from you, as well as your description of its effect on your verbatim.
In the s, historians began to question the authenticity of Wirt's reconstruction. The gunpowder belonged to the government, to be issued in case of need, such as a slave uprising.In May , two bluff-bowed, armed merchant vessels crammed with troops sailed from Glasgow to Boston.
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