Monday, August 22, 2016

"Give me Liberty or give me Death" – Patrick Henry

One of the most famous speeches of the American Revolution, given in Richmond, Virginia on 23 March 1775, depicted here in Luther-like pose. Patrick Henry's father was from Aberdeen, and his sister Elizabeth was married to William Campbell, one of the signatories to the Fincastle Resolutions outlined in the post below. Campbell is known to have been of Ulster-Scots descent. Campbell went on to become a hero of the American Revolution, achieving the rank of General. Here is a 1910 ‘Monument’ document to him, published by the United States Senate. What an extract –

‘… In the confronting ranks was a very different class of men. Those from the Holston, under Campbell, were a peculiar people … they were, almost to a man, Presbyterians. In their homes, in the Holston Valley, they were settled in pretty compact congregations; quite tenacious of their religious and civil liberties, as handed down from father to son from their Scotch-Irish ancestors. Their preacher. Rev. Charles Cummins, was well fitted for the times; a man of piety and sterling patriotism, who constantly exerted himself to encourage his people to make every needed sacrifice and put forth every possible exertion in defense of the liberties of their country.

They were a remarkable body of men, both physically and mentally … ever ready at the tap of the drum  to turn out on military service; if in the busiest crop season, their wives, sisters, and daughters could, in their absence, plant and sow and harvest. They were better educated than most of the frontier settlers, and had a more thorough understanding of the questions at issue between the colonies and their mother country. These men went forth to strike their country's foes, as did the patriarchs of old, feeling assured that the God of battles was with them, and that He would surely crown their efforts  with success. They had no doubts nor fears. They trusted in God and kept their powder dry. Such a thing as a coward was not known among them …’