portrait of Patrick Henry
Oil on canvas by George Bagby Matthews (ca. 1891)

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Quotes of the Day for 29 May 2002 – Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia on this day in 1736. He was a fiery orator while taking a key role in the public discussion leading to independence for the American colonies, often remembered for saying "Give me Liberty or give me death!" After the revolution he was asked to serve in high levels of the new national government, but turned them down in favor his position as governor of Virginia. He is the only person to have been elected to five terms as a state governor.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

It is natural to man to indulge in the illusion of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts.

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. The great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun.
     - All today's quotes are from Patrick Henry, 1736 - 1799

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