"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!"
Patrick Henry
(1736-1799) US Founding Father
March 23,1775
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Reader comments about this quote:
More than think, I truly believe this to be a profound and deep feeling of what true liberty is; way beyond the ultimate prize; your own life. Happy 4th of July.
 -- Miguel Diaz, Hollywood, Fl.     
  • 1
    "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery"? A question I believe we should all ask ourselves. What is the true cost of liberty? The blood and sweat of the patriot who fights and maybe dies for his country. Not because he is told to by a higher government authority but because he truely loves his country the way that Our Founding Fathers intended it to be! Amen to this American patriot. God Bless Patrick Henry and people like him! This quote gives me goose bumps.
     -- KS, Somewhere,USA     
  • 1
    Interesting...nobody ever mentions this quote when discussing how the USA PATRIOT Act destroys civil liberties in the pursuit of homeland security. A true patriot realizes that the ends do not justify the means. There's no point in securing the homeland if the citizens of the homeland do not have liberty.
     -- CF, Indiana     
  • 1
    Mr Henry at his best in the Virginia House of Burgesses ~~~ or at least as quoted many years later. Still, having heard those words resound in that venerable chamber (Williamsburg Va) I must admit there is something there that stirs one's soul.
     -- dragonswizardz     
  • 1
    This is indeed an inspiring quote. Except one thing, it never appeared unitl 1817 in a bio by a William Wirt. Some historians now question whether this was not simply an addition by Wirt to Henry's speech. Either way it soes not detract from Henry as a great american patriot.
     -- Bill, Spring     
     -- Anonymous      
    Henry's great quote is even more relevant today. The stakes are much higher now than they were then. The struggle for opposition to slavery is now worldwide. America back in Henry's day was indeed a Judeo-Christian country that honored and cherished its values. This was, AND IS, something to be fighting for still. What kind of country do you want your kids and grandkids to be raised in?
     -- Shirly Oshiro, California     
  • 1
     -- Ronw13, ID      
    Today, peace is fleeting with the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land's war on individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, liberty and "the laws of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence). The High Priests of evil sacrifice our national family to foreign enemies while financing and arming them. Demonic malefactor(s) claim manifesting the 2nd Amendment will do nothing against the theocracy's superior arms. Censorship and restrictions (of all types) are only a spec on the implementation of Revelations 18:23 (the term sorceries, there referenced, derives from the Greek noun "pharmakeia"; an illuminating overview of the demonic malefactors offering).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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