Patrick Henry's Life and Speeches
"I know not what course others may take..."
1736 - 1799

During early life, Patrick Henry made several unsuccessful attempts to find the career that would best utilize his unique talents. He was unsuccessful in the mercantile business before taking up the study of law.

At the age of 27, his genius as an orator burst forward in a brilliant display of eloquence in the case of the Parson's Cause (left, 1763). In this case, he was fighting against taxation without representation in which the parsons of the Church of England tried to tax colonists who believed in other religions. Although many doubted his ability to succeed at law, he stunned the spectators and jury by the fire and eloquence of his words. The people carried him out of the courtroom in triumph. Following this case, he rose to the head of his profession.

Henry's was the first voice raised against England in her attempt to raise taxation without representation. He rose to his full stature in attacking the infamous Stamp Act, which was hotly debated at the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg in 1765.

See also "Give Me Liberty Speech"
Patrick Henry Biography
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