I was invited recently by St. John’s Church Foundation to attend at a private country manor the reenactment of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death speech” from the Second Virginia Convention held at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 1775.
This convention passed the resolution that Virginia would form an armed militia to confront the tyranny of the British King, George the Third. Among the delegates voting for this resolution were two future United States Presidents: Colonel George Washington from Fairfax County and Thomas Jefferson from Albemarle County. The Second Virginia Convention was presided over by Peyton Randolph from Williamsburg. The most notable antagonist to Patrick Henry at this convention was Edmund Pendleton, a delegate from Caroline County. He even considered Patrick Henry’s arguments at the Convention to be treasonous.
If you are ever in Richmond, Virginia, I encourage you to visit St. John’s Church; Signer George Wythe is buried there. During the summer months, you will be able to attend weekly performances of Patrick Henry’s speech. The actors do an incredible job of putting its audience in a realistic 1775 timeframe. DSDI is a supporter of St. John’s Church and very much appreciates its efforts to remind current Americans of how we evolved from British Colonies to the United States of America.
Lawrence “Laurie” Croft | Past President-General