I love America. Plain and simple. I especially love Early American History. As an immigrant, I’m just so grateful for the blessing to be an American.
One of the most famous speeches give is from Patrick Henry, an important figure in American History. His speech with the famous line “give me liberty or give me death” is verbatim below and you can also download the PDF here.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations*
The Project Gutenberg Etext of Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
******This file should be named liber11.txt or liber11.zip*****
December, 1975 [Etext #6]
[Date last updated: May 5, 2005]
Officially released in December 1975, unofficially released for
the 200th anniversary of the speech by Patrick Henry before the
“House” as he referred to it. [Which was the Virgina Provincial
Convention, March 23, 1775]
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, liber12.txt
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, liber10a.txt
We apologize for the fact that the legal small print is longer,
and more complicated, than the Etext itself; our legal beagles,
of whom there are now a half dozen or so, insist this must be a
part of any Project Gutenberg Etext we post, for our protection
from the rest of the legal beagles out there. The US has twice
as many lawyers as the rest of the world combined!
You are free to delete the headers and just keep the Etexts, we
are not free not to post it this way. Again my apologies. The
normal Project Gutenberg blurb has been deleted, you can get it
in this location in most Project Gutenberg Etexts. Thanks, mh
***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS**START***
Why is this “Small Print!” statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this etext, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what’s wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this “Small Print!” statement
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.
*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS ETEXT
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
etext, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this “Small Print!” statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this etext by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this etext on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM ETEXTS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext, like most PROJECT GUTENBERG-
tm etexts, is a “public domain” work distributed by Professor
Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at
Illinois Benedictine College (the “Project”). Among other
things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this etext
under the Project’s “PROJECT GUTENBERG” trademark.
To create these etexts, the Project expends considerable
efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project’s etexts and any
medium they may be on may contain “Defects”. Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other etext medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the “Right of Replacement or Refund” described below,
 the Project (and any other party you may receive this
etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including
legal fees, and  YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR
UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE
OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of
receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to
receive it electronically.
THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU “AS-IS”. NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS
TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.
You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors,
officers, members and agents harmless from all liability, cost
and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or
indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause:
 distribution of this etext,  alteration, modification,
or addition to the etext, or  any Defect.
DISTRIBUTION UNDER “PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm”
You may distribute copies of this etext electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
“Small Print!” and all other references to Project Gutenberg,
 Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this
requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
etext or this “small print!” statement. You may however,
if you wish, distribute this etext in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form,
including any form resulting from conversion by word pro-
cessing or hypertext software, but only so long as
[*] The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
does *not* contain characters other than those
intended by the author of the work, although tilde
(~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may
be used to convey punctuation intended by the
author, and additional characters may be used to
indicate hypertext links; OR
[*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at
no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
form by the program that displays the etext (as is
the case, for instance, with most word processors);
[*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
or other equivalent proprietary form).
 Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this
“Small Print!” statement.
 Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20% of the
net profits you derive calculated using the method you
already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you
don’t derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to “Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois
Benedictine College” within the 60 days following each
date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare)
your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO?
The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time,
scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty
free copyright licenses, and every other sort of contribution
you can think of. Money should be paid to “Project Gutenberg
Association / Illinois Benedictine College”.
This “Small Print!” by Charles B. Kramer, Attorney
Internet (email@example.com); TEL: (212-254-5093)
*END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver.04.29.93*END*
All of the original Project Gutenberg Etexts from the
1970’s were produced in ALL CAPS, no lower case. The
computers we used then didn’t have lower case at all.
These original Project Gutenberg Etexts will be compiled into a file
containing them all, in order to improve the content ratios of Etext
to header material.
Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities,
of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different
men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it
will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do
opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my
sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony.
The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country.
For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of
freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject
ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that
we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility
which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions
at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself
as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty
toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope.
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the
song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part
of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not,
and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their
temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost,
I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of
experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.
And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct
of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with
which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.
Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?
Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves
to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our
petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and
darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and
reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that
force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves,
sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to
which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if
its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other
possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of
the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir,
she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other.
They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British
ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them?
Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years.
Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the
subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain.
Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we
find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir,
deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert
the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated;
we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have
implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and
Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced
additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded;
and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne!
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and
reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free–
if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which
we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble
struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged
ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest
shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable
an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week,
or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British
guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by
irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance
by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until
our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make
a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a
country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy
can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will
raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the
strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir,
we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late
to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
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!