"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death"

Patrick Henry was a self-taught lawyer who became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765. The exact words of his speech to the House on March 23, 1776, are not known, since no one has ever found any notes on the speech, and we have to depend on people's memory of the speech long after it was given. Whether or not he actually said, "give me liberty or give me death," however, his speech that day set the crowd on fire. His words appealed to people's emotions, and his passionate oration helped strengthen support for the patriot cause.