Yesterday was the 240th anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, ending with the cry, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” To mark the occasion, I wrote a brief piece for the Daily Signal, discussing the background to the speech, as well as commenting on some of the political virtues it manifests.
Part of the background that a lot of people don’t know is that the speech was not recorded at the time it was given, and that there is no text of it that Henry left us. It was instead reconstructed years after the event by Henry’s biographer, William Wirt.
As it happens, Ted Cruz invoked the speech yesterday in announcing his presidential bid. This led Real Clear Politics’s Carl Cannon to write his own column on the speech, which is also worth reading.