77 Patrick Henry Quotes from Founding Father of United States

Patrick Henry, born May 29, 1736, was a prominent American Revolution figure, well-known for his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech in 1775.

He was Virginia’s first governor, serving from 1776-1779 and 1784-1786.

Henry, son of educated Scotsman John Henry, was initially unsuccessful as a storekeeper and farmer before excelling in law.

His oratory skills were evident early, especially in cases like the Parson’s Cause (1763).

Patrick Henry

An advocate for independence and liberty, Henry opposed British rule, supported Virginia’s militia and contributed to the passage of the Bill of Rights. He died on June 6, 1799.

I have picked the best quotes by Patrick Henry in this article.

Patrick Henry Quotes

I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. ~ Patrick Henry.


I shall act as I think my duty requires. ~ Patrick Henry.

Jealousy is the only vice that gives no pleasure. ~ Patrick Henry.

I’m sick of all you ammo-phobes being intolerant of my gun. ~ Patrick Henry.


Bad men cannot make good citizens. ~ Patrick Henry.

My great objection to this government is that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants. ~ Patrick Henry.

The great object is that every man be armed. ~ Patrick Henry.


This house is protected by an armed citizen. There is absolutely nothing here worth dying for. ~ Patrick Henry.

I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery. ~ Patrick Henry.


Best Patrick Henry Quotes

It is the business of a virtuous clergy to censure vice in every appearance of it. ~ Patrick Henry.


The people have a right to keep and bear arms. ~ Patrick Henry.

No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion – or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ Patrick Henry.

If our government servants had to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as they have forced all of American business to do, they would be in jail. ~ Patrick Henry.


I am not a Virginian, I am an American. ~ Patrick Henry.

You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government. ~ Patrick Henry.

United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs. ~ Patrick Henry.


I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. ~ Patrick Henry.

Perfect freedom is as necessary to the health and vigor of commerce as it is to the health and vigor of citizenship. ~ Patrick Henry.

Powerful Patrick Henry Quotes

The militia is our ultimate safety. We can have no security without it. The great object is that every man be armed. ~ Patrick Henry.

Were my soul trembling on the wing of eternity, were this hand freezing to death, were my voice choking with the last struggle, I would still, with the last gasp of that voice, implore you to remember the truth: God has given America to be free. ~ Patrick Henry.


Implements of war and subjugation are the last arguments to which kings resort. ~ Patrick Henry.

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! ~ Patrick Henry.

The American Revolution was the grand operation, which seemed to be assigned by the Deity to the men of this age in our country, over and above the common duties of life. ~ Patrick Henry.

Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? ~ Patrick Henry.


Give me liberty or give me death. ~ Patrick Henry.

When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object. ~ Patrick Henry.

The battle is not to the strong alone. It is to the vigilant, the active, and the brave. A small, disciplined militia can not only hold out against a larger force, but drive it back, because what they’re fighting for rightfully belongs to them. ~ Patrick Henry.


The eternal difference between right and wrong does not fluctuate, it is immutable. ~ Patrick Henry.

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. ~ Patrick Henry.

Famous Patrick Henry Quotes

I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian Religion. If they had that and I had not given them one shilling they would have been rich; and if they had not that and I had given them all the world, they would be poor. ~ Patrick Henry.

If this be treason, make the most of it! ~ Patrick Henry.

We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. ~ Patrick Henry.

Give me liberty or give me gout?! Ok, who’s been messing with this? ~ Patrick Henry.


Liberty ought to be the direct end of your government. ~ Patrick Henry.

Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty? ~ Patrick Henry.

Fear is the passion of slaves. ~ Patrick Henry.

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. ~ Patrick Henry.

There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. ~ Patrick Henry.


I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death. ~ Patrick Henry.

I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. ~ Patrick Henry.

Wise Patrick Henry Quotes

Give me liberty, or give me death! While we’re at it, I would also like a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. ~ Patrick Henry.

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, Sir, let it come! ~ Patrick Henry.

Oh, how wretched should I be at this moment, if I had not made my peace with God. ~ Patrick Henry.


The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. ~ Patrick Henry.

If you have given up your militia, and Congress shall refuse to arm them, you have lost everything. Your existence will be precarious, because you depend on others, whose interests are not affected by your infelicity. ~ Patrick Henry.

It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. ~ Patrick Henry.

It is natural to man to indulge in the illusion of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, till she transforms us into beasts. ~ Patrick Henry.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom. ~ Patrick Henry.


Be of good courage, my son, and remember that the best men always make themselves. ~ Patrick Henry.

My most cherished possession I wish I could leave you is my faith in Jesus Christ, for with Him and nothing else you can be happy, but without Him and with all else you’ll never be happy. ~ Patrick Henry.

Insightful Quotes By Patrick Henry

Righteousness alone can exalt America as a nation. Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others. ~ Patrick Henry.

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? ~ Patrick Henry.

The whole economy of this lower world proves that it is by labor and perseverance only that good is obtained and evil is avoided. ~ Patrick Henry.

Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings – give us that precious jewel and you may take everything else! ~ Patrick Henry.


I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. ~ Patrick Henry.

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it. ~ Patrick Henry.

Suspicion is a Virtue, if in the interests of the good of the people. ~ Patrick Henry.

This is all the inheritance I give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed. ~ Patrick Henry.

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. ~ Patrick Henry.

Patrick Henry Quotes and Sayings

The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed. ~ Patrick Henry.


What right do they have to say we the people rather than we the States? ~ Patrick Henry.

He that hath a blind conscience which sees nothing, a dead conscience which feels nothing, and a dumb conscience which says nothing, is in as miserable a condition as a man can be on this side of hell. ~ Patrick Henry.

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. ~ Patrick Henry.


We should transmit to posterity our abhorrence of slavery. ~ Patrick Henry.

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! – but there is no peace. ~ Patrick Henry.

Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them. ~ Patrick Henry.


We have not yet begun to fight. ~ Patrick Henry.

It is when people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains. ~ Patrick Henry.

Inspiring Patrick Henry Quotes

Congress may carry on the most wicked and pernicious of schemes under the dark veil of secrecy. The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. ~ Patrick Henry.

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. ~ Patrick Henry.

The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American! ~ Patrick Henry.


Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? ~ Patrick Henry.

Human nature will never part with power. Look for an example of a voluntary relinquishment of power from one end of the globe to another – you will find none. ~ Patrick Henry.

Hospitality invites to prayer before it checks credentials, welcomes to the table before administering the entrance exam. ~ Patrick Henry.

If we wish to be free we must fight, I repeat, we must fight. ~ Patrick Henry.

So these were the 77 quotes from Patrick Henry.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Upton Sinclair quotes and Magda Gerber quotes and Nina Simone quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar