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Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799) Betsy Ross Flag

American Patriot, Attorney

Patrick Henry

(Wikipedia Commons)

A lawyer prior to the revolution, Henry protested the Stamp Act before the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765.  Arguing that it was the colonial assemblies which had the exclusive right to impose taxes upon themselves, Henry presented the House of Burgesses with six potentially radical resolutions in protest of the act.  Five of his Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions were passed and were thus among the most visible anti-British political actions by the colonies to date.  In March of 1775, Henry passionately urged his fellow Virginians to commit troops for the war against Great Britain during his famous “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech.  Henry later served as a member of the First Continental Congress, led the Virginia colonial militia, and in 1776, was elected Governor of Virginia.