By Ron Payne
On March 23, 1775 Patrick Henry, at St. John’s Church in Richmond Virginia, addressed the Second Virginia Convention to discuss the Old Dominions strategy in negotiating with the Crown of England. The roughly 120 delegates who filed into Richmond’s St. John’s Church were a veritable “who’s who” of Virginia’s colonial leaders. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both in attendance, as were five of the six other Virginians who would later sign the Declaration of Independence. Prominent among the bewigged statesmen was Patrick Henry, a well-respected lawyer from Hanover County. Blessed with an “unfailing wit and mellifluous speaking voice”, Henry had long held a reputation as one of Virginia’s most “vociferous’ opponents of British taxation schemes.
Revolution was in the air in early 1775. Only a few months earlier, delegates from the American colonies held the First Continental Congress and sent Britain’s King George III a petition for redress of grievances, among them the repeal of the so-called “Intolerable Acts.” Amid these mounting tensions, the Second Virginia Convention convened to discuss the Old Dominion’s strategy in negotiating with the Crown.
Patrick Henry had flirted with treason in an earlier speech in which he hinted that King George risked suffering the same fate as Julius Caesar if he maintained his oppressive policies. As a recent delegate to the Continental Congress, he had sounded the call for colonial solidarity by proclaiming, “The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian; I am an American.”
He again flirted with treason on March 23, 1775, at St John Church while addressing the Second Virginia Convention, as he boldly stated his opposition to the Crown of England and the necessity to break away from English rule with his speech that ended with the famous line of “Give me liberty or give me death”!
Soon to follow was the formal Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. It was a list of grievances against the king of England intended to justify separation from British rule, and it expressed “self-evident truths” of liberty and equality. The Declaration was approved by Congress on July 4, 1776, signed on August 2, 1776.
On September 5, 1776, while the framers of the Constitution were meeting in what is now Independence Hall in Philadelphia, a writer in the Pennsylvania Gazette prophesized “The Year 1776 is celebrated for a revolution in favor of Liberty. The year 1787, it is expected, will be celebrated with equal joy, for a revolution in favor of Government”. The document that the framers produced and signed in 1787, “The Constitution of the United States” was and is revolutionary!
The Framers’ plan for the document could only take effect if the people approved the document that would produce a central government. To argue for the document Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay needed to persuade their audience of the need for a unified government with power sharing among three separate branches of government that still allowed for state governments. These three men wrote 85 essays and articles to promote ratification of the “New Constitution”. These essays and articles became known as the Federalist Papers.
The Federalist Papers lay out the argument for the United States Constitution, and in order, important issues that need to be addressed for the security of our new Union. One of the first issues that was addressed by Hamilton, Madison and Jay, was the argument for a Navy to protect our shores for the purpose of commerce and dangers from foreign forces and influence.
Protection of our shores is paramount for us as a nation. At this time our nation is under attack due to the open border policy by the president, which is not lawful, at the border between the United States and Mexico. We have a president who is not following laws in regards to asylum and immigration! We as Americans must be as “vociferous” as Patrick Henry was with the King of England and let President Biden know that we, as Americans, will not stand for his open border policy and many other policies that are taking our freedoms away!
Our government is supposed to be, as President Lincoln once said, “A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE”! We must take a stand against liberal issues that are threatening the American way of life and take back our local, state and national governments!
Ron Payne, M.Ed. is a Retired Public School Administrator and an Executive Board Member for the Pasquotank PAC. The Conservative organization meets on the SECOND and FOURTH Tuesdays at 7pm at Towne South Church at 2224 Peartree Road in Elizabeth City, NC.