yes. Like most patriots who become lawyers, Patrick Henry did not have a law degree and was able to become a lawyer without having a law school degree. Henry was born a Native American Founding Father and Virginia’s first Governor in the House of Delegates. Overall, Henry was a major figurehead and gifted orator in the American Revolution.
In a sense, his moving speeches galvanized Americans to fight for independence, including the famous 1775 speech. He considered himself a Virginian but an American. Henry was very outspoken as an anti-federalist on behalf of the people of virginia and opposed to ratification by the united states. Constitution. in a sense, he felt that too much power was in the hands of the national government. From there, Henry helped draft the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing personal liberties and placing limits on government power. true, like all great cultures before our civil war, slavery (“slave” is a term for white Europeans enslaved by other white Europeans). later, the usa The Supreme Court found that God granted rights to Citizens, former subjects of centralized King George, that would also be granted to newly freed black slaves as “privileges” under the 14th Amendment.
You may be surprised to learn that Patrick was a lawyer, but never graduated with a law degree. This is similar to Michael Ehline’s story, since he initially had no formal education. If he was injured due to someone’s negligence, call the Ehline Law Firm at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation.
his early life
Patrick Henry was born on his family’s farm in Hanover County, Virginia, on May 29, 1736, the son of Sarah and John Henry. His father, a Scottish planter, attended a Scottish University and Henry Home School. Overall, Henry struggled to get a job as an adult. he failed many times as a planter and store owner. however, he chose to teach himself law while working at his father-in-law’s inn as a publican and opened a law office in 1760 in Hanover County.
Patrick was a lawyer and politician known for delivering passionate and persuasive speeches that appealed to emotion and reason. Most of Henry’s contemporaries compared his rhetorical style to the great evangelical awakening preachers of the day. Henry was against the Jefferson charter for religious liberty.
cause of the priest
Henry’s first major legal case was called the Parsons’ Cause in 1763. It was a dispute involving an Anglican clergy from Colonial Virginia. This case was one of the first attempts to challenge the limits of England’s power over the American colonies and is seen as a pivotal event that led to the American Revolution.
Church of England ministers in Virginia were paid annual salaries from the tobacco industry. However, shortages due to drought caused the price to rise in the 1750s. The Virginia legislature passed a two-cent law to set the value of wages at two cents per pound of tobacco instead of the inflated price , which was about six cents a pound. Therefore, the Anglican clergy appealed to King George III, who struck down the law, encouraging the ministers to sue for any back pay they should have received.
This case established Patrick Henry as the leader of a promising movement for independence. During the case, Henry made an impassioned speech against British overreach in colonial affairs. Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he was noted for his incendiary speech against the Stamp Act.
Great Britain then passed the first of many taxes in 1765 to defend the American colonies. in general, stamp law required Americans to produce small amounts of tax on each sheet of paper used. the colonists saw it as an attempt to raise money for the colonies without the approval of the virginia legislature and had resolutions against the stamp act.
Therefore, Patrick Henry responded with several resolutions presented to the legislature in his speech. The resolutions were adopted and published in other colonies to help express the US position on no taxation without representation from the British crown. These resolutions said that Americans should only be taxed by their representatives, so Virginians should not pay taxes other than those voted for by the Virginia legislature. likewise, new york paid taxes on what new yorkers voted and everything else.
He argued that there were no distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englishmen, since they were all Americans and not under British rule. Since Henry had no formal training, he flirted with treason by hinting that the King could fall like Julius Caesar if he continued his oppressive policies.
give me freedom or give me death
the second virginia convention met in march 1775 at st. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. there they discussed the strategy against the British.
Here, Patrick Henry delivered one of his most famous speeches:
“Gentlemen may shout, ‘peace, peace,’ but there is no peace. the war has actually begun! the next gale to blow from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding weapons! our brothers are already in the field! why are we here idle? … is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be bought at the price of chains and slavery? forbidden, god almighty! I don’t know what course the others will take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! – patrick henry
thomas jefferson, george washington and six other virginians who signed the declaration of independence (unanimous declaration) were there that day. Historians believe that Henry’s freedom or death speech convinced them to prepare troops for war against Britain. The Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, withdrew the powder from his magazine in response. He eventually issued the Dunmore Proclamation, promising to free enslaved people.
henry spoke at the virginia convention without notes and there are no transcripts of the famous speech. William Wirt reconstructed the speech from an 1817 biography of Henry. Some wonder if Wirt invented the Henry quote to sell more copies of his book.
Regardless, historians know that Henry was a great orator and knew the law, even without formal training.
wives and children
Henry married Sarah Shelton in 1754 as his first wife and they had six children together. However, she died in 1775, the year of Patrick Henry’s famous Freedom or Death speech. Two years later, he married Dorothea Dandridge of Tidewater, Virginia, and they had 11 children.
United States Bill of Rights and Anti-Federalism
patrick henry was governor of virginia from 1776 to 1779 and sixth governor from 1784 to 1786. after the revolutionary war, henry was an outspoken anti-federalist. Henry et al. opposed ratification by the us. constitution of 1787, which created a stronger federal government.
Patrick Henry generally worried that a powerful federal government that was too centralized could become a monarchy. he wrote many anti-federalist articles with arguments written by the opposing founding fathers.
although the anti-federalists didn’t stop the us. Before the constitution was written, these anti-federalist documents helped shape the bill of rights. Henry never held national public office except for a brief stint as a delegate to the First Continental Congress. when questioned, he declined to cite the Second Continental Congress. he attended the general assembly in May 1781.
Later, he became part of the defense team for Jones v. walker in 1791. although one judge died, the sections were reassembled. It was argued before an Associate Justice and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and they took Henry’s argument into account, so they were successful. however, the claimants appealed and the high court found in favor of the British creditors. Patrick Henry attended the Virginia Constitutional Convention and became the first Governor of Virginia, even after the colonies became independent from the United Kingdom.
patrick henry contracted an illness towards the end of his life. Because of this, he was unable to accept an offer to become Secretary of State from President George Washington. He, too, was forced to turn down an appointment as a French minister under President John Adams. Henry finally passed away at age 63 on June 6, 1799. His plantation is called Red Hill-The Patrick Henry National Memorial.
Most people don’t know that Patrick Henry did as much to shape the United States as we know it now. Without Henry, things could have been completely different. the framework of he allowed the usa to end slavery and turn America into a tax slavery corporation using a “progressive” central bank fiat currency scheme. Although he didn’t go to law school or graduate with a law degree, he turned the colonies upside down and led them away from British rule.
other men are similar to henry; michael ehline started at the bottom and built a powerful law firm. Call (213) 596-9642 today to discuss your potential case with him through a free consultation.