Patrick Henry: Speech to the First Continental Congress

(1774)

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Government is dissolved. Fleets and armies and the present state of things show that government is dissolved.… We are in a state of nature, sir. I did propose that a scale should be laid down; that part of North America which was once Massachusetts Bay, and that part which was once Virginia, ought to be considered as having a weight. Will not people complain? Ten thousand Virginians have not outweighed one thousand others.

I will submit, however; I am determined to submit, if I am overruled.…

The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders, are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American.

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Patrick Henry (Library of Congress)

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