Henry was an influential Republican, along with Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams. He opposed the Constitution of the United States because he believed the rights of the States and individual freedoms were threatened by it.
Patrick Henry was honored on a 1-dollar postage stamp in 1955. In 1960, a series of stamps with famous quotes was issued and Henry’s words were on the 4-cent issue.
Patrick Henry Quotes
Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Of what service would militia be to you when, most probably, you will not have a single musket in the state? For, as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not provide them.
O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone… Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation… inflicted by those who had no power at all?
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
If this be treason, make the most of it!
Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny.
The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.
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 ruined.