“Poison Under Its Wings”: The Constitution and Its Defects

By |2020-01-01T00:00:05-06:00January 1st, 2020|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Freedom, Patrick Henry|

The plan for government that came from the Philadelphia convention was what Patrick Henry referred to as a beautiful butterfly with “poison under its wings.” The parchment barriers erected against monarchy and consolidation, he held, would only be as effective as the force backing them. The beginning of the American political order goes much [...]

Why Did Patrick Henry Oppose the Constitution?

By |2018-10-30T14:05:03-05:00March 19th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, History, Liberty, Patrick Henry, Timeless Essays|

How could the man who cried “give me liberty or give me death,” this patriot who penned Virginia’s resolves against the Stamp Act in 1765, not support the Constitution?… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Thomas Kidd as he explores why Patrick Henry opposed the Constitution. —W. Winston [...]

The Constitution: Squinting Toward Monarchy

By |2016-06-06T11:12:37-05:00May 29th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Liberty, Patrick Henry|

Editor’s Note: This speech was delivered by Patrick Henry on June 5, 1788, at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, against the proposed Constitution, and is reproduced here as recorded by the convention’s secretary.  Mr. HENRY. Mr. Chairman, I am much obliged to the very worthy gentleman for his encomium. I wish I was possessed with talents, or possessed [...]

A Warning from General Charles Lee, Revolutionary War Hero

By |2013-11-24T22:05:55-06:00August 30th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, Mike Church, Patrick Henry|

July 12, 1776, General Charles Lee, who was then in South Carolina, wrote to Patrick Henry to congratulate him for being elected the first governor of the first free country ever formed by the sovereign people therein: writing their own constitution and electing their own first magistrate. Lee sees the writing on the wall: [...]

Independence: Your Very Humble Servant, Patrick Henry

By |2019-05-23T11:24:32-05:00July 3rd, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Mike Church, Patrick Henry|

On Saturday, 29 June, 1776 the Virginia Convention, on the third vote, gave its approbation to the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Independence, days before Congress jointly acted. That same day, newly elected delegates to its first Assembly voted Patrick Henry as the first governor of Virginia. Previously, during the debate over [...]

Patrick Henry’s Warning About Infringements on Liberty

By |2019-04-04T12:31:14-05:00February 25th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, Patrick Henry|Tags: |

At the conclusion of Virginia’s 1788 ratification convention, a meeting tasked with voting on the new Constitution, Patrick Henry strode to the assembly floor, convinced that the future of American liberty hung in the balance. In his mind’s eye, the great orator warned, he could see angels watching, “reviewing the political decisions and revolutions [...]