This speech was delivered at the Second Virginia Convention, which was being held at Richmond, Virginia. Other convention members had just given speeches urging caution and patience until the British crown replied to the Continental Congress' latest petition for reconciliation. Patrick Henry wanted to raise a militia, and put Virginia in a posture of defense (the Battle of Lexington and Concord was still a month away). This speech was his rebuttal. The "president" he was addressing was the Convention's president, Peyton Randolph, of Williamsburg, Virginia.
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