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Henry and Independence

Henry delivered his most famous speech in March 1775 at St. John's Church during the Second Virginia Convention. His eloquent words that day became a clarion call that led the colonies toward independence: "We must fight!" "Gentlemen may cry 'peace, peace' - but there is no peace." "As for me, give me liberty or give me death."

As the first elected governor of Virginia, Henry supported George Washington and the patriot cause at critical moments in the War for Independence. Henry supported the movement for independence in 1776, He also participated in the drafting Virginia's new constitution and it Declaration of Rights, an important precursor of the federal Bill of Rights. Henry served three terms as governor, from 1776 to 1779 and two subsequent terms from 1784 to 1786. He worked closely with George Washington to raise and equip the soldiers who won American independence, and in 1778 sent Virginia troops under George Rogers Clark to hold the Old Northwest against the British and their Indian allies.

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