Only 9 days after beginning his first appointment in the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry celebrated his 29th birthday as he delivered his famous Stamp Act oratory. I am amazed at his understanding of the times, his courage to stand for freedom, his amazing wisdom and eloquence and his boldness to step forward at such a young age in the midst of such a controversial topic, as a first term statesman only 9 days into his term and only 29 years of age. The following resolves were approved on May 29th, 1765, by a margin of only one vote. I ask you to consider our government today. Then, I ask you to consider Patrick Henry's thoughts regarding taxation authority. Then, I ask you to also ponder the fact that Patrick Henry never agreed to sign the U.S. Constitution. Then, I ask you to ponder what Patrick Henry would have said in 1860, and what would he say if he looked at our nation today?
Resolved, that the first adventurers and settlers of His Majesty's colony and dominion of Virginia brought with them and transmitted to their posterity, and all other His Majesty's subjects since inhabiting in this His Majesty's said colony, all the liberties, privileges, franchises, and immunities that have at any time been held, enjoyed, and possessed by the people of Great Britain.
Resolved, that by two royal charters, granted by King James I, the colonists aforesaid are declared entitled to all liberties, privileges, and immunities of denizens and natural subjects to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within the Realm of England.
Resolved, that the taxation of the people by themselves, or by persons chosen by themselves to represent them, who can only know what taxes the people are able to bear, or the easiest method of raising them, and must themselves be affected by every tax laid on the people, is the only security against a burdensome taxation, and the distinguishing characteristic of British freedom, without which the ancient constitution cannot exist.
Resolved, that His Majesty's liege people of this his most ancient and loyal colony have without interruption enjoyed the inestimable right of being governed by such laws, respecting their internal policy and taxation, as are derived from their own consent, with the approbation of their sovereign, or his substitute; and that the same has never been forfeited or yielded up, but has been constantly recognized by the kings and people of Great Britain.
Resolved, therefor that the General Assembly of this Colony have the only and exclusive Right and Power to lay Taxes and Impositions upon the inhabitants of this Colony and that every Attempt to vest such Power in any person or persons whatsoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid has a manifest Tendency to destroy British as well as American Freedom.