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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 36. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.6 (search)
spark that aroused the fires of resentment and kindled the flame of liberty that smouldered in every patriotic breast. Our ancestors justly regarded the right of local selfgovern-ment as an inalienable and self-evident right. They looked upon it as a fundamental or constitutional law, just as the principles of Magna Charta were regarded by their forefathers as the fundamental law of England. Our struggle was for chartered rights, English liberties—for the cause of Algernon Sydney and John Hampden. The thoughts, opinions, sentiments and determination of the people of Virginia were epitomized in those soul-stirring words uttered by Patrick Henry, almost within the sound of our voice, when, from the hallowed precincts of old St. John's on yonder hill, he exclaimed in impassioned and inspired eloquence, Give me liberty or give me death. Virginia may be justly called the Cradle of Liberty and Patrick Henry its apotheosis. It was in Virginia that was first heard the tocsin call t