TCAP Success Grade 6 ELA Chapter 5

TCAP Success Grade 6 ELA Chapter 5 Sample

Excerpt from Patrick Henry’s Speech Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

This historic speech took place at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. Among the delegates to the convention were future American Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Patrick Henry called on the patriots to arm themselves in order to fight the British if the demands of the convention were ignored.

Patrick Henry’s speech was delivered to members of the second revolutionary convention who were divided between two opposing points of view: those who wanted immediate action and raise a militia to put Virginia in a position of defense, and the opposition who urged the members of the convention to be cautious and have patience. The opposition wanted to wait and see if England would agree to the patriot’s demands.

1 No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve…

2 Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great…struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it…

3 They tell us, sir that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? …Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power…

4 There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come…Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? …Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

1 pt

What is Patrick Henry’s claim?

1 pt

How does the statement "give me liberty or give me death" contribute to development of ideas presented in Henry’s speech?


Why were some patriots opposed to Patrick Henry’s point of view?

Excerpt from Patrick Henry by Moses Coit Tyler

This book was written in 1887, one hundred and twelve years after Patrick Henry gave his famous speech. A message from the author states, "In this book I have tried to embody the chief results derived from a study of all the materials known to me, in print and in manuscript, relating to Patrick Henry,—many of these materials being now used for the first time in any formal presentation of his life. It is proper for me to state that I have been able to make use of a large number of manuscripts relating to my subject. Of these may be specified a document, belonging to Cornell University, written by a great-grandson of Patrick Henry, the late Rev. Edward Fontaine, and giving, among other things, several new anecdotes of the great orator, as told to the writer by his own father, Colonel Patrick Henry Fontaine, who was much with Patrick Henry during the later years of his life."

On Monday, the 20th of March, 1775, the second revolutionary convention of Virginia assembled at Richmond…Accordingly, on Thursday, the 23d… Patrick Henry took the floor and moved the adoption of the following resolutions, supporting his motion, undoubtedly, with a speech:

"Resolved, That a well-regulated militia…is the natural strength and only security of a free government; that such a militia in this colony would forever render it unnecessary for the mother country to keep among us for the purpose of our defense any standing army of mercenary forces…

"Resolved, That the establishment of such a militia is at this time peculiarly necessary, by the state of our laws for the protection and defense of the country… in this time of danger and distress, to rely that opportunity will be given of renewing them in general assembly, or making any provision to secure our inestimable rights and liberties from those further violations with which they are threatened…

A clergyman who was in attendance stated: –

"Henry rose with an unearthly fire burning in his eye. He commenced somewhat calmly, but the smothered excitement began more and more to play upon his features and thrill in the tones of his voice. The tendons of his neck stood out white and rigid like whip-cords. His voice rose louder and louder, until the walls of the building, and all within them, seemed to shake and rock in its tremendous vibrations. Finally, his pale face and glaring eye became terrible to look upon. Men leaned forward in their seats, with their heads strained forward, their faces pale, and their eyes glaring like the speaker’s. His last exclamation, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’ was like the shout of the leader which turns back the rout of battle. The old man from whom this tradition was derived added that, ‘when the orator sat down, he himself felt sick with excitement. Every eye yet gazed entranced on Henry. It seemed as if a word from him would have led to any wild explosion of violence. Men looked beside themselves.’"

1 pt

How is second passage most different from the first passage?

1 pt

Aside from manuscripts, what other type of evidence does the author say he received from Henry’s great grandson, Rev. Edward Fontaine for his book?