irginia's Royal Governor,
dismissed Virginia's House of Burgesses on May 27, 1774.
Thomas Jefferson had drafted a resolution calling for a Day of Fasting and Prayer
, being introduced by Robert Carter Nicholas and
It was to be observed the same day Britain's navy planned to blockade Boston's harbor as punishment for the Boston Tea Party.
Lord Dunmore considered it a protest against the King.
After being dismissed, the delegates reconvened down the street at
Then, on the night of MAY 30, 1774, they met at the home of Speaker of the House,
the older cousin of Thomas Jefferson.
Peyton Randolph's home
, the decision was made to invite delegates from all of Virginia's counties to a Convention.
Citizens of Fairfax County met in Alexandria's court house on July 18, 1774, where they approved
George Mason's Fairfax Resolves
identifying American rights and resolving to defend them.
The delegate chosen to carry the Fairfax Resolves to the First Virginia Convention in Williamsburg, August 1, 1774, was
The Fairfax Resolves
"Resolved that the most important...part of the British Constitution ... is
the fundamental Principle of the People's being governed by no Laws, to which they have not given their Consent ...
for if this Part of the Constitution was taken away ...
the Government must degenerate ... into an absolute and despotic Monarchy
... and t
he freedom of the people be annihilated ..."
The Fairfax Resolves
"The British ...
extort from us our money without our consent ...
diametrically contrary to the first principles of the Constitution ... totally incompatible with the privileges of a free people and the natural rights of mankind ...
calculated to reduce us ... to slavery and misery ...
We will use every means which Heaven hath given us to prevent our becoming its slaves."
The Virginia Convention sent their Resolves with delegates
Peyton Randolph, Patrick Henry
First Continental Congress,
which began meeting in
Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, September 6, 1774.
was chosen as the
First Continental Congress
, making him
the first to have the title "Father of our Country."
were revised and approved as
the Continental Association of October 20th, 1774
MIRACLES IN AMERICAN HISTORY-32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer
Other colonies also wrote resolves, such as Massachusetts'
, which were drafted
Dr. Joseph Warren
were adopted at a convention meeting at Woodward Tavern in Dedham, Massachusetts, then delivered by Paul Revere to
the First Continental Congress
in Philadelphia, where they were endorsed, September 17, 1774.
The next year,
Second Continental Congress
which met in Richmond, Virginia.
This is where
gave his speech, March 23, 1775:
"I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past ...
Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss ...
If we wish to be free ... we must fight!
An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us! ...
We are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us ..."
"Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
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...
There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
... The war is inevitable -- and let it come! ... Gentlemen may cry, 'Peace! Peace!' -- but there is no peace.
The war is actually begun!
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me,
give me liberty, or give me death!"
Less than a month later took place the
Battles of Lexington and Concord
in Massachusetts, April 19, 1775.
DVD Miracles in American History-episodes 1-10
The next day, Virginia's Royal Governor,
Lord Dunmore, confiscated the arms and gunpowder
from Williamsburg's magazine in what is called
The Gunpowder Incident.
A mob formed at the courthouse threatening violence, but
calmed them down and persuaded them to avert violence.
In May of 1775, the
British General Thomas Gage
arrived in America with a list of people to be arrested and executed. The list included
In late August of 1775,
left to meet with the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
He died on October 23, 1775. When Peyton Randolph's widow died, his estate was auctioned in 1783.
Randolph's cousin, Thomas Jefferson, bought his library
. Jefferson later sold it to the federal government to help begin
the Library of Congress.
On December 13,1775, after
the Battle of Great Bridge
, Robert Carter Nicholas introduced a motion in the Virginia House of Burgesses to
denounce Lord Dunmore
for proclaiming martial law, calling him a monster, inimical and cruel, and a champion of "tyranny."
Two days later, Robert Carter Nicholas made a motion to grant pardons to slaves who had been deluded into joining the British forces.
On January 1, 1776, the British burned the city of Norfolk, Virginia, prompting
Lord Dunmore to flee to New York, and then to Britain.
He was Britain's last Royal Governor of Virginia.
The newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia elected
Patrick Henry as its first Governor
Virginia's State Seal
has a female figure personifying
the Roman Republic's attribute of
with her foot crushing the neck of a tyrant.
The Seal's Latin motto Sic semper tyrannis, means "Thus always to tyrants."
elected five times as Governor of Virginia, stated June 5, 1788:
"Examples are to be found in ancient Greece and ancient Rome ... of the people losing their liberty by their carelessness and the ambition of a few ...
We are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our Representatives, will not abuse the power we put in their hands:
I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed ... by the tyranny of rulers? ..."
"Nations ... negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism. Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition ...
My great objection to this Government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants ...
Did you ever read of ... the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? ...
When the American spirit was in its youth ... liberty, Sir, was then the primary object ...
But now, Sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country to a powerful and mighty empire ...
There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government ... "
"My great objection to the Constitution (is) ... that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves."
is credited with the warning:
"It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."
After Patrick Henry, the
Commonwealth of Virginia
Governor Thomas Jefferson
signed a Proclamation of Prayer, November 11, 1779:
"Congress ... hath thought proper ... to recommend to the several States ... a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving to
Almighty God .
That He would ... crown our arms with victory;
That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and
pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel;
That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and
spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth ...
... I do therefore ... issue this proclamation ... appointing ... a day of public and solemn thanksgiving and
prayer to Almighty God ...
Given under by hand...this 11th day of November,
in the year of our Lord
, 1779. -