Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dominic's Patrick Henry Speech

In Dominic's writing class, they were assigned to pick a key figure in colony times to write, prepare, and present to our whole Classical Conversations Community. Each student had to keep the person they chose a secret from their whole class. We had to guess who he was right before the speech judged upon their costume and props.

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He was beyond excited to get his costume together. I love the innocence he had trying so hard to hide his character from his writing class. I love that his sisters were in on the gig. When we thought of putting baby powder in his hair to age him, he was thrilled at the prospect and KNEW no one would guess him.



He and John attend writing class on Friday afternoons. They are following Andrew Pudewa's program of Teaching Writing: Structure and Style. This year, the focus was on U.S. History.

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His attentive and interested audience.
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You did a great job, Dominic! We were so proud of your composure and confidence when speaking.




The Champion of the Revolution

One day in the colonies, a baby was born in Virginia. This colonial son would grow to be a key figure in the American Revolution. Wholeheartedly, this colonist wanted to serve his country properly, before, during, and after the brutal revolutionary war. And this is how his fascinating life began.
Patrick was born in Hanover County Virginia in 1736. When he was older, he attempted farming and business. Both failed. After six discouraging weeks, he studied to become a lawyer and was successful. As a lawyer he argued for voting rights. In 1760, Williamsburg attorneys elected him to the House of Representatives, and he was successful in this endeavor. Henceforth, Patrick was known as a superb leader against British tyranny. Furiously and openly he argued in the defiance of Great Britain in the First Continental Congress. Some colonists surely believed that his stamp act resolution had started the Revolutionary war. Patrick Henry, who made a stirring speech about independence, inspired many colonists to pursue independence from the tyrant, Britain.
During the Revolution, Patrick was not just sitting around. When war broke out, Patrick returned to Virginia to protect the precious loads of gunpowder. But when he arrived in Virginia he was appalled to find that Governor Lord Dunmore had deposited the gunpowder on a British ship. Patrick forced Dunmore, who was loyal to Britain, to pay for the powder at an honest price. In 1775 he became the colonel of the 1st Virginia regiment. In 1776, he was elected governor of Virginia because he was an outstanding leader. He was re-elected. Then, because he was a pillar for the colonists, he was made governor a third time.
After the American Revolution, Patrick continued serving as governor of Virginia from 1784 to 1786. He was the leading anti-federalist, and joined with others to force the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Ardently, he criticized the U.S. Constitution. He voted against ratification. George Washington offered Patrick to be secretary of state but he declined because of failing health. John Adams offered him special emissary to France but he also declined. Patrick then died in 1799. Patrick Henry had served his country gratefully before, during and after, the long revolution. Even today we still marvel at his extraordinary accomplishments. After his death, Patrick’s wish for liberty was realized. His famous words still echo today, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

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