"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. 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! I repeat it, sir, let it come."
--Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" Speech
March 23, 1775 - St. John's Church, Richmond, VA
Following the Boston Tea Party, Dec. 16, 1773, in which American Colonists dumped 342 containers of tea into the Boston harbor, the British Parliament enacted a series of Acts in response to the rebellion in Massachusetts.
On March 23, 1775, in Virginia, the largest colony in America, a meeting of the colony's delegates was held in St. John's church in Richmond. Resolutions were presented by Patrick Henry putting the colony of Virginia "into a posture of defense...embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose."
Before the vote was taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, imploring the delegates to vote in favor.
He spoke without any notes in a voice that became louder and louder, climaxing with the now famous ending. Following his speech, the vote was taken in which his resolutions passed by a narrow margin, and thus Virginia joined in the American Revolution.
--From History Place