Henry, Patrick (1736–1799), a United States orator and statesman. He was one of the first American patriots to speak out against taxation by Britain. His resolutions opposing the Stamp Act, presented before the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765 and published throughout the colonies, touched off a decade of resistance that led to the Revolutionary War.
Henry became a leader of the radical group demanding self-government for the colonies. In 1775, when war seemed likely, he proposed arming the Virginia militia in a speech ending with the famous words “I know not what course others may take, but, as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”