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Portrait of Patrick Henry, 1904
Henry's words of freedom and individual rights moved people

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Patrick Henry Was Born
May 29, 1736

Have you ever heard someone speak so passionately that the speech moved you to do something? Even as a young man, Patrick Henry had that kind of influence in the American Colonies. Born on May 29, 1736, Henry, a natural leader and a brilliant speaker, believed in individual rights and independence from the British government. As a young lawyer, he astonished his courtroom audience in 1763 with an eloquent defense based on the idea of natural rights, the political theory that humans are born with certain inalienable (incapable of being surrendered) rights. The idea of natural rights is central to the Declaration of Independence. Does this sentence from the Declaration sound familiar to you? "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
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