Speech to the Virginia Convention by Patrick Henry

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Who is Patrick Henry addressing in the first lines of "Speech to the Virginia Convention"?

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In what is probably Patrick Henry’s most famous speech, his Speech to the Virginia Convention, he begins by addressing “Mr. President.” But the speech was given in 1775, before the United States was an independent nation. So, who does the title “Mr. President” refer to?

In this case, Henry was directly addressing the president of the Second Virginia Convention. The Virginia Conventions were a series of meetings held with the purpose of influencing political affairs. The President of the Second Virginia Convention was Peyton Randolph, who would later become the first President of the Continental Congress.

However, although Henry was directly addressing President Peyton Randolph, he was also indirectly addressing the rest of the Virginia Convention attendees. Certainly, he hoped that his ideas about liberty would spread to the rest of the public as well.

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In his first line, Patrick Henry directly addresses Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg, the president of the Second Virginia...

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