30 May 1765 Patrick Henry's Stamp Act Resolves
CWF Rockefeller Library Special Collections. SCMS 1958.4


That the first Adventurers and Settlers of this his Majesties
Colony and Dominion brought with them and transmitted to their
Posterity and all other his Majesties Subjects since inhabiting
in this his Majestie's said Colony all the Priviledges, Franchises
& Immunities that have at any Time been held, enjoyed, & possessed by
the People of Great Britain.

That by the two royal Charters granted by King James the first
the Colonists aforesaid are declared intituled to all the Priviledges, Liberties
& Immunities of Denizens and natural born Subjects to all Intents
and Purposes as if they had been abiding & born within the Realm
of England.

That the Taxation of the People by themselves or by Persons
chosen by themselves to represent them who can only know what Taxes the People
are able to bear and the easiest Mode of raising them and are equally
affected by such Taxes Themselves is the distinguishing Characteristick
of British Freedom and without which the ancient Constitution
cannot subsist.

That his Majestie's liege People of this most ancient Colony
have uninterruptedly enjoyed the Right of being thus governed by their own
assembly in the Article of their Taxes & internal Police and that the
same hath never been forfeited or any other Way given up but hath
been constantly recognized by the Kings & People of Great Britain.

Therefore that the General Assembly of this Colony have the
only and sole exclusive Right & Power to lay Taxes & Impositions upon
the Inhabitants of this Colony and that every Attempt to vest such
Power in any P[illegible] Person or Persons whatsoever other than the
General Assembly aforesaid has a manifest Tendency to destroy British
as well as American Freedom.


[The with]in Resolves on [passed the] House of
Burgesses in May 1765. They formed the first Opposition
to the Stamp Act & the [like][faded] of taxing of America by
the British Parliament.-All the Colonys either Thro[ugh]
Fear, or want of Opportunity to form an Opposition, or
from Influence of some kind or other had remained
Silent. I had been [for the]first [term] elected a Burgess a few
Days before, was young, inexperienced, unacquainted
with the Forms of the House & the Members that composed it.
Finding the men of weight averse to opposition, & the comence
ment of the Tax at Hand, [& that] no person was likely to step
forth, I determined to [illegible] & alone, unadvised, and unas
sisted on a blank leaf of an old Law Book, wrote the [with
in]. Upon offering them to the House violent Debate
ensued. Many threats were uttered & much abuse cast
on me by the Party for Submission. After a long & warm
Contest the Resolutions passed by a very small majority
perhaps of one or two only.-The Alarm spread through
out America with astonishing Quickness and the ministerial
Party were overwhelmed. The great point of Resistance to british
Taxation was universally established in this Colony. This bro[ugh]t
on the War which finally separated the countrys & gave
Independence to ours. -Whether this will prove a Blessing or
a Curse will depend upon what our people make of the
Blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us.
If they are wise, they will [be] just [&] happy. If they
are [illegible] of a contrary Character, they will be miserable.
Righteousness alone can [exalt] them as a Nation.-

[Reader;] whoever [torn]will remember this & [in]
thy sphere practice Virtue thyself & encourage it
in others.

P. Henry