Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4, 1826: Goodbye to Adams and Jefferson

I'm a few days late with this one...but I was busy... with a new house and some handy work to be done, we can't always be on time for something we're not paid to do....
Without further ado, I bring you some interesting fodder about the 4th of July and a few of our founding fathers.

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How cool is it that Thomas Jefferson, the author of so much of what we call "America", in word and spirit, died on the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July in 1826.

And how about the fact that John Adams died on that exact same day!
A coincidence like that certainly leads you to believe that perhaps both of them loved this country so much that they held on to life to pass on the anniversary of the greatest day in American history.

Both members of the all important the Continental Congress of 1776, Adams and Jefferson both adamantly promoted and defended the Declaration of Independence and the echoing words "all men are created equal."

From this, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson grew very close and developed a mutual respect and affinity for each other. However, the Declaration of Independence may have been the only political agenda on which they agreed.

Adams became president after the Great George Washington stepped down. Incidentally, Thomas Jefferson became Adams' Vice President. During the fledgling years of the United Stats, the Vice President was the presidential nomination receiving the second highest vote total. During this administration, Adams and Jefferson disagreed on almost everything.

In the election of 1800, Jefferson defeated Adams to take the presidency, and despite their mutual respect for each other's views and their teamwork in declaring independence from Britain, Adams and Jefferson became bitter rivalries. Additionally, the fact that political parties started to form around each of their views only widened the gap between their ideologies.

Fortunately, their respect for each other trumped their political ties and upon retirement they became the best of friends.

Many believe that on his death bed, John Adams uttered the words. "Thomas Jefferson survives." Little did he know that Jefferson had actually passed away a few hours before him.

Here is a great site describing and validating Adams' last words via first hand accounts from the woman who was with him during his passing and from a diary from his son John Quincy Adams.

It is also rumored that upon Adam's death a messenger dispatched to carry the terrible news to Jefferson's Virginia home passed a messenger dispatched from Jefferson's home bring the same terrible news to John Adams. Though is it even possible to have knowledge of such an event, considering both messenger were probably lone riders on horseback traveling the countryside. This story might be more believable had Jefferson and Adams died in the same town, so I highly doubt this rumor.
So there you have it... two of the greatest men our country will ever know, fittingly passed on the anniversary of the greatest day in American history. A day that would not have been possible without them. Thank you gentleman, for your determination, fervor, sacrifice and most importantly, your courage.

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PS: On July 4th, in 1831 James Monroe, our 5th President, also died on this fitting day.
In 1850 our 12th President, Zachary Taylor participated in July 4th activities at the Washington monument. It was a cold and blistery day and the president became ill. He died five days later on July 9th.

One more Presidential fact about the Fourth of July. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born in Vermont on July 4th, 1872.

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5 comments:

Hercules Mulligan said...

Great post.
Yes this is interesting event in American history. I wrote a post myself on the subject, throwing some light on little-known information about this episode here: http://meetthefounders.blogspot.com/2007/07/july-4-1826-and-dream-of-benjamin-rush.html

Rob Scot said...

I love this story. It's one of those that seems like it should be simply patriotic mythology, but turns out to be true instead.

Geoff Elliott said...

I've always read that July 4, 1850 was a hot and humid day in Washington, D.C. and that President Taylor consumed lots of iced milk and cherries to cool down. These caused great gastric distress which lead to his death.

http://abrahamlincolnblog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Eerie date-related coincidences are found elsewhere in the annals of history: http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/273832

Generic Viagra said...

I am a ignorant in this kind of topics, but I know Thomas Jefferson was one of the most important American ex-presidents, so this post is so important to improve my historical knowledge!

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