July 4, 1826

The 50th anniversary of July 4, 1776.



John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two of the main architects of the American Revolution, long estranged due to political differences, (and Jefferson referring, in public, to “political heresies” – meaning that he felt there was some orthodoxy and Adams was a heretic) had finally reconciled (engineered by Benjamin Rush, who thought it a shame that these two great patriots, once dear friends, would go their graves without making up). Then followed a 12-year correspondence between the two aging statesmen … a correspondence that has to be read to be believed.

And then … on the same day … which happened to be July 4 … which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence … they both died. Within hours of each other.

I don’t even know what more to say about that.

John Adams’ last words were “Jefferson … still lives.” (Dammit, that just kills me.) Amazingly, though, is that Jefferson actually had died a couple of hours earlier.

Thomas Jefferson’s last words (and this always just chokes me up – I’m choked up right now): “Is it the fourth?”

Yes, Mr. Jefferson. It is the fourth. And thank you. Thank you both.

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16 Responses to July 4, 1826

  1. Independence Day reading

    Phin notes that we citizens of the US have always had disagreements. But when we put them aside, we can work miracles:By putting our differences aside we have liberated countries.
    By putting our differences aside we have delivered entire continents f

  2. You won’t find a better tribute

    Sheila has an incredible set of posts about this day, and the men that made it possible. Happy Birthday, America….

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    I cry ever time I read about this.

  4. red says:

    Dude, you and me both. I don’t even have the words!!

  5. Stevie says:

    Just too much to absorb, I can’t grasp it. It’s like a greek fable or something.

  6. peteb says:

    I don’t even know what more to say about that.

    It’s an amazing and astonishing thing, Sheila.

  7. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

    Stretching the remit, slightly.. History geeks may be interested in this wonderful series of posts at The Sheila Variations in celebration of this date in 1776 when “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” was formally adopt…

  8. red says:

    Oh, Pete. I saw you linked to all my posts on Slugger. Over there in ireland!! :) Thanks. It means a lot.

  9. peteb says:

    Hopefully, Sheila, a reminder of earlier times may act as a spur “to place before mankind the common sense of the subject.”

  10. red says:

    Oh and peteb – I don’t think I can make comments at slugger, but I would like to say to that one commenter that the Declaration is SUPPOSED to be a piece of propoganda. Just like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was. Political propaganda, in a high rhetorical form.

    Nobody’s debating that. It just so happens, though, that Jefferson put in the whole “natural rights” paragraph which uplifts it from a mere broadside. That’s the paragraph that lasts, that stands the test of time … it is something that other oppressed people can look to. It affirms the dignity of mankind.

    HOWEVER: The Declaration of Independence was, first of all, seen just as a formality. They needed to declare their intentions, so there needed to be some kind of declaration. Nobody had any idea that THIS would be the document to be carried down through the centuries.

    And secondly: yes. It is propaganda, plain and simple.

  11. peteb says:

    “I don’t think I can make comments at slugger”

    why not???

    But, apart from the contribution your testimony on the issue would make.. I could, always, transpose a comment.. if you like..

  12. red says:

    I think I just need to register, right? Sorry – haven’t even taken the time to investigate it.

  13. peteb says:

    No registration required.. just [as fictional as you like] name, email and, optionally, website when you post the comment.

  14. red says:

    Oh. I’m a loser. Okay, I’ll go comment.

  15. peteb says:

    Slugger has become far too accommodating to commenters in recent times, IMHO.

    We used to have TypeKey… *ah the good old days*

  16. Thoughts on Independence Day

    I deliberately chose on to spend the 4th of July holiday not thinking about the challenges that face us as a country.