July 4, 1826 – The Death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/thomas-jefferson-and-john-adams-die

“On this day in 1826, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each other.Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

Adams preceded Jefferson as president (1797-1800); it was during this time that their ideas about policy-making became as distinct as their personalities. The irascible and hot-tempered Adams was a firm believer in a strong centralized government, while the erudite and gentile Jefferson believed federal government should take a more hands-off approach and defer to individual states’ rights. As Adams’ vice president, Jefferson was so horrified by what he considered to be Adams’ abuse of the presidency–particularly his passage of the restrictive Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798–that he abandoned Adams and Washington for his estate at Monticello. There, he plotted how to bring his Republican faction back into power in the presidential election of 1800. After an exceptionally bitter campaign, in which both parties engaged in slanderous attacks on each other in print, Jefferson emerged victorious. It appeared the former friends would be eternal enemies.

After serving two presidential terms (1801-1809), Jefferson and Adams each expressed to third parties their respect the other and their desire to renew their friendship. Adams was the first to break the silence; he sent Jefferson a letter dated January 1, 1812, in which he wished Jefferson many happy new years to come. Jefferson responded with a note in which he fondly recalled when they were fellow laborers in the same cause. The former revolutionaries went on to resume their friendship over 14 years of correspondence during their golden years.

On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were “Thomas Jefferson still lives.” He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.”

If John Adams and Thomas Jefferson can overcome their differences, perhaps there is hope for us as well.

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About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to July 4, 1826 – The Death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

  1. beetleypete says:

    That was interesting, Frank, as I never knew that they died on the same day. Given the times, they both lived long lives, and got to see the fulfillment of their ambitions. None of us can ask much more than that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: July 4, 1826 – The Death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson | toritto | First Night History

  3. toritto says:

    THANKS Sarah!

    Like

  4. GP Cox says:

    God one Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

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