July 4, 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: FINAL GROANS:

Their final Fourth of July (Dan Roberts, Jul 2, 2006, The Virginian-Pilot)

In the years after Jefferson's second term, they resumed a respectful and increasingly affectionate correspondence, largely through the intercessions of Abigail Adams.

Sometime during the day of July 2, Jefferson stirred up to inquire, "Is this the Fourth?" Hearing a yes, he lay back. This gentle and yet false reply surely brought him some measure of comfort. Occasionally, his hand could be seen moving, as if he were writing.

In Massachusetts, on the morning of the Fourth, Adams' attendant asked him, "Do you know, sir, what day it is?" His reply. "Oh yes. It is the glorious Fourth of July. God bless it. God bless you all."

Sometime that afternoon he roused again, and someone heard the second president say his last intelligible words: "Thomas Jefferson survives."

By sunset the two men, so honored by their fellow citizens, so important in the birth of freedom and, in the end, so close as friends, were dead - 50 years to the day since together they had signed the Declaration of Independence.

Zemanta Pixie


Posted by at July 4, 2013 12:00 AM
  

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