We all know the history of the 4th of July centers around the Declaration Of Independence from the England, the motherland. But…here’s an interesting little story I’d like to share with you on this great day of celebration! So sit back… and enjoy!
Benjamin Franklin was the first to be asked by the Continental Congress to draft a declaration that would sever ties with England … but because of illness, he could not. John Adams was asked to draft the document but argued that Thomas Jefferson had greater writing skills. So the responsibility rested on the shoulders of Jefferson.
Since Jefferson was not a speaker, John Adams presented the draft to the Congress on July 2, 1776. On July 4th, after revisions had been made, 56 signers added their names to the bottom of The Declaration Of Independence… which ultimately lead to the birth of this great Nation.
It may have been the last time Adams and Jefferson agreed on anything. They stood strongly opposite each other on political issues and argued through letters and debates.
After George Washington, they both ran for the office of the President Of The United States… and Adams won by a narrow margin. Jefferson became the Vice President, but choose not to support Adams…so he stayed at his home in Virginia and Adams toughed it out alone. After his first term, Adams was not re-elected and Jefferson was victorious. Adams went home dejected.
The war of ideas, between the two men, went on well into their old age. A friend finally convinced the two to patch things up… and in the last years of their lives, they wrote to each other.
John Adams was 7 years older than Jefferson. However, he was determined to out live the younger man. “I will out live Jefferson,” he declared.
On the 50th anniversary of the Day Of Independence, Thomas Jefferson died about mid morning. A messenger was dispatched from Virginia to the Adams home in Massachusetts, bearing the bad news.
Later that evening, a messenger was sent from the Adams home to Virginia, to relay the message that John Adams had died in the late afternoon. The messengers crossed paths along the way.
Adams’ final words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” Little did he know, he out lived his enemy and friend.
So… on the 4th of July, 1826, both architects of a new Nation, Adams and Jefferson, died within a few hours of each other.
Just though you might like to know.
P.S. By the way….James Monroe, our Nation’s 5th President died on July 4, 1831.