July 4 Inspirational Story: Friendship of Adams and Jefferson

4th of July fireworks(Photo by Bayasaa)

Every July 4 families all over the country light fireworks, attend parades, have barbecues, go to baseball games, and hang out with their family and friends to commemorate the United States of America’s independence. It’s such an American day.

This day signifies freedom, patriotism, and independence – traits that this country was built on.

This day also signifies a day of remembrance to the men who paved the way for us to even afford freedom.

While I can only imagine what our Founding Fathers would think about what this country has transformed into, there does lay an intriguing story to look back on all these years later.

Lifelong Friendship: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

Adams Jefferson and Franklin Declaration of Independence

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson draft the
Declaration of Independence
(John Adams Gallery at History.com)

At the First Continental Congress, a young Thomas Jefferson and John Adams hit it off immediately. Being fairly similar men, although their political views didn’t always align, they became quick friends – a friendship that would stay with them until their death beds.

Unfortunately, this friendship would eventually be plagued by politics, which ultimately resulted in tension between the two that would last most of their lives.

Knowing that there was a deep, hidden bond between them, one day a mutual friend of the two decided to set up a reconciliation to get these two men to put political views aside and rekindle their relationship. The end result was a rich and heartwarming friendship, documented by 12 years of letters between Jefferson and Adams. Historians have even noted that these letters must be read to fully understand the extent of this relationship after a long standstill.

As two of the remaining signers of the Declaration of Independence, they finally realized that they had much in common with each other. After all, both were in the proud few who could say they were among the first of the presidents of the United States of America.

Unbelievably, exactly 50 years after Thomas Jefferson and John Adams dipped their quills in ink, making history with signatures famed forever, the two both died on the same day, within hours of each other.

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away on July 4, 1826, 50 anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What’s even harder to fathom is that on his deathbed, as he was drifting in and out of consciousness, John Adams’ last words were, “Jefferson still lives.”

Thomas Jefferson had died three hours prior, but Adams did not know that. On his own deathbed, right before he passed, Jefferson had muttered the question, “Is it the Fourth?”

It certainly is, Mr. Jefferson. Thank you for everything you and Mr. Adams did for this amazing country.

Happy Independence Day! Everlasting Footprint encourages everyone to spend this holiday with the ones we love, remembering the special relationships we build that last throughout our lives.

 

Do you have a story about two lifelong friends? Tell us! Share your tale in our comments section or Tweet it to us!

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