Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4, 1826....The two people who had the most to do with American Independence.. One the architect, the other the writer, died..Amazing!!

John Adams in his last portrait in 1824 The old house where Adams died on July 4, 1826
Thomas Jefferson in later life somewhat stylised
Monticello where Jefferson died on July 4, 1826
On the morning of July 4, 1826 there were 3 surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence. By that evening there would be just one. Thomas Jefferson who was the youngest of the three had been in rather poor health for a while. He was broke, he was sickly, he was living off the kindness of others. He always lived beyond his means.
John Adams was the oldest of the three. He was amazingly robust for his age, but at the age of 90 time had indeed taken its toll. He had been careful in his finance, lived within his means in a simple and quiet life.
Yet as the forth of July approached both of these men were ready for life's final journey. Jefferson had been in a bad way for a few years.
Jefferson had come in and out of a coma in the last days asking here and there what day is was....He wanted to die on the 4th ...He got his wish, he did. By the very early afternoon one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence was no more.
Adams who had slowly grown so old and lame that by his near 91st year he was basically just living in his library with his books. But by the 3rd of July it was seen he was failing fast. By the forth it was noticed that he would not live out the day.
He commented on how great the this day was. And mentioned that his friend, once foe..Thomas Jefferson still survives. Yet by the time that these words were leaving the lips of the dying sage, Jefferson was already dead.
By early evening his strong heart finally stopped. Another author of the Declaration of Independence and it's architect was dead.
It is most amazing that the two people who had the most to do with the Declaration of Independence died on the 50th anniversary of its announcement.
I know you are wondering...who was the third one that was still alive? That was Charles Carroll, who while not at the voting of the Declaration was allowed to sign it. He would be the last signer to survive and die at the advanced age of 95 in 1832..