July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence

My late Great Uncle Joaquin Ramos (my father’s uncle and grandmother’s brother) was a lawyer, law professor and even served as a judge in the Guantanamo area. He was a great lover of history and fascinated with the American story. My good guess is that he shared this story with his students.

By mid-1826, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were ill and writing each other letters. They died within a few hours on the 50th anniversary of the document they worked on. Jefferson was in Virginia and Adams in Massachusetts:

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.

They were allies, then rivals and spent the last few years of their lives exchanging some great letters:

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 survives. He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.

An amazing story!

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