Little Known Fact About July 4

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There is a little known fact about July 4, 1776, Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence, the birth of our country that I would like to share with you. We live in a great country with many freedoms that go back to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson our second and third Presidents after George Washington. Are we perfect and is our democracy without fault....No. However, as the first true democracy in the world, more people come to the US seeking freedom and to be a part of the 'American Dream' than anywhere else in the world.  (Image America: Mary Pahlke from Pixabay)

Fact 1:

On this date July 4 in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates from the 13 Original Colonies to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Our nation was born.

Fact 2:

In 1826, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died. The were friends as the Sons of 76 and Liberty but political opponents. Now for the rest of the story...

John Adams Thomas Jefferson

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson our 2nd and 3rd Presidents

As accounted by Josh Axelrod and Brandon Griggs, CNN, Wed July 4, 2018, "For as long as there have been friends, there have been frenemies.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are perhaps America’s most famous pair of feuding friends. Their storied relationship began in 1775 and ended abruptly on July 4, 1826, when the two ex-presidents died within hours of each other – on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Historians believe Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” muttered in his dying breaths before typhoid overcame him. Jefferson had actually passed away several hours earlier, so Adams’ proclamation was incorrect.

Whether or not Adams’ mention of Jefferson arose out of spite, bitterness, love or camaraderie, historians will never know. But what is clear is that the men held a mix of respect and contempt for each other and maintained an on-again off-again relationship for five decades.

Many at the time saw their Independence Day deaths as a sign of divine providence. Today, their intertwined July Fourth passings serve as a convenient metaphor for an American legacy of boundless disagreement and unlikely accord.

First, friends
Historians, including Gordon S. Wood in his book “Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson,” have long focused on the two rivals’ volatile relationship.

Their friendship began in the early days of the nation, despite their vastly different political views. Adams believed in a strong central government whereas Jefferson championed states’ rights.

John Adams served as the second president of the United States.

John Adams served as the second president of the United States. Surprisingly, their contrasting views brought them together, thanks to a deep mutual respect and esteem.

Adams was elected vice president under George Washington while Jefferson was appointed secretary of state. It was here that their kinship began to splinter.

After Washington chose not to seek a third term, a power vacuum formed. Adams and Jefferson ran against each other, split on issues like their views of the French Revolution.

Thomas Jefferson is best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third US president.

Thomas Jefferson is best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third US president. Adams squeaked by with three more electoral votes and won the presidency. In an awkward technicality, the 1796 system called for the second-place contender to become vice president.

Adams asked Jefferson to join him in forming a strong, bipartisan administration. But Jefferson turned him down.

Then enemies
In 1800, Jefferson and Adams faced off again. Things got nasty.

Members of Jefferson’s camp said Adams had a “hideous hermaphroditical character,” while Adams’ supporters called Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow.” (Despite the vitriol, there was no mention of nasty women or deplorables.)

Jefferson won, and Adams was bitter. He left town and skipped the inauguration ceremony.

The rivals didn’t speak for 12 years.

Finally, frenemies
Another Founding Father, eager to reunite the two statesmen, hatched a plan to bring them back together. Benjamin Rush, a civic leader and fellow Declaration signer, wrote to both men, saying the other wanted to rekindle their friendship. 

Rush sealed the deal by telling them he had a dream in which they revitalized their friendship through letter-writing before they later “sunk into the grave nearly at the same time, full of years and rich in the gratitude and praises of their country.”

He kind of nailed it.

In 1812, the two started writing again and eventually mailed more than 185 letters to each other. But their friendship was still tense at times and their political divisions remained ripe.

A year after their communication was reopened, Adams wrote, “You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.”

The signatures of both men adorn the Declaration of Independence.

The signatures of both men adorn the Declaration of Independence.
Over the next few years, a tenderness crept back into the founders’ relationship. As he grew older, Jefferson even wrote, “Crippled wrists and fingers make writing slow and laborious. But while writing to you, I lose the sense of these things, in the recollection of ancient times, when youth and health made happiness out of everything.”

Declaration of Independence July 4

July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence

We’ll never know exactly where they stood in the end or what Adams was thinking on that fateful Fourth of July 192 years ago. But we know that Jefferson was on his mind until his last moments.

A month later, wordsmith Daniel Webster was called to deliver a joint eulogy. In commemoration of July Fourth and the life of the two politicians, he said:

“Adams and Jefferson are no more. On our 50th anniversary, the great day of national jubilee, in the very hour of public rejoicing, in the midst of echoing and re-echoing voices of thanksgiving, while their own names were on all tongues, they took their flight together to the world of spirits.”"

If I can help you as your Realtor in being a part of the American Dream with your own home, please give me a call or text at 480-242-6500. I would be pleased to help you and your family.

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Comments (10)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Jeff and Happy Independence Day to you.  I hope you have lots of plans to relax today!


Jul 04, 2022 09:04 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI interesting historical facts about Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Happy 4th of July Independence Day to you and to all.

Jul 04, 2022 09:16 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I hope that you and yours enjoyed a wonderful Independence Day weekend !



Jul 04, 2022 07:54 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

OH I loved this post Jeff I  so miss the Feature Button, I am sure Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker  would agree with me, Endre

Jul 04, 2022 10:05 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

there are so many interesting facts about the Declaration and the signers...truly fascinating history

Jul 04, 2022 10:41 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Tuesday morning, Jeff. Thanks for the American history reminders.

Have a great day and a very productive week.

Jul 05, 2022 04:51 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI a historical look back on civil disagreements.  We are facing tyranny now and many are oblivious to the real world or maybe indoctrinated otherwise.  We are one generation from change.  Good will overcome this evil

Jul 05, 2022 07:00 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Many do not know of the relationship between Jefferson and Adams.  Interesting both died on the same day shortly after renewing their friendship.  And this was done through letters, no phone calls, no emails and no texts. The power of the pen is still mighty.

Jul 05, 2022 08:27 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post!  Loved your re-telling of both Jefferson and Adams' friendship and timely deaths.  Was considering writing one and glad I didn't.  Yours would make mine pale in comparison with your thorough recounting of this history.  Loved it!

Jul 05, 2022 10:46 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Another fact that is becoming less and less known is that the United States of America is a beacon of light and hope for the world. Rabid self-loathing is becoming more and more vocal and preying on the feeble-minded.

Jul 05, 2022 04:18 PM