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1813: The week Jefferson and Adams started their historic correspondence

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(My new American Thinker post)

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were two of the key figures of the American revolution.  Jefferson’s glorious pen gave the Declaration of Independence the lines that we all love.  Adams was a major force in leading the colonies toward independence.

They were part of the first Cabinet under President Washington.  Mr. Adams was the first V.P. and the second president.  Mr. Jefferson was the second V.P. and third president.  Jefferson defeated Adams in 1800 in a very nasty election that fractured their friendship.

After losing to Jefferson, Adams went home to Massachusetts, and the two men never spoke again.  It was a very sad ending to a partnership that mattered so much from independence to the formation of the new nation.  

Jefferson left the presidency after two terms and retired in Virginia.  They were miles apart in more ways than one!

Jefferson finally broke the ice and wrote Adams a letter in 1813:

Following 12 years of bitter silence caused by their disagreement over the role of the new federal government, the two old friends managed to reestablish the discourse of their younger years spent in Philadelphia, where they both served in the Continental Congress, and Paris, where they served together as ambassadors to France.
In 1812, Benjamin Rush, a Patriot and physician from Philadelphia, initiated a renewed correspondence and reconciliation between his two friends and ex-presidents.
The correspondence continued until Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence that all three friends had signed in 1776.

The Jefferson-Adams bitter feud remind us that politics has always been rough.  

The letters are now a big part of our history.  A good place to start is the John Adams HBO series.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.   We discussed the Adams-Jefferson letters on Saturday’s show:


Written by scantojr

May 29, 2016 at 6:30 am