Daily Jefferson: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Died on July 4, 1826; Happy Independence Day!

This post is reprinted from last year on Independence Day. Seems like a fitting way to end the Daily Jefferson series. Happy Independence Day!In addition to being Independence Day, this is the day that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. 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 w … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson’s Next to Last Words on July 3, 1826 – Is it the Fourth?

On July 3, 1826, Thomas Jefferson was near death. According to the Monticello website, three men were with him at various times during those last hours: "Robley Dunglison, the attending physician; Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson's grandson; and Nicholas Trist, the husband of Jefferson's granddaughter,Virginia Randolph." According to all three men, Jefferson's next to last words related to July 4th. He wondered if he had made it to Independence Day. According to the Monticello article, Ra … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: Getting Ready for Independence Day Celebrations – July 1

Monticello has a nice page with quotes about Thomas Jefferson and Independence Day activities.  Here are July 1 entries:1806 July 1. (Jefferson to Thomas Digges). "He [Jefferson] will be happy to see Mr. Digges and his friends on the fourth of July, and to join in congratulations on the return of the day which divorced us from the follies and crimes of Europe, from a dollar in the pound at least of six hundred millions sterling, and from all the ruin of Mr. Pitt's administration."[12] 1808 J … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: June 27, 1813 Letter to John Adams

Jefferson wrote to Adams on June 27, 1813: the summum bonum with me is now truly Epicurean, ease of body and tranquility of mind; and to these I wish to consign my remaining days. He did a lot of Epicurean pursuits in his older age, but he did not completely retire from public life. He had a major hand in directing the development of the University of Virginia toward the end of his life. … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: In a June 25, 1819 Letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, Jefferson Says He is a Sect by Himself

On June 25, 1819, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Ezra Stiles Ely about his religious views. In the letter he famously said: I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know. The entire letter is below. Jefferson distinguishes himself from Calvinists and Jews and tells Ely that he believes in the moral teachings of Jesus.  In this and other letters, Jefferson expresses support for those moral teachings of Jesus as a reformer of Judaism, rather than a completer of it. For Jefferson, Jesus is not a messiah … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: June 24, 1826 Letter Declining Invitation to Celebrate 50th Year of Independence in Washington

In late June of 1826, Thomas Jefferson was in decline. He knew he was ill but continued to carry on correspondence until he died on July 4, 1826.Jefferson had been invited to attend a 50 year celebration in Washington DC by Roger Weightman and, despite his ill health, declined the invitation with a remarkable letter about the rights of mankind. Monticello June 24. 26Respected SirThe kind invitation I receive from you on the part of the citizens of the city of Washington, to be … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: June 21, 1808 Letter From Thomas Jefferson to James Pemberton About Relations With Native Americans

David Barton sometimes tells his audiences that Thomas Jefferson edited the Gospels in order to give just the words of Christ to the Indians for their instruction. However, there are many words of Jesus which Jefferson did not include in his work. Another fact that makes Barton's claims even more of a fantasy is that Jefferson believed learning English and reading the Bible was the last thing Indians should do to become civilized. In this letter to James Pemberton, Jefferson gives a summary of … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: June 20, 1803 Letter to Meriwether Lewis

Thomas Jefferson had a vision for American expansion. He also had a keen interest in scientific exploration as displayed by his notes to Meriwether Lewis on the assignment to scout out the Missouri River.  In a nutshell, the mission was framed as a precursor to trade and relations with the native people in the region. The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it’s course & communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, may of … [Read more...]


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