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Independence Day Providence


Independence Day Providence

One hundred ninety-eight years ago today, as America celebrated 50 years of Independence, 90-year-old John Adams lay on his deathbed and uttered his last words before expiring, “Thomas Jefferson still survives”. What Adams didn’t know was that Jefferson, at 83 years old, had preceded him in death at Monticello five hours earlier. The two great patriots and friends finished their course on a most remarkable day.

Daniel Webster inquired what this “striking and extraordinary” coincidence might suggest in a eulogy he delivered at Fanuel Hall in Boston, August 2, 1826 shortly after their deaths:

“But the concurrence of their death on the anniversary of Independence has naturally awakened stronger emotions. Both had been President, both had lived to great age, both were early patriots, and both were distinguished and ever honored by their immediate agency in the act of independence. It cannot but seem striking and extraordinary, that these two should live to see the fiftieth year from the date of that act/ that they should complete that year/ and that then, on the day which had fast linked forever their own fame with their country’s glory, the heavens should open to receive them both at once. As their lives themselves were the gifts of Providence, who is not willing to recognize in their happy termination, as well as in their long continuance, proofs that our country and its benefactors are objects of His care?”

Let us celebrate their lives and the fruit of their work this Independence Day!

Read the full text of Webster’s beautiful and powerful eulogy here



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