The Patriotic Deaths of Adams and Jefferson

On July 4, 1776, the founding fathers scratched their names onto parchment (and into history) as they signed the Declaration of Independence. Fifty years later, on a day of fireworks and celebration of the anniversary of that historic day, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams took their final breaths.

Jefferson took the lead, reportedly happy to go once he had seen the morning of the 4th.

Thomas Jefferson Death

Thomas Jefferson

Adams succumbed about five hours later, unaware that Jefferson had preceded him in death.

Death of Adams

John Adams

Adams and Jefferson were the last living members of the original group of revolutionaries who fought for freedom from the British Empire. As death dates go, this seems a fitting one for two of the men who drafted the declaration which the United States celebrates every year on this day.

The striking coincidences of life

Find more on the lives and deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams with a search on, or seek out clippings on a topic of your choice with a search of interest to you.

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3 thoughts on “The Patriotic Deaths of Adams and Jefferson

  1. Adams and Jefferson information on Fishwrap very appropriate for the 4th of July!!!

  2. The article leaves out the important birth of that day. The most popular American composer of the century was born July 4, 1826. So while the second and third presidents were drawing their final breaths this newborn was drawing his initial breaths. Stephen Foster. July 4, 2026 will celebrate reaching our quarter millennial mark of independence, the bi-centennial of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson and the bi-centennial of the birth of Foster.

  3. Excellent historical pertinence! However, I do wonder if “a citizen of the olden time” or the newspaper typesetter, perhaps pulling the wrong number, got the date wrong. (Third article highlighted)

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