Is is happenstance or is it mystic?
As students at the University of Virginia, we value integrity and the ideals of Thomas Jefferson. For the purposes of this blog, we will not explicate upon the countless achievements of Jefferson, including but not limited to authoring the Declaration of Independence, as we are all aware of the numerous contributions Jefferson has made to American life, including his beliefs about concepts of idealistic liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He championed these causes in authoring the declaration of independence on the 4th of July in 1776. He bred his last breath on the 4th of July in 1826. Many will debate the mystic purposes of Jefferson’s symbolic death date, but research merely suggests that his death was due primarily to old age.
His funeral was a private affair at his home in Monticello. He was buried nearby at Monticello Graveyard, which to this day remains a tourist site. Alongside the grave of Thomas Jefferson lie the graves of his wife, children, and other immediate family members. As a part of his remembrance, the Monticello estate is now a World Heritage Site. Tourists are routinely guided through Jefferson’s home and his beautiful gardens. The Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. serves as a tourist attraction that includes a 19-foot statue of Jefferson. The venue also exposes engravings of passages from his writings (National Park Service, 2012). The University of Virginia stands as an everlasting memory of Mr. Jefferson and his high regard for the attainment of knowledge. In the present moment, thousands of students enter every year in the hopes of becoming a part of Jefferson’s heralded community of trust.
John Adams was our nation’s second President. He was among the 47? who signed the Declaration of Independence. Adams also helped with the construction of the Treaty of Paris, which largely helped to bring about the end of the Revolutionary War (History.com, 2012).
John Adams also died on July 4th, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, just hours after Thomas Jefferson had passed, even though he had not showed decline in his preceding days (Colonialhall.com, 2008). His famous last words were, supposedly, “Thomas Jefferson survives” though Jefferson had in fact passed a few hours before Adams (homeofheroes.com, 2012). Adams’ burial is not as well-known unlike Jefferson’s burial at Monticello. He is buried at United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts alongside his wife and son John Quincy Adams (presidentsgraves.com, 2005).
Americans celebrate July 4th, which is symbolically marked by the death of Jefferson and Adams, every year, all over the world. On this day, freedom is celebrated, and our founding fore-fathers are honored for their sacrifices and contributions to the United States of America. Daniel Weber states in his article, “On the of Deaths of John Adams & Thomas Jefferson”, “But the concurrence of their death, on the anniversary of independence, has naturally awakened stronger emotions(Daniel 3). Both had been presidents, 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.”There has not been much research done about the particular modes through which their bodies were physically facing or seated. What is the mystical implication of these symbolic deaths? What are the implications surrounding the death of these men on a date that has been remembered both historically and in the contemporary for representing freedom and equality?