Most are aware that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day (July 4th) in 1826. Needless to say, this coincidence on Independence Day got a lot of attention at the time. There were public honors from the military for both men.
John Quincy Adams Administration issued an Executive Order on July 11, 1826 to elaborate on this.
It noted, "A coincidence of circumstances so wonderful
gives confidence to the belief that the patriotic efforts of these
illustrious men were Heaven directed, and furnishes a new seal to the
hope that the prosperity of these States is under the special protection
of a kind Providence."
Honors included, "Sharing in the grief which every heart must
feel for so heavy and afflicting a public loss, and desirous to express
his high sense of the vast debt of gratitude which is due to the
virtues, talents, and ever-memorable services of the illustrious
deceased, the President directs that funeral honors be paid to him at
all the military stations, and that the officers of the Army wear crape
on the left arm, by way of mourning, for six months."
And more praise, "Never has it fallen to the lot of any
commander to announce to an army such an event as now calls forth the
mingled grief and astonishment of this Republic; never since History
first wrote the record of time has one day thus mingled every triumphant
with every tender emotion, and consecrated a nation's joy by blending
it with the most sacred of sorrows. Yes, soldiers, in one day, almost in
the same hour, have two of the Founders of the Republic, the Patriarchs
of Liberty, closed their services to social man, after beholding them
crowned with the richest and most unlimited success. United in their end
as they had been in their highest aim, their toils completed, their
hopes surpassed, their honors full, and the dearest wish of their bosoms
gratified in death, they closed their eyes in patriot ecstasy, amidst
the gratulations and thanksgivings of a people on all, on every
individual, of whom they had conferred the best of all earthly benefits."
men need no trophies; they ask no splendid mausolea. We are their
monuments; their mausolea is their country, and her growing prosperity
the amaranthine wreath that Time shall place over their dust. Well may
the Genius of the Republic mourn. If she turns her eyes in one
direction, she beholds the hall where Jefferson wrote the charter of her
rights; if in another, she sees the city where Adams kindled the fires
of the Revolution. To no period of our history, to no department of our
affairs, can she direct her views and not meet the multiplied memorials
of her loss and of their glory."
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I had the privilege of visiting Springfield, IL last week. I was able to stop by Lincoln's Tomb. It is a beautiful structure. Abraham Lincoln, his wife, and two of his sons are buried here. Thought I would share a picture of the tombstone.