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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents John Adams
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

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Adams's Friend (and Rival)

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did patch things up, despite the fact that Adams did not even attend Jefferson's inauguration. Adams was disappointed in losing to Jefferson, but was also grieving the loss of his son Charles when Jefferson was sworn in. However, after some "diplomatic" assistance from a mutual friend, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote numerous letters to each other for more than a dozen years after both had left the presidency.

What initially united them reunited them at death. Both died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, the Declaration's 50th anniversary. Adams was 90 and Jefferson was 83. It was said that Adams's last words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives." In fact, Jefferson had died several hours earlier.

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