Jefferson, the Forgotten Man

Jefferson, the Forgotten Man

Jefferson, the Forgotten Man

Jefferson, the Forgotten Man

Excerpt

On the afternoon of July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, couriers spurted their horses down the slopes of Monticello. As they proceeded to Richmond, Charleston, 'Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and to the tiny hamlets hid between ocean and wilderness, the newspapers, day by day, in ever-widening circle, carried the headlines "Jefferson is Dead".

The news travelled slowly. There was no telephone, no telegraph, no radio. It did not reach John Adams. The second president was also destined to die on the same day--a coincidence which, as it became known, seemed like a Divine portent. Adams, up in Massachusetts, on this 4th of July 1826, was thinking of those who had signed the great Declaration in the prime of a golden youth, 50 years ago. He whispered, "Jefferson still lives," and crossed the dark frontier to immortality.

A few days later at Monticello, on the hill slope Jefferson had climbed so often, shaded by trees he loved, a stone slab was laid, inscribed with these words written by the man himself:

"Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of The Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia. . . ."

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