A Discourse on the Lives and Characters of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; Who Both Died on the Fourth of July, 1826

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 386 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1826. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... the accents of Adams. The one, leading the Colony of Virginia, moved, the other, heading that of Massachusetts, seconded, the Act of Independence, which was adopted amidst the glories of an eloquence probably never surpassed. The vote was passed. The sages of the land had stamped the act with the seal of wisdom and patriotism. But more was still to be done. To give it effect, it was necessary that a nation should approve it, not in a voice of cautious sanction, but with applause and enthusiasm. It was, perhaps, necessary too, that it should command, from the manner in which it was promulged, the assent of the impartial part of mankind. This was the task committed to Thomas Jefferson, to the youngest man in this august assembly, who was placed at the head of a committee, composed of himself, of Adams, Franklin, Sherman, and Livingston. How he performed it we all know, we all feel. As a state paper, combining strength of principle, vigor of illustration, and depth of feeling, it stands unrivalled: and while liberty exists among men, or shines on human records, it will be considered as its great charter. The nation felt, exalted minds throughout the civilized globe felt, that a people, who held such a tone, had already achieved their independence. To Jefferson belonged nearly the entire credit of this composition. I have seen the original draft in his own hand-writing, with a very few interlineations in that of Franklin and Adams, not impairing its spirit, which the slight alterations made by Congress, in some of its features, softened. On the 11th of August, 1775, and, again, on the 20th of June, 1776, he was re-chosen a delegate to Congress. On the 26th of September, 1776, he, with Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, were appointed by Congress Commissioners to the...

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1772-1834

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