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But towering above and obscuring these minor angu. larities, she possessed a strength of intellectual and moral character, which commands our unqualified admiration. Her decision would have manifested itself for her friend or her cause, when softer spirits would have shrunk away, or been paralyzed with terror. When her New-England frigidness gave way and kindled into enthusiasm, it was not the burning straw, but the red hot steel. On the stranding deck, at the gibbet's foot, in any other deadly pass where undaunted moral courage can light up the coming gloom of ‘the valley and shadow of death,” Mrs. Adams would have stood by the side of those she loved, uttering words of encouragement; and in that more desperate pass where death or overthrow are balanced against dishonor, she would have firmly bade the most loved friend on earth embrace the former like a bride.” Mrs. Adams died of an attack of fever, the 28th of October, 1818, at the advanced age of seventy-four years. Thus passed away one of the most remarkable characters of her time. “To learning, in the ordinary sense of that term, Mrs. Adams could make no claim. Her reading had been extensive in the lighter departments of literature, and she was well acquainted with the poets in her own language, but it went no further. It is the soul, shining through the words, that gives them their great attraction; the spirit ever equal to the occasion, whether a great or a small one; a spirit, inquisitive and earnest in the little details of life, as when she was in France and England; playful, when she describes daily duties, but rising to the call when the roar of cannon is in her ears—or when she reproves her husband for not knowing her better than to think her a coward and to fear telling her bad news.” “The obsequies of Mrs. Adams were attended by a great concourse of people who voluntarily came to pay this last tribute to her memory. Several brief but beautiful notices of her appeared in the newspapers of the day, and a sermon, was preached by the late Rev. Dr. Kirkland, then President of Harvard Uni. versity, which closed, with a delicate and affecting testimony.to her worth. “Ye will seek to mourn, be. reaved friends, it says, “as becomes Christians, in a manner worthy of the person you lament. You do then bless the Giver of Life that the course of your endeared and honored friend was so long and so bright; that she endeared so fully into the spirit of those injunctions which we have explained, and was a minister of blessings to all within her influence. You are soothed to reflect that she was sensible of the many tokens of divine goodness which marked her lot; that she received the good of her existence with a cheerful and grateful heart; that, when called to weep, she bore adversity with an equal mind; that she used the world as not abusing it to excess, improving well her time, talents, and opportunities, and though desired longer in this world, was fitted for a better happiness than this world can give.’” Soon as the news of Mrs. Adams' death reached Monticello, Mr. Jefferson wrote as follows:–
To John Adams.
“MosticeLLo, November 13th, 1818.
“The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of October the 20th had given me ominous foreboding. Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suf. fered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medicine. I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both that the time is not very distant at which we are to deposit in the same casement our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again. God bless you, and support you under your heavy affliction. - “TH. JEFFERSON.”
Side by side in the Congregational church in Quincy, to which he had given the donation to erect it with, lie the mortal remains of Mr. and Mrs. Adams. Within the same house, a plain, white marble slab, on the right hand of the pulpit, surmounted by his bust. bears the following inscription written by his eldest Soil --- 8
Libertatem, Amicitiam, Fidem Retinebis.
Son of John and Susanna (Boylston) Adams,
- On the fourth of July, 1776,
On the third of September, 1783, He affixed his seal to the definitive treaty with Great Britain, Which acknowledged that independence, And consummated the redemption of his pledge.
On the fourth of July, 1826,
His beloved and only wife, Daughter of William and Elizabeth, (Quincy) Smith. In every relation of life a pattern of filial, conjugal, maternal, and social virtue. Born November 4, 1744 Deceased 28 October, 1818, Aged 74. Married 25 October, 1764. During an union of more than half a century They survived, in harmony of sentiment, principle and affection, The tempests of civil commotion. Meeting undaunted and surmounting The terrors and trials of that revolution, * Which secured the freedom of their country;
Improved the condition of their times;
And brightened the prospects of futurity
To the race of man upon earth.
From lives thus spent thy earthly duties learn: