Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Funeral Ribbon, 1826
Jefferson, Thomas (1723-1826). President of the United States (1801-1809). John Adams (1735-1826). President of the United States (1797-1801). 2 x 7 in. silk ribbon. 1826.
A funeral ribbon commemorating the simultaneous deaths on July 4, 1826 of two of America's most influential founding fathers. The ribbon features two busts of the founders with their inscribed death dates. Behind them is a weeping willow, American eagle, and two crossed American flags. Below the busts are an ink well and quill next to a roll of parchment. The inscription on the ribbon reads, Together they laboured for our country, together they have gone to meet their reward.
In 1826, Jefferson and Adams were the last two surviving members of the original revolutionaries. They began their political careers as close friends, but their approaches to government and the especially harsh 1800 presidential campaign made them bitter political rivals. During the campaign, Jefferson said that Adams was a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Adams retorted by calling Jefferson a, "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father." The two were able to reconcile in 1812 and remained friends until their deaths, which were only five hours apart.
Soiling on the verso and some toning to the ribbon; fraying of the lower margin with a minor hole.