"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Hottest Bromance of the Revolution

In 1820 Thomas Jefferson wrote “ I am sure that I really know many, many, things, and none more surely than that I love you with all my heart”. 

You might imagine that such an endearing and affectionate line was something that Jefferson would have traced out for his wife Martha. You could also potentially imagine a situation in which Jefferson stealthily scrawls this line onto a napkin before furtively passing it over to Sally Hemmings. The truth of the matter is that Martha had recently passed away a mere forty years before and so the writing of such a letter to her would get Jefferson zero brownie points. Equally futile would be writing said letter to Sally, a house slave who had never been taught to read. The identity of the recipient is one that might shock, horrify, and dismay our loyal base of readers, particularly the large portion of you that are members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The letter, was written to John Adams.

Now, as difficult as it is for us at Lost&Founders to dispel the heteronormative interpretation of the American Founding that our great nation of mavericks has so long held near and dear to its heart, we have the solemn duty to “follow truth wherever it may lead”. We present to you the evidence, free of bias, and ask you to form your own opinions. The last thing we need is the entire state of North Carolina simultaneously partaking in HareKiri the time-honored tradition of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.

Our story begins in 1775. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams meet while serving as delegates to the Continental Congress that gathers in Philadelphia… the City of Brotherly Love… coincidence? Nope. Now mainstream historians have tried to tell us for centuries that Jefferson and Adams struggled with the distance that serving the Revolution was putting between them and their respective wives, but a recently discovered portrait done in 1776 by Gilbert Stuart suggests otherwise:

With this irrefutable evidence brought to light, it becomes both necessary and proper to reevaluate past conceptions. Today, we do believe that Philadelphia offered Jefferson and Adams an escape from their unhappy and sexually frustrating home lives.

The next chapter in the saga can be aptly called Jefferson in Paris. After Martha passes away in 1782, Jefferson is finally able to partake in the pursuit of happiness. He follows Adams to Europe where he takes on the title of American Minister to France but the trip ends up being little more than a five-year Paris shopping spree. It’s at this point that we believe Abigail Adams gets wind of what’s going on, takes John away with her to England, and forces an end to the relationship. Adams would write “The greatest regret I have in departing is an Interruption of that intimate Correspondence with you, which is one of the most agreeable Events in my Life”.

Jefferson and Adams wouldn’t talk for decades. Historians have attributed this to political partisanship and bitter campaigning but that’s just not the case. Abby, the main bitch in charge, was jealous of Jeffy, and it wasn’t until she softened with old age that Jefferson and Adams are able to rekindle their friendship in what many historians have referred to as the most touching correspondence to grace the pages of American History.

On July 4th, 1826, fifty years to the day that both men signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams passes away. His last words are “Thomas Jefferson still lives”, you see, the two had an ongoing bet about which one of them would be the first to go, and John Adams was wrong. Jefferson had passed away a mere three hours before! There was no Facebook, there was no telephone, there was no expedited pony express to let one know about the other’s fate. But if you ask us, it was true love. Jefferson passed, and Adams pined away.

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