On a warm summer afternoon, June 30, 1826, nearly fifty years to the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a small, informal delegation led by the Reverend George Whitney paid a visit to 90 year-old John Adams in his Quincy, Massachusetts home. In four days the town would celebrate half a century of freedom from British rule.
Though the Founding Father was very old and feeble, and certainly unable to attend the ceremony, the delegation sought from him a toast to be read on his behalf. Seated in his library, the former President gave them a simple phrase, “Independence forever!” Astounded, the visitors asked if he might like to add something to his meager statement, to which Adams replied, “Not a word.”
What President Adams understood, that his visitors obviously did not, was that his toast was far from simple; it was a powerful declaration of American sovereignty. Such a treasure was priceless and Adams had lived through the entire struggle to gain it. He desired nothing more than to see the United States of America, a free and independent nation, endure throughout the ages. Continue reading