John Adams


Originally Aired Apr 20, 2008

In retirement, Adams starts writing his memoirs, then endures a series of tragedies when his daughter Nabby dies of cancer and Abigail succumbs to typhoid fever a few years later. At the urging of Benjamin Rush, Adams begins a correspondence with Thomas Jefferson that lasts for the rest of their lives, and the two old friends and adversaries take solace in each other's letters, mending old wounds. On July 4, 1826, having lived to see his son John Quincy become President, 90-year-old John Adams dies on the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, and on the same day as Jefferson. On his deathbed, Adams - unaware of Jefferson's death a few hours earlier - utters, "Thomas Jefferson survives."