The Path of a Friendship

Posted on Posted in Agony and Eloquence

Jefferson deferred to Adams’s “process of reasoning” – but not for long.

When they were sent to London and Paris to represent the United States government, Jefferson wrote to Adams on July 11, 1786, that he “suspects an error in (his) process of reasoning” whenever “the same facts impress us differently.”

When the Revolution exploded in 1789, Jefferson was serving as Minister to France . He played a not insignificant role in advising Lafayette and his circle of early constitutional monarchist revolutionaries. Both Adams and Jefferson returned to the United States for other important duties.

By the end of 1789 Jefferson’s deference to Adams’s reasoning processes was left far behind in Europe.

As the Revolution in France devolved into the horror that would end finally with Bonaparte, Adams and Jefferson’s friendship collapsed. Only through the determination, loyalty, and love of their mutual friend and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and the ability and desire of both Jefferson and Adams to forgive could it be revived.

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