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On the fifteenth day of November, 1815, he was elected by Braintree to the state convention called to amend the constitution on the creation of the district of Maine into a separate state; and so he helped amend the constitution he assisted in making forty years before. In this convention he received great testimonials of respect. It was a fitting close of a great public career. His declining years grew more and more tranquil. He enjoyed the rising recognition of his son's worth, and lived to see him elected president of the government he had done so much to found. He died on the fourth of July, 1826, just fifty years after the declaration of independence. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." But it was soon learned that Jefferson had died an hour before. So these great compatriots were called home almost together, just when the nation was rejoicing in the first semi-centennial of its existence.
THE GRAVES OF THE ADAMSES.
There is something touching in the contemplation of the graves of two presidents, father and son, who sleep side by side, with their companions, in the town where they were born and which always held their homes, and under the church built by the congregation with which they worshiped. So sleep the two Adamses. At the death of John Adams in 1826, his son, then president, secured from the trustees of the new church about to be built, a deed to "a portion of soil in the cellar, situated under the porch, and containing fourteen feet in length and fourteen feet in breadth," with the privilege of affixing tablets with obituary inscriptions, in the walls of the church. In this crypt was deposited, in 1828, the bodies of John and Abigail Adams; and in 1848, those of John Quincy Adams and his wife. The tomb is in the front part of the cellar and is made of large blocks of granite, slightly faced. A granite slab, seven feet by three, hung on strong iron hinges, and fastened with clasp and padlock, is the door. The bodies are inclosed in
leaden caskets, placed in stone coffins, each hewn from a single block of granite.
In the church above, at the right of the pulpit, as seen from the pews, is the memorial tablet of marble, seven feet by four, surmounted by a life-size bust from Horatio Greenough. Below the bust is the Latin line:
Libertatem, Amicitiam, Fidem, Retinebus.
Above the tablet are the words: Thy will be done. The inscription upon the tablet is in two columns; the first is as follows:
D. O. M.
Beneath these walls
Are deposited the mortal remains of
Son of John and Susanna (Boylston) Adams,
Born 19-30, October, 1735.
On the Fourth of July, 1776,
He pledged his Life, Fortune and Sacred Honor
INDEPENDENCE OF HIS COUNTRY.
On the Third of September, 1783,
He affixed his seal to the definitive treaty with Great Britain,
And consummated the redemption of his pledge.
On the Fourth of July, 1826,
He was summond
To the Independence of Immortality,
And to the
JUDGMENT OF HIS GOD.
This House will bear witness to his piety;
Posterity to the depth and compass of his mind.
The inscription in the second column is as follows:
At his side
Sleeps, till the trumpet shall sound,
His beloved and only wife,
Daughter of William and Elizabeth (Quincy) Smith;
Of filial, conjugal, maternal and social virtue.
Born November 11-22, 1744;
Married, 25 October, 1764.
During an union of more than half a century,
The terrors and trials of that Revolution,
Which secured the freedom of their Country;
From lives thus spent, thy earthly duties learn;
On the other side of the pulpit, the tablet of John Quincy Adams and his wife occupies a similar place. It is surmounted by a similar bust, beneath which are the words, "Alteri Sæculo," divided by an acorn and two oak leaves. Over the tablet is "Thy kingdom come." As on the other tablet, the first column is devoted to the president, and the other to his wife. Without
preserving the lineal divisions, but retaining the capitals, this is the record:
Near this place reposes all that could die of John Quincy Adams, Son of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams, sixth President of the United States. Born 11 of July, 1767, amidst the storms of civil commotion, he nursed the vigor which inspires a Christian. For more than half a century, Whenever his country called for his labors, In either Hemisphere or in any capacity, He never spared them in her cause. On the twenty-fourth of December, 1814, He signed the second treaty with Great Britain which restored Peace within her borders. On the twenty-third of February, 1848, he closed sixteen years of eloquent defense of the lessons of his youth, by dying at his post in her great National Council. A Son worthy of his Father, A Citizen shedding glory on his country, A Scholar ambitious to advance Mankind, this Christian sought to walk humbly In the sight of God.
The second column on the tablet records the important facts of the life of his "partner for fifty years, Louisa Catharine," of whom it is said that, "living through many vicissitudes and under high responsibilities as a daughter, wife and mother, she proved equal to all; dying, she left to her family and her sex the blessed remembrance of a woman that feareth the Lord.""
Under the parallel columns is this verse: "One soweth and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor. Other men labored, and ye are entered into their labor."
The church itself is a massive stone structure, the front supported by heavy columns, with a graceful cupola and a gilded dome above it. It is embowered in immense elm and chestnut trees. It is near the old Adams home, and is owned and used by the unitarian congregation of Quincy, with which the Adamses were associated.