Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

July 4, 1776 is, of course, the birth date of the United States.  Fifty years later, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826 to be followed by James Monroe on July 4, 1831.  Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, living in Graff House in Philadelphia while writing it.  Graff House was once the home of Rebecca Gratz who some believe was the model for Scott's Rebecca in "Ivanhoe".  The connection runs through Scott's friend and fellow author Washington Irving.  Gratz herself appreciated Scott's Rebecca saying "I felt a little extra pleasure from Rebecca's being a Hebrew maiden. It is worthy of Scott in a period when persecution has re-commenced in Europe to hold up a picture of the superstition and cruelty in which it originated."

Sources:
http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/thomas-jefferson-declaration-of-independence.html
http://jwa.org/historymakers/gratz/ivanhoe-legend

3 comments:

  1. Dear Bob,

    I was delighted to find a blog about Sir Walter Scott. My blog is "Rebecca Gratz & 19th-Century America" so we have a common interest in Scott's Ivanhoe.

    I have written not only to congratulate you on your blog but to tell you that Rebecca Gratz did not live in the Graff house; two or her brothers had their business there. The family lived elsewhere.

    I will enjoy checking in with your blog from time to time, and will consult you if I have questions about Sir Walter.

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  2. Dear Susan,
    Thanks for the correction. I've enjoyed perusing your blog as well. Looks like you've researched a lot of interesting history related to Rebecca Gratz.

    Bob

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  3. Good stuff! I love learning new things here. And I'd forgotten that Monroe died on July 4th also -- and only five years after Jefferson and Adams!

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