[T]he fact that the death dates for both Adams and Jefferson fell on a historic anniversary — the fiftieth anniversary, not the forty-ninth or fifty-first [of the Fourth of July]— may seem to stretch beyond the point of sheer plausibility the claim that this was mere coincidence. But when appeals to coincidence are insufficient, we must look for explanations in common circumstance or common cause, or for causation from one case to the other. . .
Furthermore, the issue of synchrony — whatever the individual explanations for their deaths — also leaves us with the further question of coordination. Did Adams and Jefferson think alike but act independently? Could they have had some joint understanding, reached perhaps in 1813 — when each had been corresponding with a physician, Adams with Benjamin Rush about a horse's deliberate stumble and Jefferson with Samuel Brown about lethal drugs — that they then recalled later on? Did their physicians or families think alike but act independently, or perhaps in concert? Could their families and caregivers have lied about the precise dates of their deaths, seeking to lend their demises a greater grandeur? Or was there a more orchestrated plan here, known only to these two men, or to their physicians and families, that accounts for the extraordinary "coincidence" or "grand design" of their deaths? Could it have been the mode, so to speak, to die on the Fourth if at all possible, by whatever means? After all, not just Adams and Jefferson, but three of the first five presidents of the young United States died on the 4th of July. In 1831, just five years after the deaths of Adams and Jefferson, James Monroe, the fifth president, did so as well (emphasis in original).The idea that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams committed suicide--either coincidentally or as part of a conspiracy--is new to me. Given that it is being used to support an argument for legal suicide, etc., I suspect that Battinbut is doing some serious Clio Spinning. Perhaps we have a nominee for the next Carnival of Bad History?