In retirement, Adams starts writing his memoirs, then endures a series of tragedies when his daughter Nabby dies of cancer and, a few years later, Abigail succumbs to typhoid fever. At the urging of Dr. Rush, Adams reports the sad news to Jefferson, with the two old friends and adversaries taking solace in a correspondence that mends old wounds and lasts the rest of their lives. 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 very same day as Jefferson. On his deathbed, Adams utters, 'Thomas Jefferson survives.'