Founding Brothers

In reality, what personal slight angered Jefferson the most?

The Friendship

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In 1804, Abigail wrote to Jefferson with condolences for the loss of his daughter, Maria Jefferson Eppes, who died in childbirth. Her motive was personal - she knew Maria, and considered it her duty to write. Jefferson mistakenly assumed the Adamses wanted to reconnect, and he wrote back to Abigail in anticipation of that. In his letter, he insisted that although he and Adams had competed twice for the presidency, that their personal respect had persisted. The one exception that Jefferson noted was Adams's last minute appointment of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Jefferson and Marshall notoriously hated one another, and when Adams appointed Marshall as one of his final acts as president, Jefferson considered it a personal slight. He was, however, more than happy to forgive this grievance for the sake of a reconciliation with Adams.