25 Most Famous Last Words Ever Uttered

It is believed that people tend to become the most honest when they are about to die. Some have even said that of all the words a man utters in his entire lifetime, it is what he says on his death bed that makes the most sense. Here is a list of the 25 most famous last words ever uttered by some of the most celebrated heroes, celebrities and political leaders in the course of history, as well as relatively brief accounts of why they said those words.

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“I can’t sleep.”

Sir James Matthew Barrie

Scottish novelist and dramatist Sir James Matthew Barrie, also known as J.M Barrie, uttered these words while he lay down on his deathbed situated on the top floor of the Adephi Terrace House in London, England. There, the renowned author of Peter Pan stayed and was nursed until he died of pneumonia on June 19, 1937. His remains were buried next to his parents and siblings in Kirriemiur Cemetery in Scotland.


“Thomas Jefferson…”

John Adams

John Adams, the first vice president of the United States, used to utter Thomas Jefferson still survives when he was still alive. When he died on July 4, 1826, he was quoted as having said Thomas Jefferson by those who witnessed the very moment he breathed his last breath. Some believed that it was Thomas Jefferson still survives that he intended to say, but Thomas Jefferson was the only phrase he managed to intelligibly pronounce as he passed away.


“Pardon me, Sir, I did not do it on purpose.”

Marie Antoinette

Right at the peak of the French Revolution, Queen Marie Antoinette was convicted of treason and was sentenced to die of guillotine with her husband, King Louis XVI of France. Riding a cart, she was taken through the streets of Paris and mocked until she and King Louis XVI were finally brought to the guillotine site. While she was already on the scaffold seconds before her death, she unintentionally stepped on the foot of her executioner and decorously uttered her words of pardon.


“Is it not meningitis?”

Louisa May Alcott

American novelist Louisa May Alcott had been suffering from an unknown illness when her condition turned shoddier soon after she visited her just as ailing father. On her deathbed, she uttered these words believing that it was meningitis she was ill with. But when she died, it was discovered that it was not meningitis that she died of, but mercury poisoning which she acquired when she was treated for typhoid fever years earlier.


“Please don’t let me fall.”

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt

The first woman to have ever been executed by the military tribunal of the federal government of the United States, Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt uttered these last words as she was being executed in public on July 7, 1865. A boarding house owner, she was sentenced to be hanged after being found guilty of treason. She was also involved in an apparent conspiracy to assassinate the late US president Abraham Lincoln.

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