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Exhumation of President Taylor - 1991 President Zachary Taylor became the second American chief executive to die in office when he succumbed to gastro-intestinal problems on July 9, 1850 at age 65. Known for generally having robust health, Taylor had been ill for five days with severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. The cause may have been Taylor's overindulging in cherries covered in iced milk following a Fourth of July ceremony on the site where the Washington Monument was going to be erected. Doctors tried to cure the president with blood-letting and laxatives, but to no avail. The cause of Taylor's death was officially listed as "cholera morbus"--which apparently was an all-purpose answer whenever someone died suddenly from digestive problems in the middle of the 19th century. There was no autopsy. The dead president's body was preserved in ice for five days but never embalmed. More than 140 years later a historian named Clara Rising claimed Taylor had actually been poisoned by arsenic, perhaps by political enemies. (Taylor, despite being a slaveholder, was an outspoken pro-Union man. He had threatened to use the army to quash any secessionist movements.) Rising's compelling arguments--plus her willingness to pay $1200 in fees--persuaded officials in Kentucky to exhume Taylor's body from his crypt and perform modern scientific tests on it. The exhumation was carried out on June 18, 1991 with about 200 curious onlookers watching silently from a respectful distance. Modern forensic examination of Taylor's fingernails, sideburns, and even pubic hair showed no signs of arsenic poison whatsoever. Taylor was re-interred alongside his wife at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, KY. Today the medical community believes that the purgatives that Taylor was given by his physician to cleanse his system may have contained mercury which may have hastened the president's demise.
Tags: exhumation  Zachary  Taylor 
Added: 19th July 2015
Views: 3297
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2015-07-19 
I can think of at least a couple of US presidents who probably wouldn't want to be exhumed and have their pubic hairs put under a microscope.
Posted by: Cathy on 2015-07-20 
Walk away from the milk covered cherries!
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2015-07-20 
It isn't totally out of the question to assume that Zachary Taylor did die of cholera. The bacteria from cholera comes from inadequate sewage systems. If food somehow gets contaminated with the bacteria, it's deadly. Perhaps the cherries or the milk Taylor consumed on July 4 were contaminated. Taylor also reputedly drank a lot of water on July 4 because it was an oppressively hot day. Because of the open sewers in Washington, its water supply could have easily been contaminated with cholera too. This was not a problem confined to American cities. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, died of typhoid in 1861, which he likely contracted from London's water system.
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Posted by: Sammm on 2021-02-02 
love this soo much! retro
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