December 14, 1799

On December 14, 1799 First American President George Washington died after a very, brief illness. What killed him? No one is sure. On December 13th he was healthy and on December 14th he was dead. He was seen by his doctors and they said he had caught an illness from wearing wet clothes. They decided to use modern medical technology of the time to cure him. This did not help. Why? Because they drained him of approximately 40% of his blood. That’s right, they thought he had too much blood and it was making him sick. They also made him gargle with a mixture of molasses, vinegar, and butter to sooth his sore throat. He also inhaled a steam of vinegar and hot water as well and had his throat swabbed with a salve that contained dried beetles. Last, and not least, he was given an enema for good measure. And then he died. This is one time that thoughts and prayers wouldn’t have been worse than actual medicine. An antibiotic probably would have saved his life, but that hadn’t been discovered yet, and he wouldn’t have had to have an enema.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
This entry was posted in 18th Century, Historical Facts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to December 14, 1799

  1. Dr. Francois J. V. Broussais says:

    Dear Mr. Twistorian,

    The problem with so-called “modern” medicine is not enough leeches. You lot have abandoned tried-and-true medical methods and turned to fly-by-night quackery instead. Vaccines and “anti”-biotics are just so much snake oil. It’s not REAL medicine, unless it involves a healthy round of leeches.

    No matter what ails you, a lengthy bit of starvation while covered in leeches is sure to cure you. In my experience, once a patient undergoes one of my treatments, they NEVER come back to me again, which clearly proves a 100% success rate.

    Dr. Francois J. V. Broussais, M.D.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *