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How the Presidents Died

27 Dec 1891, St. Louis Republic
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

They Were Heir to All the Ills of the Flesh, Like Common Mortals

George Washington.— His death was the result of a severe cold contracted while riding around his farm in a rain and sleet storm on December 10. 1799. The cold increased and was followed by a chill, which brought on acute laryngitis. His death occurred on December 14, 1799. He was 63 years of age.

John Adams.— He died from old age having reached his ninety-first milestone. Though active mentally, he was nearly blind and unable to hold a pen steadily enough to write. He passed away without pain on July 4, 1826. READ OBITUARY

Thomas Jefferson.—He died at the age of 83 a few hours before Adams, on July 4, 1826. His disease was chronic diarrhea, superinduced by old age and, his physician said, the too free use of the waters of the White Sulphur springs. READ OBITUARY

James Madison.—He, too, died of old age, and peacefully, on June 28, 1836, His faculties were undimmed to the last. He was 83.

James Monroe.—At the time of his death, which occured in the seventy-third year of his age, on July 4, 1831, it was assigned to no other cause than enfeebled health.

John Quincy Adams—He was stricken with paralysis on February 21, 1848, while addressing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, being at the time a member of Congress. He died in the rotunda of the Capitol. He was 81 years of age.

Andrew Jackson.—He died on June 8, 1845, 78 years old. He suffered from consumption, and finally dropsy, which made its appearance about six months before his death.

Martin Van Buren.—He died on July 24, 1862, from a violent attack of asthma, followed by catarrhal affections or the throat and lungs, He was 80 years of age.

William Henry Harrison.—The cause of his death was pleurisy, the result of a cold which he caught on the day of his Inauguration. This was accompanied with severe diarrhea, which would not yield to medical treatment. His death occurred on April I, 1811, a month after his inauguration. He was 68 years of age.

John Tyler.—He died on January 17, 1862, at the age of 7_ I have been unable to ascertain the cause of his death.

James K. Polk.—In the spring of 1849 he was stricken with a slight attack of cholera while on a boat going up the Mississippi River. Though temporarily relieved, he had a relapse on his return home, and died on June 15, 1849, aged 54 years.

Zachary Taylor.-He was the second President to die in office. He is said to have partaken immoderately of ice water and iced milk, and then later of a large quantity of cherries. The result was an attack of cholera morphus. Another authority attributes his death to a severe cold. The former seems the more likely. He was 66 years old.

Millard Fillmore.— He died from a stroke of paralysis on March 8,1874, in his seventy-fourth year.

Franklin Pierce —His death was due to abdominal dropsy, and occurred on October 8, 1869, in the sixty-fifth year of his life.

James Buchanan -His death occurred on June 1, 1888, and was caused by rheumatic gout. He was 77 years of age.

Abraham Lincoln - He was shot by J. Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre, Washington, D. C., April 14, 1865, and died the following day, aged 56.

Andrew Johnson —He died from a stroke of paralysis, July 31, 1875, aged 67.

The deaths of Grant, Garfield and Arthur are recent enough to be remembered by all.

[End of news article]

Additional data:
Ulysses S. Grant: Popular due to the Union victory in the Civil War, Grant was elected President of the United States as a Republican in 1868 and was re-elected in 1872, the first President to serve for two full terms since Andrew Jackson forty years before. Grant left office in 1877 and embarked upon a two-year world tour. In 1884, Grant learned that he was suffering from terminal throat cancer. Left destitute by bad investments, and near the brink of death, Grant wrote his Memoirs, which were enormously successful among veterans, the public, and the critics. Two days after completing his writing, Grant died July 23, 1885, at the age of 63.]

James Abram Garfield was the 20th President of the United States. His death on September 19, 1881, two months after being shot (where his doctors did more damage than the bullet, turning a three-inch wound into a twenty-inch gouge that became massively infected) and six months after his inauguration, made his tenure the second shortest (after William Henry Harrison) in United States history.

Chester Alan Arthur (1881-1885) died November 19, 1886 at his residence, No. 123 Lexington avenue. The immediate cause of his death was cerebral apoplexy, due to the rupture of a small artery within the brain. From the time of the attack the ex-President did not speak. He did not become immediately unconscious, but power of speech failed him and consciousness rapidly dimmed, although almost to the last he showed signs of ability to appreciate, in an even fainter degree, what was going on about him. In the closing hour of his life he opened his eyes several times, and at the end turned his head on the pillow. Then all was over.




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