Friday, December 30, 2011

Was Zachary Taylor Murdered?

“Thrashed the beans today, about 10 bush. Quite cold.”

Zachary Taylor - 1845
Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States died on July 9, 1850.  Five days earlier, he ate a fresh bowl of cherries and iced milk. It was after this that he complained of stomach pains and diarrhea.  Taylor’s death was officially listed as natural causes.  However, rumors have always persisted that he was poisoned with arsenic.  It was speculated that Taylor was murdered by pro-slavery forces  since he opposed the extension of slavery into any new admitted states.

To settle this matter, Taylor’s family had his body exhumed and tested in 1995.  The results of the tests were negative, refuting the theory that he was poisoned.  Rather, it was concluded that on a hot July day Taylor had attempted to cool himself with large amounts of cherries and iced milk. "In the unhealthy climate of Washington, with its open sewers and flies, Taylor came down with cholera morbus, or acute gastroenteritis as it is now called.  He might have recovered, but his doctors; drugged him with ipecac, calomel, opium and quinine, as well as bleeding him.

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