Monday, July 9, 2012

President Taylor expelled from orifice

1968 Shell Oil Mr. President Coin Game piece #12
I found on a river bank.
This is probably what he felt like on 07/09/1850

On this day in history July 9th, 1850, the 12th US President Zachary Taylor after 16 months in office died of bilious cholera. Folks, that's massive super flu-like diarrhea caused by the cholera disease that was sweeping the nation at that time. In fact, some of my German immigrant relatives died of cholera one month after arriving in the US in the 1850s. Fun times. As was common in those days the President was treated with the very latest medical technology which was bleeding, blistering and opiates. He died and was buried in the Taylor family plot in Louisville KY.
In the 20th century, a conspiracy theory formed maintaining that Zachary was poisoned but this was disproved when they examined his corpse in the 1990s. Much to the embarrassment of the conspiracy theorists, the tests showed he did indeed eat contaminated food and died of cholera. Then they buried him again. I'm sure the treatment methods accelerated the cause of death somewhat as well.

Prior to his Presidency, Zach Taylor, a Kentucky resident, and military man participated in many various Indian Wars up until the 1830s and successfully defended Fort Harrison in the Indiana Territory during the War of 1812 from an attack by Indians under the command of the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Things like this really helped him get elected.

Incidentally, Taylor was the just the second US president to die in office, the first being William Henry Harrison, the 9th President who died nine years earlier from pneumonia and pleurisy after one month in office. WHH was also mainly elected for his military victories against the Indians, specifically the battle at Tippecanoe IN against Tecumseh's Prophet brother Tenskwatawa, his defense against Tecumseh and the British at Ft Meigs in Toledo OH and the defeat of Tecumseh in Canada during the War of 1812. I don't know the full origin of the supposed curse leveled against the American Presidency by Tecumseh and/or his brother, but I would venture to guess that the 2nd President to die in office in less than 10 years would give birth to this especially since both Presidents were adversaries of  Tecumseh's Confederation.

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