Saturday, June 09, 2007

Zachary Taylor-1784-1850..He lived his life as a soldier moving all the time, as President one place was fine, but he moved again after death.etc.

Old Rough and ready
These first two pictures are of him around 1848 or so. However the photo below was of him in 1850. He aged greatly and was not as strong as his image implied
Old rough and ready he was called. He was a general who had been in the military since the days of the War of 1812. By the time he was nominated for President. (He did not even know he had been nominated as he sent back the letter as it was short postage!)
He was always on the move all his life. Suddenly he was President of the United States and a Whig! The entire country was at war with itself it seemed.
It looked as though Civil War would break out. Taylor while a slave owner was not going to allow a state to leave the Union. He was ready to lead the army himself if need be. Everyone was on pins and needles as to what would happen next. What happened next opened up a slot that would be filled by Abraham Lincoln 10 years later.

On July 4, 1850 a very tired and worn Taylor was at a special ceremony at the base of what would become the Washington Monument. It was beastly hot that day, and Taylor drank large amounts of iced water. When he returned to the White House he announced that he was very hungry and ate a large amounts of cherries and cold milk. Soon after he started to suffer from stomach pains.

As per Wikipedia

The cause of Zachary Taylor's death is not well understood, nor is it well documented. On July 4, 1850, Taylor was diagnosed by his physicians with cholera morbus, a term that included diarrhea and dysentery but not true cholera. Cholera, typhoid fever, and food poisoning have all been indicated as the source of the president's ultimately fatal gastroenteritis. More specifically, a hasty snack of iced milk, cold cherries and pickled cucumbers consumed at an Independence Day celebration might have been the culprit.[2] By July 9, Taylor was dead.

There is some strong evidence that Taylor died from complications of heat stroke. On July 4, 1850, the weather in Washington was hot and rather humid. Taylor was there to preside over ceremonies at the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument. Taylor was sporting a thick coat, vest, high-collared shirt, and a top hat. Shortly after arriving, Taylor complained that he was very thirsty. He went to the reception table and downed a large amount of water directly from a pitcher.
Since the water was sitting in the sun, the idea of cholera is a possibility. But Taylor exhibited classic symptoms of heat stroke, particularly red, flushed skin on the face. Records also indicate that Taylor was having trouble walking and exhibiting slurred speech. At no time while outside did anyone loosen or remove Taylor's clothing. Only after returning to the White House was some of his clothing loosened. It was only a short time before Taylor collapsed.[

At this point his clothing was removed, but internal organs had already been damaged. In fact, his doctors were mystified as to the cause of multiple organ failure. Medical sciences had not addressed heat stroke and the internal damage caused by it. According to author Charles Panati, Taylor actually awoke briefly and said- "I should not be surprised if this were to result in my death." He took a few sips of iced milk, again adding to the possibility of cholera. He lapsed again into unconsciousness and died on July 9, 1850.

Since Taylor was dead, his Vice President Millard Filmore took over and help solve the issue with Congress..Leading to the Compromise of 1850. Which just held off the Civil War by 10 years...But for the moment the crisis was solved and everyone let go a tremendous sigh of relief.

His funeral went on for days as the body was finally stored at the Congressional cemetery in Washington DC. After that it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Then in 1926 it was finally moved to its present location. One would think that was enough moving for a dead President. But it was not!!

There were questions if someone tried to get the old boy out of the picture quickly to avoid civil war....There were talks of poisoning and finally the descendants of the Presidents pushed for the old soldier to be moved one more time!

The President had not been embalmed and the coffin suffered from a large amount of bodily fluids that had basically rotted the iron coffin. But with great skill they got the rotted coffin out and one more time old Rough and Ready, who really looked that way by now was on one more journey. To the research lab and an autopsy that should had been done 141 years earlier.

I return to Wikipedia

In 1991, Taylor's body was exhumed, and Larry Robinson and Frank Dyer conducted an autopsy at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At the exhumation, observers noted that Taylor's body, while somewhat decomposed, was still instantly recognizable as the 12th President — Taylor's brow ridge remained intact. Investigating the possibility of assassination by means of deliberate poisoning, Dyer and Robinson detected traces of arsenic and sent the results to a Kentucky medical examiner, who determined the quantity of arsenic present — there is a faint amount of arsenic present naturally in the human body — was several hundred times less than there would have been had he been poisoned with arsenic..

After this Taylor was put back into his crypt and has for the moment not moved!