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SENTRY JOURNAL » bailout, bledletting, death, George Washington, Healthcare Bill, Taxes, unemployment » Washington Bleeds

Washington Bleeds

by RightHandMan

On December 13, 1799 George Washington found himself with a swollen throat, having a hard time breathing, and a fever.  The physicians were sent for and the clerk of the house, Albin Rawlins started the practice of bleeding the general at dawn.  The first physician to arrive was Dr. Craik.

Dr. James Craik had received his degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  In 1777 his old friend George Washington offered Dr. Craik a medical officer position in the American Army.  Eventually he became the Chief Hospital Physician and Surgeon of the American Army.  When he responded to the call of George Washington on that December morning in 1799 Dr. Craik was 69 years old. Dr. Craik, seeing the president’s condition worsening, administered bloodletting both at mid-morning and the early afternoon.

At around 3:30 pm the young friend of the first president, Dr. Elisha Dick arrived at Mount Vernon followed half an hour later by Washington’s life-long friend Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown.

Dr. Brown was well respected for his medical knowledge, so much so that Dr. Craik actually told Martha Washington to fetch Dr. Brown if things worsened.  Like Dr. Craik, Dr. Brown also studied medicine in Scotland. Dr. Brown was 51 years old.

Dr. Dick was the youngest of the physicians at 37, and received his education from the University of Pennsylvania’s school of medicine.  When he arrived Mr. Washington had already lost 32 ounces of blood since that morning due to bloodletting.  Dr. Dick strenuously recommended that they perform a tracheotomy in order to relieve the strain involved in breathing and asphyxiation.  The other doctors decided against the practice calling it too radical.

Today there is little doubt that the tracheotomy would have been more beneficial to the potential of Washington’s recovery than the action that the doctors took.  Dr. Dick was animated afterward, published a book on the disease “Cynanche Trachealis” (the name given to Washington’s disease), and gave his unfavorable opinion of both Dr. Craik and Dr. Brown on many occasions.

It wasn’t until later that the well respected Dr. Brown met with Dr. Dick and went on to write a letter to Dr. Craik saying:

Sir: I have lately met Dr. Dick again in consultation and high opinion that I formed of him when we were in conference last month, concerning the situation Of our Illustrious friend, has been confirmed. You remember how, by his clear reasoning and evident knowledge of the cause of certain symptoms after the examination of the General, he assured us that it was not really quinsy, which we supposed it to be, but a violent inflammation of the membranes of the throat, which it had almost closed, and which if not immediately arrested would result in his death. You must remember he was averse to bleeding the General, and I have often thought that if we had acted accordingly to his suggestion, when he said, “he needs all his strength – bleeding will diminish it”, and taken no more blood from him, our good friend might have been alive now. But we were governed by the best light we had: we thought we were right, and so we were justified.

Over the last year we have seen attempts to stop the illnesses of this country by the intervention of ideas that are not in our nature.  Our banks and businesses were bailed out by the federal government, a socialistic style health care bill was signed into law, and “stimulus” dollars were irresponsibly spent in order to help rebound an economy by the same government that regulated it to death.  Meanwhile our national debt is large beyond comprehension, we’re told we need to be taxed more, and that yesterday’s unemployment nightmares are now our norm.  Our liberties are trickling away and the life of this nation goes with it.  WE HAVE BLED ENOUGH!

Toward the end of Washington’s life he was unable to speak and barely able to breathe because his larynx had completely closed.  We are not yet at that point!  We must act on behalf of the late Dr. Dick and perform a procedure which opens our throat, which gives us hope for life.  We must speak against the procedures of those to whom we have entrusted our country to.  Let our voices be heard and let us be well again so that we too may speak of this nation the same words that last escaped President Washington’s mouth, “Tis well!”


Filed under: bailout, bledletting, death, George Washington, Healthcare Bill, Taxes, unemployment

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  • Forgotten Liberty April 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Wow, what a great post! You are exactly right. We have bled enough and if we continue to let our politicians bleed us we will eventually be too weak to recover, just like President Washington.

  • John Carey April 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Excellent post Right. As always your work is high quality.