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The Capitol Architect Wanted to Reanimate George Washington’s Dead Body (Zombie President?)
IO9.com Secret History ^ | Jan 28, 2012 | Lauren Davis

Posted on 01/29/2012 10:18:30 AM PST by DogByte6RER

The Capitol architect wanted to reanimate George Washington’s dead body

Photobucket

George Washington may have been America's first president, but was he nearly America's first zombie-in-chief? If William Thornton, physician and designer of the US Capitol, had had his way, Washington's body would have been subjected a scientific experiment designed to bring the deceased former president back to life.

In December 1799, 67-year-old George Washington took a ride through the wet winter rain and, shortly afterward, developed a fever and a sore throat. When his condition became so bad that Washington could no longer swallow the concoctions of vinegar, molasses, and butter with which he was trying to treat himself, Washington called in his livestock and slave overseer, who drained three-quarters of a pint of blood from the ailing man. When bleeding failed to have the desired effect, three physicians were called in, all of whom recommended emetics and — you guessed it — more blood to be drawn. Over the brief course of his treatment, Washington's stomach and bowels were repeatedly evacuated and the puncture-happy docs took nearly two and a half liters of blood. Just two days after that fateful morning ride, Washington closed his eyes for the final time, after telling his doctors, "I die hard, but I am not afraid to go."

But Washington's body was not buried immediately after his death. The president may not have feared death, but he did fear being buried alive. Before he died, he commanded his secretary, Tobias Lear, to make sure that he would not be entombed less than three days after he died. In accordance with Washington's wishes, his body was put on ice until it could be moved to the family vault.

That's where the story gets a little strange. The morning after Washington died, his step-granddaughter Elizabeth Law arrived with a family friend, William Thornton. History best remembers Thornton as the architect who created the original design for the Capitol building, but he was also a trained physician, having studied at the University of Edinburgh. Although he did not practice medicine for much of his life, Thornton always had a keen interest in the workings of the human body, and he suggested a novel method for resurrecting the fallen warrior. Thornton told Washington's wife Martha that he wanted to thaw Washington's body by the fire and have it rubbed vigorously with blankets. Then he planned to perform a tracheotomy so he could insert a bellows into Washington's throat and pump his lungs full of air, and finally to give Washington an infusion of lamb's blood. Friends and family declined Thornton's mad scientist offer, not because they thought his solution impossible, but because they felt the nation's first president should rest in peace.

So what gave Thornton the idea to play Dr. Frankenstein? Susan E. Lederer, author of the book Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in Twentieth-Century America, notes that many physicians in the late 18th Century believed that lamb's blood had special properties, and believes Thornton meant to give Washington's circulatory system "a spark of vitality" that might jolt him back to life. But Paul Schmidt, in his article "Forgotten transfusion history: John Leacock of Barbados" published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that the University of Edinburgh may have been on the forefront of transfusion research (unless you count all those transfusion experiments in 17th-Century France). Thornton wasn't the only Edinburgh alum thinking about blood transfusions during that time period. Philip Syng Physick, an earlier Edinburgh grad (who incidentally practiced in Philadelphia, where Thornton himself briefly practiced medicine), is reported to have performed a human blood transfusion as early as 1795. John Leacock, a later graduate, performed successful transfusion experiments, believing an infusion of blood would "excite" the recipient heart. Leacock's experiments in turn influenced James Blundell, who is credited with introducing the process to the mainstream medical community. Schmidt wonders if the Edinburgh community took particular interest in those early French transfusion experiments, planting the idea in Thornton's mind.

Oddly, reanimation wasn't Thornton's only thwarted plan for Washington's body. Thornton secretly included a burial vault in his designs for the Capitol, hoping that it would be Washington's final resting place. After Washington's coffin was placed in the family vault, Martha did agree that he could be later removed to the Capitol, on the grounds that her body could join his when she died. Alas, the transfer of burial chambers, like zombie Washington himself, was not meant to be.

Story discovered via Holly Tucker's book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, which details a series of blood transfusion experiments undertaken more than a century before Washington's death.

Sources:

Lamb, Brian, Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites, PublicAffairs (2010).

Lederer, Susan E., Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in Twentieth-Century America, Oxford University Press, USA (2008).

Schmidt, PJ, "Forgotten transfusion history: John Leacock of Barbados," BMJ. 2002 December 21; 325(7378): 1485–1487.

Scwarz, Frederic D., "The Death of Washington," American Heritage, 1999 December; Vol 50(8).

Tucker, Holly, Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, W. W. Norton & Company (2011).


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; History; Miscellaneous; Science; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: betteroffdead; frankenstein; georgewashington; godsgravesglyphs; livingdead; napl; potus; reanimator; undead; walkingdead; zday; zombie; zombies
Zombies

There were no zombie presidents in 1799, yet ... there seems to be lots of Obama Zombies in 2012

1 posted on 01/29/2012 10:18:43 AM PST by DogByte6RER
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More coverage at:

Zombie George Washington: How a mad scientist planned to reanimate the first president with lamb’s blood after he died

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093406/Zombie-George-Washington-How-mad-scientist-planned-reanimate-president-lambs-blood-died.html#ixzz1ks3XRXPf


2 posted on 01/29/2012 10:20:34 AM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

More than I wanted to know about that. :(


3 posted on 01/29/2012 10:22:28 AM PST by Lady Lucky (A tea party in name only is worse than no tea party at all.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

ping


4 posted on 01/29/2012 10:23:31 AM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: SunkenCiv

Gods Graves & Glyphs? You decide ... ping


5 posted on 01/29/2012 10:24:41 AM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

A white slave owner who spent his life fighting for lower taxes and limited government?

Washington’s radical extremism wouldn’t fly in Obamaland. He’d never get elected.


6 posted on 01/29/2012 10:39:27 AM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: Lady Lucky

Why not come up with a conservative composite being like Cobra did with Serpentor in the 80s GI Joe cartoon?


7 posted on 01/29/2012 10:45:15 AM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: DogByte6RER

As a bit of irony, William Thornton received his medical degree from the university of Aberdeen in 1784, which was just about 4 years before Victor Frankenstein was attending school at the University of Ingolstadt.


8 posted on 01/29/2012 11:03:02 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: DogByte6RER; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...


9 posted on 01/29/2012 11:12:21 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: DogByte6RER; Pharmboy; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Heh... this is pretty creepy, so, yeah, good one. Thanks DogByte6RER.

Too bad it didn't come out around Halloween.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


10 posted on 01/29/2012 11:21:09 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in posession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


11 posted on 01/29/2012 11:24:55 AM PST by tumblindice
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To: DogByte6RER

I’m good with it. A reanimated George Washington could not possibly be any worse than what we have right now, even if they put Abby Normal’s brain in him.


12 posted on 01/29/2012 11:34:40 AM PST by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: tumblindice

BBbRrRrraAAaaaiIiinNNNzzZzzZZ...


13 posted on 01/29/2012 11:41:09 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I just hope we can change things back once this putz is unemployed.


14 posted on 01/29/2012 11:41:52 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: wally_bert

THISSSSSS I COMMAND!


15 posted on 01/29/2012 11:51:13 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hearing the call of the Dreadful, Elizabeth and Darcy merely looked at one another in awkward silence, until the latter reached both arms around her. She was frozen-”What does he mean to do?” she thought.
But his intentions were respectable, for Darcy merely meant to retrieve his Brown Bess, which Elizabeth had affixed to
her back during her walk.
She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him. “Your balls, Mr. Darcy?”
He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, “They belong to you, Miss Bennet.” Upon this, their colour changed, and they were forced to look away from one another, lest they laugh.”


16 posted on 01/29/2012 11:53:27 AM PST by tumblindice ("ghetto masses")
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To: Future Snake Eater

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36MKP3HaxgU

We would know more about the composite person’s bios than we do about the current man-child pharoh.


17 posted on 01/29/2012 11:55:22 AM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: tumblindice

Gotta read that book.


18 posted on 01/29/2012 11:59:09 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows; DogByte6RER; RandallFlagg

Nobody pinged Randall Flagg to this?

Shame... slipping guys, slipping.


19 posted on 01/29/2012 12:10:40 PM PST by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Gods, Graves & Ghouls?

[WTF?]

LOL


20 posted on 01/29/2012 12:13:58 PM PST by Salamander (If I'm too rough, tell me.....I'm so scared your little head will come off in my hands.)
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To: tumblindice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOr11W8Lm6I&feature=related


21 posted on 01/29/2012 12:14:28 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: DogByte6RER

Stole that!

:D


22 posted on 01/29/2012 12:17:07 PM PST by Salamander (If I'm too rough, tell me.....I'm so scared your little head will come off in my hands.)
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To: DogByte6RER

*** developed a fever and a sore throat. When his condition became so bad that Washington could no longer swallow the concoctions of vinegar, molasses, and butter with which he was trying to treat himself,***

My doctor diagnosed me with quinsey thirty five years ago. He also said this is what killed George Washington.

It was great knowing I was going to die! Tonsillectomy stopped that!


23 posted on 01/29/2012 12:18:40 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: DogByte6RER
Thornton secretly included a burial vault in his designs for the Capitol, hoping that it would be Washington's final resting place.

Pretty sure that wasn't any lurid secret.

Congress expected Washington to be buried in the Capitol burial vault, but Washington's own will provided for interment at Mount Vernon.

24 posted on 01/29/2012 12:23:30 PM PST by x
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To: Slings and Arrows
Photobucket Abe Lincoln Photobucket Ben Franklin Photobucket Thomas Jefferson
25 posted on 01/29/2012 12:24:30 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

On the bright side, they can testify before SCOTUS on original intent.


26 posted on 01/29/2012 12:33:05 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Zombies No Brains
27 posted on 01/29/2012 12:52:22 PM PST by null and void (Day 1104 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: DogByte6RER

you really didn’t have to post those pics. Really, you didn’t.


28 posted on 01/29/2012 2:20:12 PM PST by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
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To: SunkenCiv

Well, other than the Thornton stuff that I had never seen before, everything else as reported goes along with what I know, so it is in all likelihood accurate.


29 posted on 01/29/2012 4:32:12 PM PST by Pharmboy (She turned me into a Newt...)
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To: DogByte6RER

It took a couple hundred years, but medicine can now revive people who have died if their body temperature is taken down to something like 40 degrees.

People who drown in icy water can be dead for many minutes and can be brought back to life.


30 posted on 01/29/2012 4:50:55 PM PST by garjog
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To: CholeraJoe; Delta 21; Nikas777; NoAmnesty; Yorlik803; TheOldLady; The Comedian; OB1kNOb; ...

Thanks to Darksheare for the ping.
31 posted on 01/29/2012 5:51:48 PM PST by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: RandallFlagg; SunkenCiv; Darksheare; Salamander; DogByte6RER
The Capitol Architect Wanted to Reanimate George Washington’s Dead Body

I got a question.

How do you reanimate a live body?

Don't answer if it's gonna cost me extra.

32 posted on 01/29/2012 6:08:49 PM PST by bigheadfred (Bang a gong)
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To: DogByte6RER

I, for one, welcome our newly awakened undead Commander-in-Chief.

...at least he’s a patriot...


33 posted on 01/29/2012 6:50:50 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: DogByte6RER

You can’t fool me! That isn’t Thomas Jefferson; clearly, that’s Christopher Walken!


34 posted on 01/29/2012 6:54:22 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: bigheadfred

Ummm...why would you want to reanimate a “live body?” Come back with a dead one and then we can talk!


35 posted on 01/29/2012 6:56:02 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: bigheadfred

Cue the Bee Gees...


36 posted on 01/29/2012 7:34:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: Pharmboy

William must have been Billy Bob’s ancestor.


37 posted on 01/29/2012 7:38:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: Salamander

It all came about because of his eerie false teeth.


38 posted on 01/29/2012 7:44:20 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: Grizzled Bear; SunkenCiv

Sometimes a writers rite doesn’t seem right. Not, though, like I would kick a dead carcass, cadaver, stiff....


39 posted on 01/29/2012 7:54:41 PM PST by bigheadfred (Bang a gong)
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To: bigheadfred

:’)


40 posted on 01/29/2012 8:09:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: bigheadfred; RandallFlagg; SunkenCiv; Salamander; DogByte6RER

“How do you reanimate a live body?”

Coffee vodka depth charges.
Or someone very good looking asking to use the phone at an unexpected moment.
OR this one, [child]”I think I’m gonna frow up!” *inside vehicle, center lane, wall to wall traffic or on expensive furniture.

That reanimates the living quite well.
My coffee is in no way involved.
Honest.


41 posted on 01/30/2012 2:02:23 AM PST by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: Darksheare

Coffee vodka depth charges ...

Please provide me a recipe for this concoction.

Many years ago, a friend of mine served me Mexican coffees all night. The Mexican coffees consisted of a shot of espresso, a shot of Kahlua and a shot of Tequila all together served in an espresso cup.

I was so d@mn drunk ... but I couldn’t sleep a wink because of all of the caffeine! The true definition of the living dead.


42 posted on 01/30/2012 6:02:07 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Well, it’s done like a regular depth charge drink, only the main base is coffee.
Not much else to it.

Unless you use my coffee.


43 posted on 01/31/2012 5:34:06 AM PST by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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