Grover Cleveland: Gout

He developed gout as early as 1885, when he was seen limping on his right foot at the funeral of Ulysses Grant 1a. Cleveland's gout plagued him the rest of his life SEE BELOW, abetted, no doubt, by his beer intake. During his third campaign for the Presidency, in 1892, gout enabled him to make only a few public appearances 1a.
As an indication of the torment gout produces, and Cleveland's sense of humor, consider the letter he wrote to a close friend in 1907, at age 70 2a:
If you are at all curious to know how important a member of your body the right thumb is, I advise you to locate a little gout or something of that kind in its first joint. My experience within the last two weeks has convinced me that the deprivation of many things connected with my bodily outfit could be borne with more equanimity than the disablement of the end piece of my right hand. I am delighted to see how well I am writing this morning, notwithstanding bandages and liniments; and I am not allowing myself to be disturbed by apprehensions of retaliatory twinges that may follow my unwonted thumbly exertion.
Cited Sources
  1. Bumgarner, John R. The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Company, 1994.
    a  p.137

    Comment: Devotes one chapter to each President, through Clinton. Written for the layperson, well-referenced, with areas of speculation clearly identified, Dr. Zebra depends heavily on this book. Dr. Bumgarner survived the Bataan Death March and has written an unforgettable book casting a physician's eye on that experience.

  2. Nevins, Allan (ed.). The Letters of Grover Cleveland: 1850-1908. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1933.
    a  p.615

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