It had been Dr. Bryant's intention, as he repeatedly told me, at the proper time to publish a full account of the operations on President Cleveland, but for various reasons he delayed writing it. Unfortunately he died unexpectedly in April, 1914, leaving his task undone. Almost all those who took part are also dead. Commodore Benedict, Dr. Erdmann and myself are now the only ones still living who were on board the Oneida in July, 1893, and Dr. Erdmann and I the only persons who were present at the two operations. Hence I felt it a duty to make the facts matter of public record before all of us had passed away.
Accordingly I wrote to Mrs. Thomas J. Preston, Jr., (formerly Mrs. Grover Cleveland) asking her consent to the publication of the facts in the case as a contribution to the political, financial and surgical history of our country. After a personal interview she kindly acceded to my suggestion.
For permission to republish the article I have to thank Mr. George H. Lorimer, Editor of the Saturday Evening Post, in which magazine the article appeared on September 22, 1917.
At the beginning of the article I have alluded to "Holland," Mr. E. J. Edwards. In a letter published in the Philadelphia Press of September 26, 1917, he states in detail how he learned the facts. It does not seem to me to be necessary to reproduce his narrative here as it is not pertinent to my story. Those who are curious can consult the original.
I have corrected one or two minor errors in the original paper and with his kind permission have added considerable new matter chiefly from the article by Mr. Robert L. O'Brien.
One satisfaction in publishing this article is that it enables me to vindicate Mr. Edwards' character as a truthful newspaper correspondent. His veracity was violently assailed. "Fakir" and "calamity liar" were among the obnoxious epithets applied to him. After suffering in silence for twenty-four years his vindication is now complete.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS KEEN.
November 15th, 1917.