Benjamin Harrison: An Unpleasant Cold

a cold and toothache
As President, Harrison became tired and sick (though not seriously) on a trip to Vermont and New York in the summer of 1891 1a. SEE BELOW
On August 2, 1891 Harrison wrote to Secretary of State James G. Blaine 1a:
  Grand Union Hotel
Sarasota Springs, NY
Dear Mr. Blaine,
I expected to have written you yesterday according to promise, but the fatigue of the reception was such that I could not well do so.

On my way to Bennington I contracted a cold, probably by speaking in the rain in Albany, which first affected my bowels and then settled in my face affecting two molars, and giving me a bad time of it for two days.

I had hard work to get through the exercises at Bennington, and reached here in an unhappy condition. Today I feel somewhat better.

Blaine was an avid seeker of the Presidency. In the event Harrison had died from this minor illness, Blaine as Secretary of State would have been in line for the office after the Vice President.

But poor Blaine -- not only did Harrison live, but Vice President Levi Morton survived to age 96.

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.144

    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.

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