Speaking at the Dey Mansion on March 26, New Jersey author Louis L. Picone shared his insights on the “cradle-to-grave” life bookends of American presidents. Picone delivered a program on his two books: “The President Is Dead! The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016); and “Where the Presidents Were Born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces” (Schiffer Publishing, 2012).
Among the many anecdotes he shared from his research, Picone spoke about the final hours of George Washington, who died Dec. 14, 1799. Washington, living in Mount Vernon, VA, was stricken suddenly with a high fever and some sort of serious throat infection or blockage. Among the many treatments prescribed at the time to save the first American president, physicians drew a reported 82 ounces of blood from Washington over a period of two days, before he succumbed.
To vividly illustrate this extensive blood drainage to the audience, Picone held up a 64-ounce bottle of vegetable juice and an 18-ounce bottle of barbecue sauce.
Picone said his newest book delves into the deaths of American commander in chiefs, providing an assortment of tragic and sometimes quirky tales of their passing. His book offers details on medical practices as well as an examination of “after-life” topics of funeral protocols and burials.