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Ulysses S Grant: Cigars, Cocaine and Cancer

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

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ULYSSES S. GRANT (1822-1885)
OUR 18TH PRESIDENT (1869-1877)

With former President Jimmy Carter’s dramatic victory over cancer in the news, it makes one wonder how many other presidents have had a brush with cancer. As it turns out, several of them have experienced this disease first-hand, either while in office or afterward. But only Ulysses S. Grant actually perished from the disease.

President Grant died on July 23, 1885, from throat cancer. Grant was a notorious, lifelong cigar-lover. He not only smoked them but chewed them – as many as a dozen a day by his own admission. Historians report that once the public discovered his love of cigars, he received more than 20,000 as gifts. Grant was also a heavy drinker at times during his life.

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GENERAL GRANT'S HANDSOME MAHOGANY CIGAR CASE WITH A BRASS SHIELD MONOGRAMMED "USG-1862". THIS PROFOUND RELIC WAS PRESENTED TO RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX ABOUT A QUARTER-CENTURY AGO.

Grant’s wife Julia remembers her husband was eating peaches – a favorite of his – when he first noticed a problem with his throat. “He proceeded to eat the dainty morsel; then he started up as if in great pain and exclaimed, ‘Oh my. I think something has stung me from that peach.’” Unfortunately, he ignored that warning.

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THE GRANT WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES 24 DIFFERENT FLOWERS REPRESENTING 24 DIFFERENT STATES. THIS ELEGANT 9.25" STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE COLLECTION OF ULYSSES AND JULIA GRANT IS STILL IN PRISTINE CONDITION AND PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION.

The victim of a shady investment scheme, Grant found himself broke later in life. Knowing he was dying of throat cancer, he accepted a lucrative offer from his longtime admirer Mark Twain to write and publish his memoirs. Despite Grant’s terrible pain and failing health, they worked together for five weeks in a cottage on the grounds of the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in upstate New York. The house is now the Grant Cottage Historic Site, where several of his personal effects are on display.

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GRANT COTTAGE STATE HISTORICAL SITE ON THE SLOPE OF MOUNT McGREGOR IN WILTON, NEW YORK. THIS COZY COTTAGE IS WHERE GRANT COMPLETED HIS MEMOIRS BEFORE PASSING AWAY IN HIS BED ON JUNE 16, 1885. ORIGINAL FURNISHINGS, DECOR AND PERSONAL ITEMS ARE ON DISPLAY IN THE COTTAGE.

Perhaps the most interesting item is the glass of cocaine hydro chlorate solution, which Grant called his “cocaine water.” Swallowing small amounts of the liquid was the only treatment available to him. By the time Grant sought medical help for the pain and swelling in his mouth, the cancer was untreatable. But the cocaine solution helped alleviate the pain in his throat. Over time, the cocaine in the solution has settled to the bottom of the glass. Tim Welch, director of the Grant Historic Site, says, “Every year the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation measures this and makes sure that none of it is gone.”

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THIS CHINESE PORCELAIN FISH PLATE IS ONE OF ONLY 24 ORDERED FOR THE GRANT SERVICE, WHICH THEY SELECTED WHILE TOURING EUROPE. THIS UNIQUE PATTERNED PLATE IS IN REMARKABLE CONDITION AND PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION.

Ulysses Grant passed away just a few days after his memoirs were completed. His family reportedly received more than $450,000 from the sale of 300,000-plus copies of his memoirs, an inordinately huge sum of money for this period of history.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

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