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Cause of death of Sen. John Fairfield (D-ME) (1797-1847)

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  • D.J. Jones
    Copied from an article on Gov & Sen. Fairfield. A rather horrific death by medical misadventure. ============================================== Mr. Fairfield
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2005
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      Copied from an article on Gov & Sen. Fairfield. A rather horrific
      death by medical "misadventure."
      ==============================================
      Mr. Fairfield died December 24, 1847, and it was believed by many
      that his death was the result of an error on the part of his
      physician. He had a chronic trouble of the knee joints, occasioning
      some lameness, but not enough to prevent his walking about. The day
      before his death he walked to the Senate chamber as usual. In the
      morning of the 24th his physician punctured the dropsical sacks
      surrounding each knee and some discharges took place, not so much,
      however, as from a like operation the year before; but on this
      occasion he injected into the incisions a solution of sulphate of
      copper, which being kept in the capsule too long was absorbed into
      the circulation, causing intense agony, a gradual paralysis, and
      death at eight o'clock in the evening of the same day. The
      announcement of his death was made in the Senate by his associate,
      Senator Bradbury, who spoke with great emotion upon the death of his
      colleague and pronounced a truthful and appropriate eulogy upon his
      life and character.

      Regards,
      --D.J. Jones
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