Martha Washington Left George Dead

George Washington's untimely death on December 14, 1799 was the result of quackery and not disease.

In Washington's day, 'medicine' was still a crude, quasi-science. Anesthesia was a mallet shot to the head, and the idea that disease was caused by microscopic animals was subject to ridicule.

So when George got a sore throat he couldn't shake he was 'bled' to death in the centuries failed method releasing 'humors' thought to congest the body.

Desperate to keep the great man from vanishing into history, architect William Thornton had a plan.

Thornton rushed to Washington's plantation to pitch his idea to Martha. Bill wanted to thaw Washington's body by the fire, rubbing it with blankets, iinsert a fire bellows into George's trachea to pump air back into his lungs and transfuse a few quarts of lamb's blood into the dead presidents body. Thornton promised the process would juice up George in 'a spark of vitality' that would bring him back to life.

Luckily for the country, and Washington's memory, Martha rejected the plan. Martha correctly asserted that after George had spent decades at war, and still more years launching the country, he well deserved a rest.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, incidentally, was not to be published for another 20 years.