A few months ago i posted an amazing print by Etsy artist Jason Heuser titled George Washington: Zombie Hunter. Well, a Zombie-Thon reader replied with a link to a book by Holly Tucker, suggesting that George Washington may instead have been our first zombie president:
When Washington’s granddaughter, Mrs. Thomas Law, arrived the next morning, she brought with her a man who suggested the unthinkable. Dr. William Thornton, best known as architect of the U.S. Capitol, speculated that the president could be revived if both blood and air were returned to his corpse. Dr. Thornton suggested that Washington be warmed up “by degrees and by friction” so his blood might be coaxed to move once again through his body. Then Thornton proposed to “open a passage to the lungs by the trachea, and to inflate them with air, to produce artificial respiration, and to transfuse blood into him from a lamb.”
Warm blankets and lamb’s blood? Sounds like a totally legit procedure to me! And yet, somehow, the president’s family didn’t approve. Go figure. Anyway, you can read all about this, and many other tales of quackery, in Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution.