Former First Lady Frances Cleveland Reports Ailing Grover Cleveland is "Breaking Up Generally"

December 4, 1901

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Former First Lady Frances Cleveland Reports Ailing Grover Cleveland is "Breaking Up Generally"
Autograph Letter Signed
3 pages | SMC 2018

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      Background

      The "P.F." - Pater Familias -  "still has trouble with his gut", wife Frances Folsom Cleveland writes, "& thinks it very strange he does not get strong.  He confided to me this morning that he guessed it was a general breaking up!" The gouty  Former President, it would appear, had a duodenal ulcer - among other things. He died in 1908, from heart failure.
      Bryant, of course, was the physician who diagnosed and treated (with two surgeries) Cleveland's secret oral cancer in the White House; no one involved in its removal spoke a word of it until 1917.

      Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pages, octavo, Princeton, December 4, 1901. To Dr. Joseph D. Bryant.
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      Dear Doctor:

      I have meant every day to send you a line to tell you that P.F. is getting on - though not very fast - he thinks.  I stopped telegraphing when temperature, pulse & respiration became normal.  He still has trouble with his gut, & thinks it very strange he does 

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      Page 2 transcript
      not get strong.  He confided to me this morning that he guessed it was a general breaking up!  People who are "breaking up" generally go through pneumonia just that way I suppose! He has been shaved & he sat up a good deal yesterday.  Dr Wickoff [sic] has been quite ill & is not out yet.

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      Page 3 transcript
      I did so enjoy seeing Florence Saturday -- & I am looking forward to a visit from her, if we ever get settled down again.

      When P.F. gets "around" I shall be in town to go up to 48th St to look you all over.

      Love to all --

      Affectionately & Gratefully

      FRANCES F. CLEVELAND.

      Princeton.
      4 Dec. 1901.