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He caught a chill riding horseback several hours in the snow while inspecting his Mount Vernon farm. The next morning it developed into acute laryngitis, and the doctors were called in. Their response was to bleed him heavily four times, a process of cutting one’s arm to let the “bad blood” out. They also had him gargle with a mixture of molasses, vinegar and butter. Despite their best efforts, the doctors could not save former President George Washington, and he died this day, Dec. 14, 1799, at the age of 67. After saying, “Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go” and “I should have been glad, had it pleased God, to die a little easier, but I doubt not it is for my good,” George Washington, at about 11 p.m., uttered his last words: “Father of mercies, take me unto thyself.”

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