President Garfield’s Condition: September 13, 1881, 6:00 PM

Portraits of Garfield's six doctors surround an illustration of the President on his sickbedELBERON, N. J.,
September 13, 1881.

6 P. M.
At the examination of the President at 12 M. to-day the temperature was 98.8°; pulse, 100; respiration, 20. At the evening dressing, 5.30 P. M., the temperature was 98.4°; pulse, 100; respiration, 20. The President was placed in a semi-recumbent position upon an invalid-chair at 11 A. M., and remained one-half hour without fatigue or discomfort. The wounds are making the usual favorable progress, and his general condition is reassuring.


This post is one of a series reenacting the official bulletins released to the public by the physicians to President Garfield during his illness after the shooting on July 2, 1881.

One comment

  1. It would be very interesting, I think, to see what was being communicated by the doctors at this same time to Mrs. Garfield. Garfield had to have lost close to 100 lbs. by this time (If I recall correctly, he was a fairly large man before the shooting), and was basically wasting away with no real sign that the wound from a shooting two months ago was healing, and with mounting evidence that the President was both suffering from an infection, as well as early stage heart problems.

    At what point did Dr. Bliss’s pronouncements go from trying to be encouraging to outright lying to the American people? I’d say this was certainly the case by late August.

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