President Grover Cleveland’s Secret Surgery on the Steam Yacht Oneida–Magic Masts and Sturdy Ships


The President stood at the rail of his friend’s yacht, the Oneida, watching the waves from Long Island Sound roll and tumble over each other. His fingers itched for his fishing rod. He had fished from this yacht many times in the past, but this time was different. This time, he faced something more serious than how many fish he caught. His tongue explored the contours of the tumor growing on the roof of his mouth. The economic panic threatened the country like his tumor threatened his mouth. He didn’t want to call it cancer. Cancer, the forbidden word that translated into a person just as forbidden. The operation to remove the growth from his mouth had to remain secret for the good of the country and for the good of his family.

From Magic Masts and Sturdy Ships

Too bad he didn’t choose one of George Warrington’s steam yachts, but alas the Warringtons (and many of Chicago’s grandees) were good Republicans…but that would pay off when Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as Engineering Commissioner of Lighthouses and Lightships a decade later.

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