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Eric Bergeson: General Grant’s throat and a tonsillectomy

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In 1885, Gen. U. S. Grant was dying of throat cancer. The former president was broke. Absent Social Security, which didn’t yet exist, he knew that his wife Julia would be left destitute when he died.

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Gen. Grant’s friend Mark Twain was aware of the great man’s financial troubles. He also knew from reading Grant’s letters that the former general had a gift with the pen.

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