Taylor, a decorated soldier gulped large quantities of cherries and iced milk before downing several glasses of water after returning to the White House.
Outbreaks of Cholera, a deadly disease caused by bacteria, occurred frequently during the summer months in hot, humid Washington during the 1800s, when sewage systems were primitive.
President Taylor, nicknamed ‘Old Rough’,’ was suspected was suspected to have drunk contaminated water or iced milk, but other quarters claimed he died of gastroenteritis caused by the highly acidic cherries combined with fresh milk.
Others suspected food poisoning or typhoid fever. Taylor died on the evening of July 9, after four days of suffering from symptoms that included severe cramping, diarrhoea, nausea and dehydration and his personal physicians concluded he succumbed to cholera.
He died just 16 months into his presidency.