Cause Of Napoleon Bonaparte's Death Essay

2170 words - 9 pages

A. Plan of Investigation
Napoleon’s death has been attributed to many causes: stomach cancer, arsenic poisoning, improper medical treatment, hepatitis, and St. Helena’s climate. The purpose is to ascertain the likeliest cause, and if foul play was involved. With each possible cause, there are different implications, i.e., cancer frees everyone from blame, hepatitis incriminates the British, improper medical treatment the doctors, and poisoning implicates the suspected poisoner. The focus is on four causes - cancer, poisoning, improper treatment, and hepatitis - common explanations for Napoleon’s failing health, and evidence that supports or refutes each case.
B. Summary of Evidence
1. Napoleon’s Last Days:
On May 5th, 1821; Napoleon died after a lengthy sickness, joined by more than six doctors in 1821(Kauffmann 87). He was 51. His health had started to decline March 1821; Antommarchi, Napoleon’s lead physician, introduced a tartar emetic (antimony potassium tartrate, highly toxic) to Napoleon’s diet to help with his persisting ailments. In April, Napoleon was feeling no better, and Montholon, the alleged poisoner of Napoleon who came to St. Helena for Napoleon to dictate notes on his career, thought orgeat, an almond drink would help ease thirst - Antommarchi titled the orgeat ‘orange-flower water’ in his papers, not knowing the true nature of the drink, which contained hydrocyanic acid. Napoleon had toxic substances in his system which he couldn’t expel due to the emetic (Schom 784). Napoleon, unfortunately, looked to Dr. Archibald Arnott, who after seeing the fate of O’Meara and Stokoe (previous doctors who had been dismissed over their diagnoses of hepatitis), and knowing Hudson Lowe, St. Helena’s governor and warden of Napoleon, who wouldn’t accept disreputable diagnoses, reported nothing was wrong as late as April 23rd: Napoleon was faking (McLynn 654). However, by April 25th, Napoleon was coughing up black flecks and blood, and two days later, Napoleon’s fever was higher, with shivering fits and violent hiccups (McLynn 654).
Come May 3rd, Napoleon had alarming symptoms, and at 6 pm, Dr. Arnott recommended ten grains (0.6g) of calomel – the miracle drug of the day, mercury chloride. Antommarchi protested, thinking it would kill him as he hadn’t eaten in 6 days, but was outnumbered. By 11-12 pm came a black evacuation, after which Napoleon drank more orgeat (Antommarchi 150). On May 4th, Napoleon constantly drank orgeat, continued to evacuate substances, but was no longer conscious of bowel movements – it was evident the calomel produced a huge haemorrhage (Antommarchi 151). On May 5th, he vomited the same matter he evacuated, had delirium and couldn’t even speak (Antommarchi 152). He died at 5:51 pm (McLynn 655).
Napoleon’s periodical illnesses were chiefly digestive and were around as far back as 1816 (Johnson 176). In May, Napoleon complained of weak legs, headaches, and chills; in July, sharp side pains; ill again in September,...

Find Another Essay On Cause of Napoleon Bonaparte's Death

Smoking: The Leading Cause of Death and Solutions to Help

1074 words - 5 pages person’s overall health. Millions of Americans have health problems caused by smoking. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause more than 440,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these premature deaths, about

Burns Is a Common Cause of Death in U.S

1390 words - 6 pages Association the rate is at 96.1% with 60% of the surviving victims being Caucasian, 19% African American and 15% being Hispanic. However fire is not the main cause of burn injuries death, 70% of deaths are cause by the smoke inhalation leaving only 30% to die from the actually severity of their burns.(University of Rochester Medical center 2014) Pathophysiology When a patient has sustained a burn injury it goes way deeper than just the skin. In

Diabetes Is 7th-Leading Cause of Death in U.S

773 words - 4 pages In United States, among the top ten disease which cause the most death, diabetes took the seventh lead in 2007 based on the US death certificate (CDC, 2011). Measures are usually taken to minimize the blood sugar level in the human body through insulin injection and more. In the early stage of diabetes, insulin injection is used more frequently in order to reduce the blood sugar level in the body as insulin is produced in small amounts because

Lung Cancer: A Leading Cause of Death Today

1980 words - 8 pages Lung cancer is on of the leading causes of death today. Lung cancer is a type of neoplasm cancer and is given its name but the site of where the cancer is located. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine states, “ Most lung cancers develop in the cells that line the bronchi.” Lung cancer can take many years to develop and some have no idea that they even have it until it grows large enough to impede the function of the lungs. There are two different types

Malaria: A Leading Cause of Death and Disease Worldwide

1070 words - 5 pages gametocytes. The cells burst and release the gametocytes, which fuse together and develop into actively moving ookinetes that form oocysts. These undergo growth and division, producing thousands of active haploid forms called sporozoites, which can be injected into another human through a bite. The life cycle of the malaria parasite repeats itself. Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease worldwide, with approximately 300-500 million cases

Lord of the Flies - A different opinion can be the cause of death

1103 words - 5 pages Lord of the Flies A different opinion can be the cause of death In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, many young British boys tragically get stuck on a desert island where they have to survive on their own and without adults. The boys quickly split into two groups which follow certain strategies to survive on the island, but boys who have different opinions then the leaders of these groups are not tolerated or listened to. Some of

Accident or Suicide? An Analytical Essay on The Cause Of Alaska Young’s Death

1082 words - 5 pages In the novel Looking For Alaska the character Alaska Young is killed in a car crash. During the section of the book that takes place after she dies, two of her best friends, the Colonel and Pudge, attempt to figure out if the crash was an accident or something purposeful. At the conclusion of the story, Pudge and the Colonel decide that there is no way to tell if her death was voluntary or unintentional and that they had "had enough of chasing

Essay regarding the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, from birth to death

791 words - 3 pages Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte, who is also known as the "little Corsican", was born on August 15,1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica. The year before his birth, France had bought Corsica from the Italian city-state of Genoa. Napoleon was the fourth child and second son of Carlo and Letizia Ramolino Buonaparte (later given the French spelling Bonaparte). Napoleon's parents were members of noble Italian families. Carlo Buonaparte was an eloquent

The Cause of Death. Speaks of Erich Maria Remarque's "All quiet on the western front"

788 words - 3 pages from this idealisticopinion to disillusionment throughout the book as they discover the truththat the enemy is just like them, and Paul's friends start being killed one-by-one. This novel is a gripping account of how war is most of the timebloody and horrid. The few who came out of this war were not the peoplethey were when they left. They become pale and emotionless, withoutfeeling or thought. Some killed themselves, they had experienced

Fate is the Leading Cause of Death in Rome and Juliet by William Shakespeare

836 words - 4 pages / Of a despisèd life closed in my breast/By some vile forfeit of untimely death.” (I iv 107-112). This is an example of foreshadowing where the reader also understands what fate will bring to Romeo. At the end of the play, Romeo is banished, and he travels to Mantua, but back in Verona, Lord Capulet wants his daughter to marry County Paris. Juliet will do anything to avoid marrying Paris, including take her life, so she goes to Friar Lawrence

Napolean Bonoparte

1151 words - 5 pages I would like to start this paper out by telling you a few of Napoleon Bonaparte's quotes: "The stupid speak of the past, the wise of the present, and fools of the future." Napoleon said many inspirational things, now by reading this, learn about his life.         Napoleon Bonaparte was born August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica. Napoleon was baptized July 21, 1771. At the age of ten Napoleon was enrolled at Brienne military school. Feb 24

Similar Essays

The Cause Of Gandhi's Death Essay

1467 words - 6 pages million Indians were used to the World War. Gandhi often went on hunger strikes if his people failed to obey his strict rules of non-violence. Many Hindu's mourned for him, and stopped their violent acts at once. This was the cause of his death, because as long as Mohandas was around Pakistan and India were not able to go to war with each other. Mohandas died by a gun shot in his lung, he was killed by a Hindu extremist but he, and his teachings, are very much remembered to this present day. personally one of my favourite quote's of Gandhi was, "An eye for an eye? It will only make the whole world go blind.."

Colic: The Leading Cause Of Equine Death

2381 words - 10 pages fermentation patters and could result in a metabolic disorder. With 15 percent of deaths, colic is the number one cause of death in the U.S. (Dougal et al., 2013). When there are high levels of soluble carbohydrate in their feed, for instance from grain or starch and simple sugars, the regular enzyme breakdown occurs in the small intestine and is packed with fermentable starch/sugar. From here it gets passed on to the large intestine for microbial

Dead Poet’s Society: Cause Of Neil’s Death

838 words - 4 pages guidance. Because of his dad's parenting, Neil is able to discipline himself. Being able to work hard and having self control gives him initiative, which could be an advantage for the rest of his life. Strict discipline is acceptable until it crosses over to overwhelmingly rigorous. Neil’s father is immensely harsh when raising Neil, which cause unfortunate repercussions. Mr. Perry controls Neil and commands him to do as he is told when raising Neil

Atropine Poisoning: Was It The Cause Of Dimmesdale's Death?

682 words - 3 pages ATROPINE POISONING: WAS IT THE CAUSE OF DIMMESDALE’S DEATH? In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jemshed A. Khan claims that Roger Chillingworth poisoned Arthur Dimmesdale with the drug atropine in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Certainly, Chillingworth was “a man of skill in all Christian modes of physical science'; (Hawthorne 65) and was very knowledgeable about medicinal roots and herbs