James Buchanan (President: 1857 1861)

[2010] New Orleans Mardi Gras Mystick Krewe of Comus Secrets Revealed By Mimi L. Eustis  857, the year the secret Mystick Krewe of Comus was founded in New Orleans, should be noted. This is before the Civil War. This is before the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. On February 23, 1857, United States President James Buchanan was poisoned at the National Hotel in Washington, DC. The story goes that President Buchanan, as was customary with men of his station, had a table reserved for himself and friends in the dining room at the National Hotel. The President was known to be an inveterate tea drinker. In fact, Northern people rarely drink anything else in the evening; Southern men prefer coffee. To carry out their intentions towards Buchanan and his Northern friends, arsenic was sprinkled into the bowls containing the tea and lump sugar, which were then set on the table where he was to sit. The pulverized sugar in the bowls  used for coffee on the other tables was kept free from the poison. Not a single Southern man was affected or harmed. Fifty or sixty persons dined at that table that evening, and as nearly as can be learned, about thirty-eight died from the effects of the poison. President Buchanan was poisoned but, because of knowledge he had of the symptoms, he was able to communicate to his physician what may have happened, such as arsenic poisoning, and be treated accordingly, thus saving his life.