A Quart of Gin Leads to Death

Antique bottle of gin
Antique bottle of gin

I haven’t posted a crazy story in a while, so here is one from November 14th, 1893. I found this in the Washington Post.

In a spirit of bravado Saturday afternoon, George H. Shorter, a laborer living as 1208 Ninth street southeast, made a wager with several other colored laborers that he could drink a quart of gin with one “pull” out of the bottle. He had a reputation in that end of the city for an inordinate capacity for the peculiarly fiery whisky, rum, and gin, which is dispensed at many of the bars in that section, but nevertheless the trial was made to decide the bet.

Shorter, who was a very black man, about thirty years old, and of almost herculean build, bought a quart bottle of the white liquor, placed the neck of it between his big, bulging lips and grunted with satisfaction as the bottle was drained to the last drop. While he was accepting the congratulations of the crowd which had gathered about, regarding Shorter as “some punkins” because of his feat, and before the money he had won could be turned over to him, he began gasping for breath, reeled, and the plunged heavily forward on his face.

Ordinary methods failing to arouse him, he was carried to his home and Dr. Joseph A. Mudd called. His efforts at resuscitation proved unavailing, and he recommend that Shorter be taken to the Washington Asylum Hospital. He was placed in a ward there and closely watched throughout Saturday night and Sunday, but he didn’t regain consciousness, and died a victim of his foolhardiness. Coroner Woodward was notified of Shorter’s death, but probably will consider an inquest unnecessary.

Yeesh … not a good way to go, guzzling a bottle of gin. Sadly, alcohol consumption similar to this is not terribly rare on college campuses across the country. Also, gin is gross.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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