Cincinnatus Taft

1822 – 1884


Cincinnatus Taft graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York in 1846. He settled in Hartford that same year to work as a homeopathic doctor. Taft became one of the leading physicians of Connecticut. He served as Mark Twain’s family physician. 

As a thin young man, doctors told Taft that his health problems were due to one of his lungs not being in working order. They did not expect him to live more than six months. Determined to live as long as possible, Taft “self-medicated” with a bottle of brandy at every dinner. And he primarily ate rare beefsteak to make blood and tissue. 

When Taft died at age 62, many were certain that the loss of his lung had finally killed him. During his autopsy, it was discovered that both of his lungs were perfectly healthy. Rather his stomach did not produce gastric juices to break down food in order for the nutrients to be absorbed by the body. 

Taft literally died of starvation. His diet to aid in the supposed lung problem instead created gastric problems resulting in his death.

Section 1, Lot 52


Sue Young Homeopathy. The Taft Family and Homeopathy.

King, William Harvey, M.D. Home of Homeopathy and its Institutions in America. Chapter XII: Homeopathy in Connecticut. Accessed at

Photo Credit:

Homeopathy, Photo by Wikidudeman, Public Domain