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Grover Cleveland

Cleveland in 1903 at age 66 by Frederick Gutekunst

In office
March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson
Preceded by Benjamin Harrison
Succeeded by William McKinley

In office
March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889
Vice President Thomas A. Hendricks (1885)
None (1885–1889)
Preceded by Chester A. Arthur
Succeeded by Benjamin Harrison

In office
January 1, 1883 – January 6, 1885
Lieutenant David B. Hill
Preceded by Alonzo B. Cornell
Succeeded by David B. Hill

In office
January 2 – November 20, 1882
Preceded by Alexander Brush
Succeeded by Marcus M. Drake

Sheriff of Erie County, New York
In office

Born March 18, 1837(1837-03-18)
Caldwell, New Jersey
Died June 24, 1908 (aged 71)
Princeton, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Folsom Cleveland
Children Ruth Cleveland
Esther Cleveland
Marion Cleveland
Richard Folsom Cleveland
Francis Grover Cleveland
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Presbyterian

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1860 to 1912. Cleveland's admirers praise him for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.[1] As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats, he opposed imperialism, taxes, subsidies and inflationary policies. As a reformer he also worked against corruption, patronage, and bossism.

Some of Cleveland's actions caused controversy within his own party. He used the presidential veto 584 times, far more than any president before him. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 in order to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions, and his support of the gold standard and opposition to free silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democrats.[2] Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term.[2] Even so, his reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not."[3]


Family and early life

Childhood and family history

Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837, in Caldwell, New Jersey to Richard Falley Cleveland and Ann Neal Cleveland.[4] Cleveland's father was a Presbyterian minister, originally from Connecticut.[5] His mother was from Baltimore, the daughter of a bookseller.[6] On his father's side, Cleveland was descended from English ancestors, the first Cleveland having emigrated to Massachusetts from northeastern England in 1635.[7] On his mother's side, Cleveland was descended from Anglo-Irish Protestants and German Quakers from Philadelphia.[8] He was distantly related to General Moses Cleaveland after whom the city of Cleveland, Ohio, was named.[9]

Cleveland's birthplace, in Caldwell, New Jersey

Cleveland was the fifth of nine children, five sons and four daughters.[6] He was named Stephen Grover in honor of the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell, where his father was pastor at the time, but he did not use the name Stephen in his adult life.[10] In 1841, the Cleveland family moved to Fayetteville, New York, where Grover Cleveland spent much of his childhood.[11] Neighbors would later describe him as "full of fun and inclined to play pranks",[12] and fond of outdoor sports.[13] In 1850, Cleveland's father took a job in Clinton, Oneida County, New York, and the family relocated there.[14] They moved again in 1853 to Holland Patent, New York, near Utica.[15] Not long after the family arrived in Holland Patent, Cleveland's father died.[15]

Education and moving west

Cleveland's education started in grammar school at the Fayetteville Academy.[16] When the family moved to Clinton, Cleveland was enrolled at the Clinton Liberal Academy.[17] After his father died in 1853, Cleveland left school and helped to support his family.[18] Later that year, Cleveland's brother William was hired as a teacher at the New York Institute for the Blind in New York City, and William obtained a place for Cleveland as an assistant teacher.[18] While there, he also acted as an occasional scribe for the poet and hymn-writer Fanny Crosby, who had been a student, and later a teacher at the school.[19] After teaching for a year, Cleveland returned home to Holland Patent at the end of 1854.[20]

Back in Holland Patent, the seventeen-year-old Cleveland looked for work unsuccessfully.[20] An elder in his church offered to pay for his college education if he would promise to become a minister, but Cleveland declined.[20] Instead, the following spring Cleveland decided to make his way west to the city of Cleveland, Ohio.[20] He stopped first in Buffalo, New York, where his uncle, Lewis W. Allen, lived. Allen dissuaded Cleveland from continuing west, and offered him a job arranging his livestock herdbooks.[21] Allen was an important man in Buffalo, and he introduced his nephew to influential men there, including the partners in the law firm of Rogers, Bowen, and Rogers.[22] Cleveland later took a clerkship with the firm, and was admitted to the bar in 1859.[23]

Early career and the Civil War

An early, undated photograph of Grover Cleveland[24]

After becoming a lawyer, Cleveland worked for the Rogers firm for three years, leaving in 1862 to start his own practice.[25] In January 1863, he was appointed assistant district attorney of Erie County.[26] With the American Civil War raging, Congress passed the Conscription Act of 1863, requiring able-bodied men to serve in the army if called upon, or else to hire a substitute.[23] Cleveland chose the latter course, paying George Benninsky, a thirty-two year-old Polish immigrant, $150 to serve in his place.[27] As a lawyer, Cleveland became known for his single-minded concentration and dedication to hard work.[28] In 1866, he defended some participants in the Fenian raid of that year, doing so successfully and free of charge.[29] In 1868, Cleveland attracted some attention within his profession for his successful defense of a libel suit against the editor of the Commercial Advertiser, a Buffalo newspaper.[30] During this time, Cleveland lived simply in a boarding house; although his income grew sufficient to support a more lavish lifestyle, Cleveland continued to support his mother and younger sisters.[31] While his personal quarters were austere, Cleveland did enjoy an active social life and enjoyed "the easy-going sociability of hotel-lobbies and saloons."[32]

Political career in New York

Sheriff of Erie County

From his earliest involvement in politics, Cleveland aligned himself with the Democratic Party.[33] In 1865, he ran for District Attorney, losing narrowly to his friend and roommate, Lyman K. Bass, the Republican nominee.[28] Cleveland then stayed out of politics until 1870 when, with the help of his friend, Oscar Folsom, he secured the Democratic nomination for sheriff of Erie County.[34] At the age of thirty-three, Cleveland found himself elected sheriff by a 303-vote margin, taking office on January 1, 1871.[35] While this new career took him away from the practice of law, it was rewarding in other ways: the fees were said to yield up to $40,000 over the two-year term.[34] The most well-known incident of his term involved the execution of a murderer, Patrick Morrisey, on September 6, 1872.[36] Cleveland, as sheriff, was responsible for either personally carrying out the execution, or paying a deputy $10 to perform the task.[36] Cleveland had qualms about the hanging, but opted to carry out the duty himself.[36] He hanged another murderer, John Gaffney, on February 14, 1873.[37]

After his term as sheriff ended, Cleveland returned to private practice, opening a law firm with his friends Lyman K. Bass and Wilson S. Bissell.[38] Bass did not spend much time at the firm, being elected to Congress in 1873, but Cleveland and Bissell soon found themselves at the top of Buffalo's legal community.[39] Up to that point, Cleveland's political career had been honorable but unremarkable. As biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "probably no man in the country, on March 4, 1881, had less thought than this limited, simple, sturdy attorney of Buffalo that four years later he would be standing in Washington and taking the oath as president of the United States."[40]

Mayor of Buffalo

In the 1870s, the government of Buffalo had grown increasingly corrupt, with Democratic and Republican political machines cooperating to share the spoils.[41] When, in 1881, the Republicans nominated a slate of particularly disreputable machine politicians, the Democrats saw the opportunity to gain the votes of disaffected Republicans by nominating a more honest candidate.[42] The party leaders approached Cleveland and he agreed to run for mayor, provided that the rest of the ticket was to his liking.[43] When the more notorious politicians were left off the Democratic ticket, Cleveland accepted the nomination.[43] Cleveland was elected mayor with 15,120 votes, as against 11,528 for Milton C. Beebe, his opponent.[44] He took office January 2, 1882.

Cleveland's term as mayor was spent fighting the entrenched interests of the party machines.[45] Among the acts that established his reputation was a veto of the street-cleaning bill passed by the Common Council.[46] The street-cleaning contract was open for bids, and the Council selected the highest bidder, rather than the lowest, because of the political connections of the bidder.[46] While this sort of bipartisan graft had previously been tolerated in Buffalo, Mayor Cleveland would have none of it, and replied with a stinging veto message: "I regard it as the culmination of a most bare-faced, impudent, and shameless scheme to betray the interests of the people, and to worse than squander the public money".[47] The Council reversed themselves and awarded the contract to the lowest bidder.[48] For this, and several other acts to safeguard the public funds, Cleveland's reputation as an honest politician began to spread beyond Erie County.[49]

Governor of New York

Statue of Grover Cleveland outside City Hall in Buffalo, New York

As Cleveland's reputation grew, state Democratic party officials began to consider him a possible nominee for governor.[50] Daniel Manning, a party insider who admired Cleveland's record, promoted his candidacy.[51] With a split in the state Republican party, 1882 looked to be a Democratic year and there were several contenders for that party's nomination.[50] The two leading Democratic candidates were Roswell P. Flower and Henry W. Slocum, but their factions deadlocked and the convention could not agree on a nominee.[52] Cleveland, in third place on the first ballot, picked up support in subsequent votes and emerged as the compromise choice.[53] The Republican party remained divided against itself, and in the general election Cleveland emerged the victor, with 535,318 votes to Republican nominee Charles J. Folger's 342,464.[54] Cleveland's margin of victory was, at the time, the largest in a contested New York election, and the Democrats also picked up seats in both houses of the legislature.[55]

Continuing his opposition to unnecessary spending, Cleveland sent the legislature eight vetos in his first two months in office.[56] The first to attract attention was his veto of a bill to reduce the fares on New York City elevated trains to five cents.[57] The bill had broad support because the el trains' owner, Jay Gould, was unpopular and his fare increases were widely denounced.[58] Cleveland saw the bill as unjust—Gould had taken over the railroads when they were failing and had made the system solvent again.[59] Moreover, Cleveland believed that altering Gould's franchise would violate the Contract Clause of the federal Constitution.[59] Despite the initial popularity of the measure, the newspapers praised Cleveland's veto.[59] Theodore Roosevelt, then a member of the Assembly, said that he had initially voted for the bill believing it was wrong, but wishing to punish the unscrupulous railroad barons.[60] After the veto, Roosevelt reversed himself, as did many legislators, and the veto was sustained.[60]

Cleveland's blunt, honest ways won him popular acclaim, but they also gained him the enmity of certain factions of his own party, especially the Tammany Hall organization in New York City.[61] Tammany, under its boss, John Kelly, had not supported Cleveland's nomination as governor, and disliked him all the more when Cleveland openly opposed the re-election of one of their State Senators.[62] Losing Tammany's support was balanced, however, by gaining the support of Theodore Roosevelt and other reform-minded Republicans who helped Cleveland to pass several laws reforming municipal governments.[63]

Election of 1884

Nomination for president

James G. Blaine, Cleveland's opponent in 1884

The Republicans convened in Chicago and nominated former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine of Maine for president on the fourth ballot. Blaine's nomination alienated many Republicans who viewed Blaine as ambitious and immoral.[64] Democratic party leaders saw the Republicans' choice as an opportunity to take back the White House for the first time since 1856 if the right candidate could be found.[64]

Among the Democrats, Samuel J. Tilden was the initial front-runner, having been the party's nominee in the contested election of 1876.[65] Tilden, however, was in poor health, and after he declined to be nominated, his supporters shifted to several other contenders.[65] Cleveland was among the leaders in early support, but Thomas F. Bayard of Delaware, Allen G. Thurman of Ohio, and Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts also had considerable followings, along with various favorite sons.[65] Each of the other candidates had hindrances to his nomination: Bayard had spoken in favor of secession in 1861, making him unacceptable to Northerners; Butler, conversely, was reviled throughout the South for his actions during the Civil War; Thurman was generally well-liked, but was growing old and infirm and his views on the silver question were uncertain.[66] Cleveland, too, had detractors—Tammany remained opposed to him—but the nature of his enemies made him still more friends.[67] Cleveland led on the first ballot, with 392 votes out of 820.[68] On the second ballot, Tammany threw its support behind Butler, but the rest of the delegates shifted to Cleveland, and he was nominated.[69] Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana was selected as his running mate.[69]

Campaign against Blaine

An anti-Blaine cartoon presents him as the "tattooed man," with many indelible scandals.
An anti-Cleveland cartoon highlights the Halpin scandal.

After Cleveland's nomination, reform-minded Republicans called "Mugwumps" denounced Blaine as corrupt and flocked to Cleveland.[70] The Mugwumps, including such men as Carl Schurz and Henry Ward Beecher, were more concerned with ideals than with party, and hoped that Cleveland would endorse their crusade for civil service reform and efficiency in government.[70] At the same time that the Democrats gained support from the Mugwumps, they lost some to the Greenback-Labor party, led by ex-Democrat Benjamin Butler.[71]

Each candidate's supporters cast aspersions on their opponents. Cleveland's supporters rehashed the old allegations that Blaine had corruptly influenced legislation in favor of the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad and the Northern Pacific Railway, later profiting on the sale of bonds he owned in both companies.[72] Although the stories of Blaine's favors to the railroads had made the rounds eight years earlier, this time Blaine's correspondence was discovered, making his earlier denials less plausible.[72] On some of the most damaging correspondence, Blaine had written "Burn this letter," giving Democrats the last line to their rallying cry: "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine, 'Burn this letter!"[73]

To counter Cleveland's image of purity, his opponents reported that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child while he was a lawyer in Buffalo.[74] The derisive phrase "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?" rose as an unofficial campaign slogan for those who opposed him.[74] When confronted with the emerging scandal, Cleveland's instructions to his campaign staff were: "Tell the truth."[75] Cleveland admitted to paying child support in 1874 to Maria Crofts Halpin, the woman who claimed he fathered her child named Oscar Folsom Cleveland.[74] Halpin was involved with several men at the time, including Cleveland's friend and law partner, Oscar Folsom, for whom the child was also named.[74] Cleveland did not know which man was the father, and is believed to have assumed responsibility because he was the only bachelor among them.[74]

Results of the 1884 election

Both candidates believed that the states of New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut would determine the election.[76] In New York, the Tammany Hall, after vacillating, decided that they would gain more from supporting a Democrat they disliked than a Republican who would do nothing for them.[77] Blaine hoped that he would have more support from Irish Americans than Republicans typically did; while the Irish were mainly a Democratic constituency in the 19th century, Blaine's mother was Irish Catholic, and he had been supportive of the Irish National Land League while he was Secretary of State.[78] The Irish, a significant group in three of the swing states, did appear inclined to support Blaine until one of his supporters, Samuel D. Burchard, gave a speech denouncing the Democrats as the party of "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion".[79] The Democrats spread the word of this insult in the days before the election, and Cleveland narrowly won all four of the swing states, including New York by just over one thousand votes.[80] While the popular vote total was close, with Cleveland winning by just one-quarter of a percent, the electoral votes gave Cleveland a majority of 219–182.[80] Following the electoral victory, the "Ma, Ma ..." attack phrase gained a classic rejoinder: "Gone to the White House. Ha! Ha! Ha!"[81]

First term as president (1885–1889)


Cleveland, portrayed as a tariff reformer

Soon after taking office, Cleveland was faced with the task of filling all the government jobs for which the president had the power of appointment. These jobs were typically filled under the spoils system, but Cleveland announced that he would not fire any Republican who was doing his job well, and would not appoint anyone solely on the basis of party service.[82] He also used his appointment powers to reduce the number of federal employees, as many departments had become bloated with political time-servers.[83] Later in his term, as his fellow Democrats chafed at being excluded from the spoils, Cleveland began to replace more of the partisan Republican officeholders with Democrats.[84] While some of his decisions were influenced by party concerns, more of Cleveland's appointments were decided by merit alone than was the case in his predecessors' administrations.[85]

Cleveland also reformed other parts of the government. In 1887 he signed an act creating the Interstate Commerce Commission.[86] He and Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney undertook to modernize the navy and canceled construction contracts that had resulted in inferior ships.[87] Cleveland angered railroad investors by ordering an investigation of western lands they held by government grant.[88] Secretary of the Interior Lucius Q.C. Lamar charged that the rights of way for this land must be returned to the public because the railroads failed to extend their lines according to agreements.[88] The lands were forfeited, resulting in the return of approximately 81,000,000 acres (330,000 km2).[88]


I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
Cleveland's Veto of the Texas Seed Bill
February 16, 1887

Cleveland faced a Republican Senate and often resorted to using his veto powers.[90] He vetoed hundreds of private pension bills for American Civil War veterans, believing that if their pensions requests had already been rejected by the Pensions Bureau, Congress should not attempt to override that decision.[91] When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland also vetoed that.[92] Cleveland used the veto far more often than any president up to that time.[93] In 1887, Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill.[94] After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there.[94] Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government (at right).


One of the most volatile issues of the 1880s was whether the currency should be backed by gold and silver, or by gold alone.[95] The issue cut across party lines, with western Republicans and southern Democrats joining together in the call for the free coinage of silver, and both parties' representatives in the northeast holding firm for the gold standard.[96] Because silver was worth less than its legal equivalent in gold, taxpayers paid their government bills in silver, while international creditors demanded payment in gold, resulting in a depletion of the nation's gold supply.[96]

Cleveland disagreed with silverite Democrats, such as Richard P. Bland.
Protectionist Democrats, led by Samuel J. Randall, joined with Republicans to keep tariffs high.

Cleveland and Treasury Secretary Daniel Manning stood firmly on the side of the gold standard, and tried to reduce the amount of silver that the government was required to coin under the Bland-Allison Act of 1878.[97] This angered Westerners and Southerners, who advocated for cheap money to help their poorer constituents.[98] In reply, one of the foremost silverites, Richard P. Bland, introduced a bill in 1886 that would require the government to coin unlimited amounts of silver, inflating the then-deflating currency.[99] While Bland's bill was defeated, so was a bill the administration favored that would repeal any silver coinage requirement.[99] The result was a retention of the status quo, and a postponement of the resolution of the free silver issue.[100]


"When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice ... The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people's tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people's use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country's development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder."
Cleveland's third annual message to Congress,
December 6, 1887.

Another contentious financial issue at the time was the protective tariff. While it had not been a central point in his campaign, Cleveland's opinion on the tariff was that of most Democrats: that the tariff ought to be reduced.[102] Republicans generally favored a high tariff to protect American industries.[102] American tariffs had been high since the Civil War, and by the 1880s the tariff brought in so much revenue that the government was running a surplus.[103]

In 1886, a bill to reduce the tariff was narrowly defeated in the House.[104] The tariff issue was emphasized in the Congressional elections that year, and the forces of protectionism increased their numbers in the Congress.[105] Nevertheless, Cleveland continued to advocate tariff reform. As the surplus grew, Cleveland and the reformers called for a tariff for revenue only.[106] His message to Congress in 1887 (quoted at left) pointed out the injustice of taking more money from the people than the government needed to pay for its operating expenses.[107] Republicans, as well as protectionist northern Democrats like Samuel J. Randall, believed that without high tariffs American industries would fail, and continued to fight reformers' efforts.[108] Roger Q. Mills, the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, proposed a bill that would reduce the tariff burden from about 47% to about 40%.[109] After significant exertions by Cleveland and his allies, the bill passed the House.[109] The Republican Senate, however, failed to come to agreement with the Democratic House, and the bill died in the conference committee. Dispute over the tariff would carry over into the 1888 presidential election.

Foreign policy, 1885–1889

Cleveland was a committed non-interventionist who had campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism. He refused to promote the previous administration's Nicaragua canal treaty, and generally was less of an expansionist in foreign relations.[110] Cleveland's Secretary of State, Thomas F. Bayard, negotiated with Joseph Chamberlain of the United Kingdom over fishing rights in the waters off Canada, and struck a conciliatory note, despite the opposition of New England's Republican Senators.[111] Cleveland also withdrew from Senate consideration the Berlin Conference treaty which guaranteed an open door for U.S. interests in the Congo.[112]

Civil rights

Cleveland, like a growing number of Northerners (and nearly all white Southerners) saw Reconstruction as a failed experiment, and was reluctant to use federal power to enforce the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed voting rights to African Americans.[113] Cleveland initially appointed no black Americans to patronage jobs, but did allow Frederick Douglass to continue in his post as recorder of deeds in Washington, D.C.[113] When Douglass later resigned, Cleveland appointed another black man to replace him.[113] While he claimed to deplore lynchings, he made no use of the federal power to prevent them. (Southern Democrats continued to block federal anti-lynching legislation well into the 20th century.)[114]

Henry L. Dawes wrote the Dawes Act, which Cleveland signed into law.

Although Cleveland had condemned the "outrages" against Chinese immigrants, he believed that Chinese immigrants were unwilling to assimilate into white society.[115] Secretary of State Bayard negotiated an extension to the Chinese Exclusion Act, and Cleveland lobbied the Congress to pass the Scott Act, written by Congressman William Lawrence Scott, which would prevent Chinese immigrants who left the United States from returning.[116] The Scott Act easily passed both houses of Congress, and Cleveland signed it into law on October 1, 1888.[116]

Cleveland viewed Native Americans as wards of the state, saying in his first inaugural address that "[t]his guardianship involves, on our part, efforts for the improvement of their condition and enforcement of their rights."[117] He encouraged the idea of cultural assimilation, pushing for the passage of the Dawes Act, which provided for distribution of Indian lands to individual members of tribes, rather than having them continued to be held in trust for the tribes by the federal government.[117] While a conference of Native leaders endorsed the act, in practice the majority of Native Americans disapproved of it.[118] Cleveland believed the Dawes Act would lift Native Americans out of poverty and encourage their assimilation into white society, but its ultimate effect was to weaken the tribal governments and encourage sale of Indian land to white speculators.[117]

Marriage and children

Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom were married in the Blue Room of the White House.

Cleveland entered the White house as a bachelor, but did not remain one for long. In 1885, the daughter of Cleveland's friend Oscar Folsom visited him in Washington.[119] Frances Folsom was a student at Wells College, and when she returned to school Cleveland received her mother's permission to correspond with her.[119] They were soon engaged to be married.[119] On June 2, 1886, Cleveland married Frances in the Blue Room in the White House.[120] He was the second president to marry while in office, and the only president to have a wedding in the White House.[121] This marriage was unusual because Cleveland was the executor of Oscar Folsom's estate and had supervised Frances' upbringing, but the public did not, in general, take exception to the match.[122] At twenty-one years old, Frances was the youngest First Lady in American history, but the public soon warmed to her beauty and warm personality.[123] The Clevelands had five children: Ruth (1891–1904); Esther (1893–1980); Marion (1895–1977); Richard Folsom (1897–1974); and Francis Grover (1903–1995). The British philosopher Philippa Foot is their granddaughter.

Administration and Cabinet

Cleveland's first cabinet.
Front row, left to right: Thomas F. Bayard, Cleveland, Daniel Manning, Lucius Q. C. Lamar
Back row, left to right: William F. Vilas, William C. Whitney, William C. Endicott, Augustus H. Garland
The Cleveland Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Grover Cleveland 1885–1889
Vice President Thomas A. Hendricks 1885
None 1885–1889
Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard 1885–1889
Secretary of Treasury Daniel Manning 1885–1887
Charles S. Fairchild 1887–1889
Secretary of War William C. Endicott 1885–1889
Attorney General Augustus H. Garland 1885–1889
Postmaster General William F. Vilas 1885–1888
Donald M. Dickinson 1888–1889
Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney 1885–1889
Secretary of the Interior Lucius Q. C. Lamar 1885–1888
William F. Vilas 1888–1889
Secretary of Agriculture Norman Jay Coleman 1889

Judicial appointments

Supreme Court appointments

Chief Justice Melville Fuller

During his first term, Cleveland successfully appointed two justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. The first, Lucius Q.C. Lamar, was a former Mississippi Senator then serving in Cleveland's Cabinet as Interior Secretary. When William Burnham Woods died, Cleveland nominated Lamar to his seat in late 1887.[124] While Lamar had been well-liked as a Senator, his service under the Confederacy two decades earlier caused many Republicans to vote against him.[124] Lamar's nomination was confirmed by the narrow margin of 32 to 28.[124]

Chief Justice Morrison Waite died a few months later, and Cleveland nominated Melville Fuller to his seat on April 30, 1888.[125] Cleveland had previously offered to nominate Fuller to the Civil Service Commission, but Fuller had declined to leave his Chicago law practice.[126] Fuller accepted the Supreme Court nomination, and the Senate Judiciary Committee spent several months examining the little-known nominee.[125] Finding him acceptable, the Senate confirmed the nomination 41 to 20.[125]

Other judicial appointments

Cleveland appointed a total of 45 federal judges. In addition to his four Supreme Court appointments, these included two judges to the United States circuit courts, nine judges to the United States Courts of Appeals,and 30 judges to the United States district courts. Because Cleveland served terms both before and after Congress eliminated the circuit courts in favor of the Courts of Appeals, he is one of only two Presidents to have appointed judges to both bodies. The other, Benjamin Harrison, was in office at the time that the change was made. Thus, all of Cleveland's appointments to the circuit courts were made in his first term, and all of his appointments to the Courts of Appeals were made in his second.

Election of 1888 and return to private life

Defeated by Harrison

Cleveland-Thurman campaign poster
Harrison-Morton campaign poster

The debate over tariff reduction continued into the 1888 presidential campaign.[127] The Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison of Indiana for president and Levi P. Morton of New York for vice president. Cleveland was easily renominated at the Democratic convention in St. Louis.[128] Vice President Hendricks died in 1885, so the Democrats chose Allen G. Thurman of Ohio to be Cleveland's running mate.[128] The Republicans campaigned heavily on the tariff issue, turning out protectionist voters in the important industrial states of the North.[127] Further, the Democrats in New York were divided over the gubernatorial candidacy of David B. Hill, weakening Cleveland's support in that swing state.[129]

As in 1884, the election focused on the swing states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana. Unlike that year, when Cleveland triumphed in all four, in 1888 he won only two, losing his home state of New York by 14,373 votes.[130] More notoriously, the Republicans were victorious in Indiana, largely as the result of fraud.[131] Republican victory in that state, where Cleveland lost by just 2,348 votes, was sufficient to propel Harrison to victory, despite his loss of the nationwide popular vote.[130] Cleveland continued his duties diligently until the end of the term and began to look forward to return to private life.[132]

Private citizen for four years

As Frances Cleveland left the White House, she told a staff member, "Now, Jerry, I want you to take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house, for I want to find everything just as it is now, when we come back again." When asked when she would return, she responded, "We are coming back four years from today."[133] In the meantime, the Clevelands moved to New York City where Cleveland took a position with the law firm of Bangs, Stetson, Tracy, and MacVeigh, a predecessor to the current firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.[134] Cleveland's income with the firm was not high, but neither were his duties especially onerous.[135] While they lived in New York, the Clevelands' first child, Ruth, was born in 1891.[136]

The Harrison administration worked with Congress to pass the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, two policies Cleveland deplored as dangerous to the nation's financial health.[137] At first he refrained from criticizing his successor, but by 1891 Cleveland felt compelled to speak out, addressing his concerns in an open letter to a meeting of reformers in New York.[138] The "silver letter" thrust Cleveland's name back into the spotlight just as the 1892 election was approaching.[139]

Election of 1892

Grover Cleveland in 1892

Democratic nomination

Cleveland's stature as an ex-president and recent pronouncements on the monetary issues made him a leading contender for the Democratic nomination.[140] His leading opponent was David B. Hill, who was by that time a Senator for New York.[141] Hill united the anti-Cleveland elements of the Democratic party—silverites, protectionists, and Tammany Hall—but was unable to create a coalition large enough to deny Cleveland the nomination.[141] Despite some desperate maneuvering by Hill, Cleveland was nominated on the first ballot at the convention in Chicago.[142] For vice president, the Democrats chose to balance the ticket with Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, a silverite.[143]

Campaign against Harrison

Results of the 1892 election

The Republicans re-nominated President Harrison, making the 1892 election a rematch of the one four years earlier. Unlike the turbulent and controversial elections of 1876, 1884 and 1888, the 1892 election was "the cleanest, quietest, and most creditable in the memory of the post-war generation",[144] in part because Harrison's wife, Caroline, was dying of tuberculosis.[145] Harrison didn't personally campaign because of his wife's declining health, and Cleveland followed suit out of sympathy to his political rival as not to exploit Mrs. Harrison's illness. The issue of the tariff had worked to the Republicans' advantage in 1888, but the revisions of the past four years had made imported goods so expensive that now many voters shifted to the reform position.[146] Many westerners, traditionally Republican voters, defected to the new Populist Party candidate, James Weaver, who promised free silver, generous veterans' pensions, and an eight-hour work day.[147] Finally, the Tammany Hall Democrats adhered to the national ticket, allowing a united Democratic party to carry New York.[148] The result was a victory for Cleveland by wide margins in both the popular and electoral votes, and was Cleveland's third consecutive popular vote plurality.[149]

Second term as president (1893–1897)

Economic panic and the silver issue

Cleveland's humiliation by Gorman and the sugar trust

Shortly after Cleveland's second term began, the Panic of 1893 struck the stock market, and he soon faced an acute economic depression.[150] The panic was worsened by the acute shortage of gold that resulted from the free coinage of silver, and Cleveland called Congress into session early to deal with the problem.[151] The debate over the coinage was as heated as ever, but the effects of the panic had driven more moderates to support repealing the free coinage provisions of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.[151] Even so, the silverites rallied their following at a convention in Chicago, and the House of Representatives debated for fifteen weeks before passing the repeal by a considerable margin.[152] In the Senate, the repeal of free coinage was equally contentious, but Cleveland convinced enough Democrats to stand by him that they, along with eastern Republicans, formed a 48–37 majority.[153] With the passage of the repeal, the Treasury's gold reserves were restored to safe levels.[154] At the time the repeal seemed a minor setback to silverites, but it marked the beginning of the end of silver as a basis for American currency.[155]

Tariff reform

Having succeeded in reversing the Harrison administration's silver policy, Cleveland sought next to reverse the effects of the McKinley tariff. What would become the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was introduced by West Virginian Representative William L. Wilson in December 1893.[156] After lengthy debate, the bill passed the House by a considerable margin.[157] The bill proposed moderate downward revisions in the tariff, especially on raw materials.[158] The shortfall in revenue was to be made up by an income tax of two percent on income above $4,000.[158]

The bill was next considered in the Senate, where opposition was stronger.[159] Many Senators, led by Arthur Pue Gorman of Maryland, wanted more protection for their states' industries than the Wilson bill allowed.[159] Others, such as Morgan and Hill, opposed partly out of a personal enmity toward Cleveland.[159] By the time the bill left the Senate, it had more than 600 amendments attached that nullified most of the reforms.[160] The Sugar Trust in particular lobbied for changes that favored it at the expense of the consumer.[161] Cleveland was unhappy with the result, and denounced the revised measure as a disgraceful product of the control of the Senate by trusts and business interests.[162] Even so, he believed it was an improvement over the McKinley tariff and allowed it to become law without his signature.[163]

John T. Morgan, Senator from Alabama, opposed Cleveland on free silver, the tariff, and the Hawaii treaty, saying of Cleveland that "I hate the ground that man walks on."[164]

Labor unrest

The Panic of 1893 had damaged labor conditions across the United States, and the victory of anti-silver legislation worsened the mood of western laborers.[165] A group of workingmen led by Jacob S. Coxey began to march east toward Washington, D.C. to protest Cleveland's policies.[165] This group, known as Coxey's Army, agitated in favor of a national roads program to give jobs to workingmen, and a weakened currency to help farmers pay their debts.[165] By the time they reached Washington, only a few hundred remained and when they were arrested the next day for walking on the grass of the United States Capitol, the group scattered.[165] Coxey's Army was never a threat to the government, but it showed a growing dissatisfaction in the West with Eastern monetary policies.[166]

The Pullman Strike had a significantly greater impact than Coxey's Army. A strike began against the Pullman Company over low wages and twelve-hour workdays, and sympathy strikes, encouraged by American Railway Union leader Eugene V. Debs, soon followed.[167] By June 1894, 125,000 railroad workers were on strike, paralyzing the nation's commerce.[168] Because the railroads carried the mail, and because several of the affected lines were in federal receivership, Cleveland believed a federal solution was appropriate.[169] Cleveland obtained an injunction in federal court and when the strikers refused to obey it, he sent in federal troops to Chicago and other rail centers.[170] Leading newspapers of both parties applauded Cleveland's actions, but the use of troops hardened the attitude of organized labor toward his administration.[171]

Foreign policy, 1893–1897

"I suppose that right and justice should determine the path to be followed in treating this subject. If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial expansion or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our government and the behavior which the conscience of the people demands of their public servants."
Cleveland's message to Congress on the Hawaiian question, December 18, 1893.[172]

In January 1893, a group of Americans living in Hawai'i overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and established a provisional government under Sanford Dole.[173] By February, the Harrison administration had agreed with representatives of the new government on a treaty of annexation and submitted it to the Senate for approval.[173] Five days after taking office, Cleveland withdrew the treaty from the Senate and sent former Congressman James Henderson Blount to Hawai'i to investigate the conditions there.[174]

In his first term, Cleveland had supported free trade with Hawai'i and accepted an amendment that gave the United States a coaling and naval station in Pearl Harbor.[112] Now, however, Cleveland agreed with Blount's report, which found the populace to be opposed to annexation.[174] Liliuokalani refused to grant amnesty as a condition of her reinstatement, saying that she would execute the current government in Honolulu, and Dole's government refused to yield their position.[175] By December 1893, the matter was still unresolved, and Cleveland referred the issue to Congress.[175] In his message to Congress, Cleveland rejected the idea of annexation and encouraged the Congress to continue the American tradition of non-intervention (see excerpt at right).[172] Many in Congress, led by Senator John Tyler Morgan favored annexation, and the report Congress eventually issued favored neither annexation of Hawaii nor the use of American force to restore the Hawaiian monarch.[176]

Oil painting of Grover Cleveland, painted in 1899 by Anders Zorn

Closer to home, Cleveland adopted a broad interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine that did not just simply forbid new European colonies but declared an American interest in any matter within the hemisphere.[177] When Britain and Venezuela disagreed over the boundary between the latter nation and British Guiana, Cleveland and Secretary of State Richard Olney pressured Britain into agreeing to arbitration.[178] A tribunal convened in Paris in 1898 to decide the matter, and issued its award in 1899.[179] The tribunal awarded the bulk of the disputed territory to British Guiana.[180] By standing with a Latin American nation against the encroachment of a colonial power, Cleveland improved relations with the United States' southern neighbors, but the cordial manner in which the negotiations were conducted also made for good relations with Britain.[181]


In the midst of the fight for repeal of free silver coinage in 1893, Cleveland sought the advice of the White House doctor, Dr O'Reilly about soreness on the roof of his mouth and a crater-like edge ulcer with a granulated surface on the left side of Cleveland's hard palate. Samples of the tumor were sent anonymously to the army medical museum. The diagnosis was not a malignant cancer, but instead an epithelioma.[182] Several doctors, including Dr William W. Keen, Professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, stated after Cleveland's death that the tumor was a carcinoma.[183] As a result of Cleveland enjoying many more years of life after the tumor removal, there was some debate as to whether or not it was truly a malignancy. Other suggestions included ameloblastoma[184] or a benign salivary mixed tumor (also known as a pleomorphic adenoma).[185] In the 1980s, analysis of the specimen finally confirmed the tumor to be Verrucous carcinoma,[186] an low-grade epithelial cancer with a low potential for metastasis.[182]

Because of the financial depression of the country, Cleveland decided to have surgery performed in secrecy to avoid further market panic.[187] The surgery occurred on July 1, to give Cleveland time to make a full recovery in time for the upcoming Congressional session.[188] Under the guise of a vacation cruise, Cleveland and his surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bryant, left for New York. The surgeons operated aboard the yacht Oneida as it sailed off Long Island.[189] The surgery was conducted through the president's mouth, to avoid any scars or other signs of surgery.[190] The team, sedating Cleveland with nitrous oxide and ether, successfully removed parts of his upper left jaw and hard palate.[190] The size of the tumor and the extent of the operation left Cleveland's mouth disfigured.[191] During another surgery, an orthodontist fitted Cleveland with a hard rubber prosthesis that corrected his speech and restored his appearance.[191]

A cover story about the removal of two bad teeth kept the suspicious press placated.[192] Even when a newspaper story appeared giving details of the actual operation, the participating surgeons discounted the severity of what transpired during Cleveland's vacation.[191] In 1917, one of the surgeons present on the Oneida, Dr. William W. Keen, wrote an article detailing the operation.[183]

Administration and Cabinet

Cleveland's last cabinet.
Front row, left to right: Daniel S. Lamont, Richard Olney, Cleveland, John G. Carlisle, Judson Harmon
Back row, left to right: David R. Francis, William L. Wilson, Hilary A. Herbert, Julius S. Morton
The Cleveland Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Grover Cleveland 1893–1897
Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson 1893–1897
Secretary of State Walter Q. Gresham 1893–1895
Richard Olney 1895–1897
Secretary of Treasury John G. Carlisle 1893–1897
Secretary of War Daniel S. Lamont 1893–1897
Attorney General Richard Olney 1893–1895
Judson Harmon 1895–1897
Postmaster General Wilson S. Bissell 1893–1895
William L. Wilson 1895–1897
Secretary of the Navy Hilary A. Herbert 1893–1897
Secretary of the Interior M. Hoke Smith 1893–1896
David R. Francis 1896–1897
Secretary of Agriculture Julius S. Morton 1893–1897

Supreme Court appointments

The objections of Senator David B. Hill defeated two of Cleveland's Supreme Court nominees.

Cleveland's trouble with the Senate hindered the success of his nominations to the Supreme Court in his second term. In 1893, after the death of Samuel Blatchford, Cleveland nominated William B. Hornblower to the Court.[193] Hornblower, the head of a New York City law firm, was thought to be a qualified appointee, but his campaign against a New York machine politician had made Senator David B. Hill his enemy.[193] Further, Cleveland had not consulted the Senators before naming his appointee, leaving many who were already opposed to Cleveland on other grounds even more aggrieved.[193] The Senate rejected Hornblower's nomination on January 15, 1894, by a vote of 30 to 24.[193]

Cleveland continued to defy the Senate by next appointing Wheeler Hazard Peckham another New York attorney who had opposed Hill's machine in that state.[194] Hill used all of his influence to block Peckham's confirmation, and on February 16, 1894, the Senate rejected the nomination by a vote of 32 to 41.[194] Reformers urged Cleveland to continue the fight against Hill and to nominate Frederic R. Coudert, but Cleveland acquiesced in an inoffensive choice, that of Senator Edward Douglass White of Louisiana, whose nomination was accepted unanimously.[194] Later, in 1896, another vacancy on the Court led Cleveland to consider Hornblower again, but he declined to be nominated.[195] Instead, Cleveland nominated Rufus Wheeler Peckham, the brother of Wheeler Hazard Peckham, and the Senate confirmed the second Peckham easily.[195]

States admitted to the Union

  • Utah – January 4, 1896

Later life and death

Official White House portrait of Grover Cleveland, painted in 1891 by Jonathan Eastman Johnson

As the 1896 election approached, eastern pro-gold-standard Democrats wished Cleveland to run for a third term, but he declined.[196] Instead, the Democratic party turned to a silverite, William Jennings Bryan, for its nominee.[197] Disappointed with the direction of their party, Gold Democrats even invited Cleveland to run as a third-party candidate, but he declined this offer as well.[196] Cleveland did, however, support John M. Palmer, nominee of the Gold Democrats, rather than Bryan.[198] William McKinley, the Republican nominee, triumphed easily over Bryan.[199]

After leaving the White House, Cleveland lived in retirement at his estate, Westland Mansion, in Princeton, New Jersey.[200] For a time he was a trustee of Princeton University, and was one of the majority of trustees who preferred Andrew Fleming West's plans for the Graduate School and undergraduate living over those of Woodrow Wilson, then president of the University.[201] Conservative Democrats hoped to nominate him for another presidential term in 1904, but his age and health forced them to turn to other candidates.[202] Cleveland still made his views known in political matters. In a 1905 article in The Ladies Home Journal, Cleveland weighed in on the women's suffrage movement, writing that "sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by men and women in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence."[203]

Cleveland's health had been declining for several years, and in the autumn of 1907 he fell seriously ill.[204] In 1908, he suffered a heart attack and died.[204] His last words were "I have tried so hard to do right."[205] He is buried in the Princeton Cemetery of the Nassau Presbyterian Church.

Honors and memorials

Cleveland on the $1000 bill

In his first term in office, Cleveland sought a summer house to escape the heat and smells of Washington, D.C., but needed to remain near the capital. Acting in secret, he located a house, Oak View (or Oak Hill), in a rural upland part of the District of Columbia, and bought it in 1886. Although he sold Oak View upon leaving the White House (the first time), the area became known as Cleveland Park, which name it still bears. The Clevelands are depicted in local murals and the like.[206]

Grover Cleveland Hall at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York. Cleveland Hall houses the offices of the college president, vice presidents, and other administrative functions and student services. Cleveland was a member of the first board of directors of the then Buffalo Normal School (1870)[207]

Grover Cleveland Middle School in his birthplace, Caldwell, New Jersey, was named for him, as is Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo, New York, and the town of Cleveland, Mississippi.

Cleveland's portrait was on the U.S. $1000 bill of series 1928 and series 1934. He also appeared on the first few issues of the $20 Federal Reserve Notes from 1914. Since he was both the 22nd and 24th president, he will be featured on two separate dollar coins to be released in 2012 as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005.

In 2006, Free New York, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group, began raising funds to purchase the former Fairfield Library in Buffalo, New York and transform it into the Grover Cleveland Presidential Library & Museum.[208]


  1. ^ Jeffers, 8–12; Nevins, 4–5
  2. ^ a b Tugwell, 220–249
  3. ^ Nevins, 4
  4. ^ Nevins, 8–10
  5. ^ Graff, 3–4; Nevins, 8–10
  6. ^ a b Graff, 3–4
  7. ^ Nevins, 6
  8. ^ Nevins, 9
  9. ^ Graff, 7
  10. ^ Nevins, 10; Graff, 3
  11. ^ Nevins, 11; Graff, 8–9
  12. ^ Nevins, 11
  13. ^ Jeffers, 17
  14. ^ Nevins, 17–19
  15. ^ a b Nevins, 21
  16. ^ Jeffers, 16–17
  17. ^ Nevins, 18–19; Jeffers, 19
  18. ^ a b Nevins, 23–24
  19. ^ Crosby, 111–116
  20. ^ a b c d Nevins, 27
  21. ^ Nevins, 28–33
  22. ^ Nevins, 31–36; Graff, 10–11
  23. ^ a b Graff, 14
  24. ^ From the Cleveland Family Papers at the New Jersey Archives.
  25. ^ Graff, 14–15
  26. ^ Graff, 15; Nevins, 46
  27. ^ Graff, 14; Nevins, 51–52. Benninsky survived the war.
  28. ^ a b Nevins, 52–53
  29. ^ Nevins, 54
  30. ^ Nevins, 54–55
  31. ^ Nevins, 55–56
  32. ^ Nevins, 56
  33. ^ Nevins, 44–45
  34. ^ a b Nevins, 58
  35. ^ Jeffers, 33
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  37. ^ "The Execution of John Gaffney". The Buffalonian. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
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  39. ^ Nevins, 66–71
  40. ^ Nevins, 78
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  42. ^ Nevins, 79–80; Graff, 18–19; Welch, 24
  43. ^ a b Nevins, 80–81
  44. ^ Nevins, 83
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  46. ^ a b Nevins, 84–86
  47. ^ Nevins, 85
  48. ^ Nevins, 86
  49. ^ Nevins, 94–95; Jeffers, 50–51
  50. ^ a b Nevins, 94–99; Graff, 26–27
  51. ^ Nevins, 95–101
  52. ^ Graff, 26; Nevins, 101–103
  53. ^ Nevins, 103–104
  54. ^ Nevins, 105
  55. ^ Graff, 28
  56. ^ Graff, 35
  57. ^ Graff, 35–36
  58. ^ Nevins, 114–116
  59. ^ a b c Nevins, 116–117
  60. ^ a b Nevins, 117–118
  61. ^ Nevins, 125–126; Graff, 49–51
  62. ^ Nevins, 133–138
  63. ^ Nevins, 138–140
  64. ^ a b Nevins, 185–186; Jeffers, 96–97
  65. ^ a b c Nevins, 146–147
  66. ^ Nevins, 147
  67. ^ Nevins, 152–153; Graff, 51–53
  68. ^ Nevins, 153
  69. ^ a b Nevins, 154; Graff, 53–54
  70. ^ a b Nevins, 156–159; Graff, 55
  71. ^ Nevins, 187–188
  72. ^ a b Nevins, 159–162; Graff, 59–60
  73. ^ Graff, 59; Jeffers, 111; Nevins, 177, Welch, 34
  74. ^ a b c d e Nevins, 162–169; Jeffers, 106–111; Graff, 60–65; Welch, 36–39
  75. ^ Nevins, 163, Graff, 62
  76. ^ Welch, 33
  77. ^ Nevins, 170–171
  78. ^ Nevins, 170
  79. ^ Nevins, 181–184
  80. ^ a b Leip, David. 1884 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (January 27, 2008)., Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (January 27, 2008).
  81. ^ Graff, 64
  82. ^ Nevins, 208–211
  83. ^ Nevins, 214–217
  84. ^ Graff, 83
  85. ^ Nevins, 238–241; Welch, 59–60
  86. ^ Nevins, 354–357; Graff, 85
  87. ^ Nevins, 217–223; Graff, 77
  88. ^ a b c Nevins, 223–228
  89. ^ "Cleveland's Veto of the Texas Seed Bill". The Writings and Speeches of Grover Cleveland. New York: Cassell Publishing Co. 1892. p. 450.'s_Veto_of_the_Texas_Seed_Bill. 
  90. ^ Graff, 85
  91. ^ Nevins, 326–328; Graff, 83–84
  92. ^ Nevins, 300–331; Graff, 83
  93. ^ See List of United States presidential vetoes
  94. ^ a b Nevins, 331–332; Graff, 85
  95. ^ Jeffers, 157–158
  96. ^ a b Nevins, 201–205; Graff, 102–103
  97. ^ Nevins, 269
  98. ^ Nevins, 268
  99. ^ a b Nevins, 273
  100. ^ Nevins, 277–279
  101. ^ The Writings and Speeches of Grover Cleveland. New York: Cassell Publishing Co. 1892. pp. 72–73. 
  102. ^ a b Nevins, 280–282, Reitano, 46–62
  103. ^ Nevins, 286–287
  104. ^ Nevins, 287–288
  105. ^ Nevins, 290–296; Graff, 87–88
  106. ^ Nevins, 370–371
  107. ^ Nevins, 379–381
  108. ^ Nevins, 383–385
  109. ^ a b Graff, 88–89
  110. ^ Nevins, 205; 404–405
  111. ^ Nevins, 404–413
  112. ^ a b Zakaria, 80
  113. ^ a b c Welch, 65–66
  114. ^ Welch, 68
  115. ^ Welch, 72
  116. ^ a b Welch, 73
  117. ^ a b c Welch, 70–
  118. ^ Graff, 206–207
  119. ^ a b c Graff, 78
  120. ^ Graff, 79
  121. ^ The previous president to marry during his term was John Tyler. Graff, 80
  122. ^ Jeffers, 170–176; Graff, 78–81; Nevins, 302–308; Welch, 51
  123. ^ Graff, 80–81
  124. ^ a b c Nevins, 339
  125. ^ a b c Nevins, 445–447
  126. ^ Nevins, 250
  127. ^ a b Nevins, 418–420
  128. ^ a b Graff, 90–91
  129. ^ Nevins, 423–427
  130. ^ a b Leip, David. 1888 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (February 18, 2008)., Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (February 18, 2008).
  131. ^ Nevins, 435–439; Jeffers, 220–222; Goldman, 143–144; see also Blocks of Five.
  132. ^ Nevins, 443–449
  133. ^ Nevins, 448
  134. ^ Nevins, 450.
  135. ^ Nevins, 450–452
  136. ^ Nevins, 450; Graff, 99–100
  137. ^ Graff, 102–105; Nevins, 465–467
  138. ^ Graff, 104–105; Nevins, 467–468
  139. ^ Nevins, 470–471
  140. ^ Nevins, 468–469
  141. ^ a b Nevins, 470–473
  142. ^ Nevins, 480–491
  143. ^ Graff, 105; Nevins, 492–493
  144. ^ Nevins, 498
  145. ^ Calhoun, 149
  146. ^ Nevins, 499
  147. ^ Graff, 106–107; Nevins, 505–506
  148. ^ Graff, 108
  149. ^ Leip, David. 1892 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (February 22, 2008)., Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (February 22, 2008).
  150. ^ Graff, 114
  151. ^ a b Nevins, 526–528
  152. ^ Nevins, 524–528, 537–540. The vote was 239 to 108.
  153. ^ Nevins, 541–548
  154. ^ Graff, 115
  155. ^ Timberlake, Richard H. (1993). Monetary Policy in the United States: An Intellectual and Institutional History. University of Chicago Press. p. 179. ISBN 0226803848. 
  156. ^ Nevins, 565
  157. ^ Nevins, 567. The vote was 204 to 140
  158. ^ a b Nevins, 564–566; Jeffers, 285–287
  159. ^ a b c Nevins, 567–569
  160. ^ Nevins, 572–576. The income tax component of the Wilson-Gorman Act was partially ruled unconstitutional in 1895. See Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.
  161. ^ Nevins, 577–578
  162. ^ Nevins, 585–587; Jeffers, 288–289
  163. ^ Nevins, 587–588; Graff, 117
  164. ^ Nevins, 568
  165. ^ a b c d Graff, 117–118; Nevins, 603–605
  166. ^ Graff, 118; Jeffers, 280–281
  167. ^ Nevins, 611–613
  168. ^ Nevins, 614
  169. ^ Nevins, 614–618; Graff, 118–119; Jeffers, 296–297
  170. ^ Nevins, 619–623; Jeffers, 298–302. See also In re Debs.
  171. ^ Nevins, 624–628; Jeffers, 304–305; Graff, 120
  172. ^ a b Nevins, 560
  173. ^ a b Nevins, 549–552; Graff 121–122
  174. ^ a b Nevins, 552–554; Graff, 122
  175. ^ a b Nevins, 558–559
  176. ^ Graff, 123
  177. ^ Zakaria, 145–146
  178. ^ Graff, 123–125; Nevins, 633–642
  179. ^ Graff, 125
  180. ^ Nevins, 647
  181. ^ Nevins, 550, 647–648
  182. ^ a b A Renehan and J C Lowry (July 1995). "The oral tumours of two American presidents: what if they were alive today?". J R Soc Med. 88 (7): 377–383. 
  183. ^ a b Keen, William W. (1917). The Surgical Operations on President Cleveland in 1893. G. W. Jacobs & Co..  The lump was preserved and is on display at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia
  184. ^ Hardig WG. (1974). "Oral surgery and the presidents --- a century of contrast.". J Oral Surg 32: 490–493. 
  185. ^ Miller JM. (1961). "Stephen Grover Cleveland". Surg Gynecol Obstet 113: 524. 
  186. ^ Brooks JJ, Enterline HT, Aponte GE. (1908). "The final diagnosis of President Cleveland's lesion.". Trans Stud Coll Physic Philadelphia 2 (1). 
  187. ^ Nevins, 528–529; Graff, 115–116
  188. ^ Nevins, 531–533
  189. ^ Nevins, 529
  190. ^ a b Nevins, 530–531
  191. ^ a b c Nevins, 532–533
  192. ^ Nevins, 533; Graff, 116
  193. ^ a b c d Nevins, 569–570
  194. ^ a b c Nevins, 570–571
  195. ^ a b Nevins, 572
  196. ^ a b Graff, 128–129
  197. ^ Nevins, 684–693
  198. ^ William DeGregorio, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Gramercy 1997
  199. ^ Leip, David. 1896 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (February 23, 2008).
  200. ^ Graff, 131–133; Nevins, 730–735
  201. ^ Graff, p. 131; Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, Princeton Univ Press, 1978, " Grover Cleveland"
  202. ^ Graff, 134
  203. ^ Ladies Home Journal 22, (October 1905), 7–8
  204. ^ a b Graff, 135–136; Nevins, 762–764
  205. ^ Jeffers, 340; Graff, 135. Nevins makes no mention of these last words.
  206. ^ See, e.g., Cleveland Park Historical Society, "A Brief History of Cleveland Park"; accessed 2009.04.08.
  207. ^ "Buffalo State College Cleveland Hall"; accessed 2009.11.11.
  208. ^ "Grover Cleveland Library". Retrieved 2008-03-05. 



  • Calhoun, Charles William (2005). Benjamin Harrison. Macmillan. ISBN 0805069526. 
  • Crosby, F.J. Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography, Hendrickson 2008, Peabody. ISBN9781598562811
  • Graff, Henry F. Grover Cleveland (2002). ISBN 0805069232.
  • Jeffers, H. Paul, An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland, HarperCollins 2002, New York. ISBN 038097746X.
  • Nevins, Allan. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage (1932) Pulitzer Prize-winning biography. ASIN B000PUX6KQ.
  • Reitano, Joanne R. The Tariff Question in the Gilded Age: The Great Debate of 1888 (1994). ISBN 0271010355.
  • Tugwell, Rexford Guy, Grover Cleveland: A Biography of the President Whose Uncompromising Honesty and Integrity Failed America in a Time of Crisis. Macmillan Co., 1968. ISBN 0026203308.
  • Welch, Richard E. Jr. The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland (1988) ISBN 0700603557
  • Zakaria, Fareed From Wealth to Power (1999) Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691010358.

Further reading

  • Bard, Mitchell. "Ideology and Depression Politics I: Grover Cleveland (1893–1897)" Presidential Studies Quarterly 1985 15(1): 77–88. ISSN 0360-4918
  • Beito, David T. and Beito, Linda Royster,"Gold Democrats and the Decline of Classical Liberalism, 1896–1900," Independent Review 4 (Spring 2000), 555–75.
  • Blodgett, Geoffrey. "Ethno-cultural Realities in Presidential Patronage: Grover Cleveland's Choices" New York History 2000 81(2): 189–210. ISSN 0146–437X
  • Blodgett, Geoffrey. "The Emergence of Grover Cleveland: a Fresh Appraisal" New York History 1992 73(2): 132–168. ISSN 0146–437X
  • Cleveland, Grover. The Writings and Speeches of Grover Cleveland (1892) online edition
  • Cleveland, Grover. Presidential Problems. (1904) online edition
  • Dewey, Davis R. National Problems: 1880–1897 (1907), online edition
  • Doenecke, Justus. "Grover Cleveland and the Enforcement of the Civil Service Act" Hayes Historical Journal 1984 4(3): 44–58. ISSN 0364–5924
  • Faulkner, Harold U. Politics, Reform, and Expansion, 1890–1900 (1959), online edition
  • Ford, Henry Jones. The Cleveland Era: A Chronicle of the New Order in Politics (1921), short overview online
  • Goldman, Ralph Morris The National Party Chairmen and Committees: Factionalism at the Top (1990). ISBN 0873326369.
  • Hoffman, Karen S. "'Going Public' in the Nineteenth Century: Grover Cleveland's Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act" Rhetoric & Public Affairs 2002 5(1): 57–77. ISSN 1094–8392
  • McElroy, Robert. Grover Cleveland, the Man and the Statesman: An Authorized Biography (1923) Vol. I, Vol. II
  • Morgan, H. Wayne. From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877–1896 (1969).
  • Nevins, Allan ed. Letters of Grover Cleveland, 1850–1908 (1934)
  • Osborne, Ray. "President Cleveland's Florida visit of 1888. Google Books Preview.
  • Sturgis, Amy H. ed. Presidents from Hayes through McKinley, 1877–1901: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents (2003) online edition
  • Summers, Mark Wahlgren. Rum, Romanism & Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884 (2000) campaign techniques and issues online edition
  • William L. Wilson; The Cabinet Diary of William L. Wilson, 1896–1897 1957
  • National Democratic Committee (1896). Campaign Text-book of the National Democratic Party. 
  • Wilson, Woodrow, Mr. Cleveland as President Atlantic Monthly (March 1897): pp. 289–301 online.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Harrison
President of the United States
March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
Succeeded by
William McKinley
Preceded by
Chester A. Arthur
President of the United States
March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889
Succeeded by
Benjamin Harrison
Preceded by
Alonzo B. Cornell
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
David B. Hill
Preceded by
Alexander Brush
Mayor of Buffalo, New York
Succeeded by
Marcus M. Drake
Party political offices
Preceded by
Winfield Scott Hancock
Democratic Party presidential candidate
1884, 1888, 1892
Succeeded by
William Jennings Bryan
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Benjamin Harrison
Oldest U.S. President still living
March 13, 1901 – June 24, 1908
Succeeded by
Theodore Roosevelt


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I have tried so hard to do the right.

Stephen Grover Cleveland (18 March 183724 June 1908) was the 22nd (1885–1889) and 24th (1893–1897) President of the United States. He was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms.


I'm only waiting for my wife to grow up.
  • I'm only waiting for my wife to grow up.
    • Teasing comment about 8 year old Frances Clara Folsom, after being asked when he might be expected to find a wife. As quoted in An Honest President (2000) by H. Paul Jeffers, p. 37
The wants and needs of the employers and the employed shall alike be subserved and the prosperity of the country, the common heritage of both, be advanced.
  • Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made.
    • Letter accepting the nomination for governor of New York (October 1882)
  • I feel as if it were time for me to write to someone who will believe what I write.
    I have been for some time in the atmosphere of certain success, so that I have been sure that I should assume the duties of the high office for which I have been named. I have tried hard, in the light of this fact, to appreciate properly the responsibilities that will rest upon me, and they are much, too much underestimated. But the thought that has troubled me is, can I well perform my duties, and in such a manner as to do some good to the people of the State? I know there is room for it, and I know that I am honest and sincere in my desire to do well; but the question is whether I know enough to accomplish what I desire.
    The social life which seems to await me has also been a subject of much anxious thought. I have a notion that I can regulate that very much as I desire; and, if I can, I shall spend very little time in the purely ornamental part of the office. In point of fact, I will tell you, first of all others, the policy I intend to adopt, and that is, to make the matter a business engagement between the people of the State and myself, in which the obligation on my side is to perform the duties assigned me with an eye single to the interest of my employers. I shall have no idea of re-election, or any higher political preferment in my head, but be very thankful and happy I can serve one term as the people's Governor.
    • Letter to his brother Rev. William N. Cleveland (7 November 1882); published in The Writings and Speeches of Grover Cleveland (1892), p. 534
  • The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view of improving the condition of the workingman.
    • Letter accepting the nomination for governor of New York (October 1882); later quoted in his letter to the Democratic National Convention (18 August 1884)
    • Telegram to his friend Charles W. Goodyear (23 July 1884), in response to a query as to what the Democratic Party should say about reports that he fathered a child out of wedlock. As quoted in An Honest President (2000), by H. Paul Jeffers, p. 108
  • A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. Contented labor is an element of national prosperity. Ability to work constitutes the capital and the wage of labor the income of a vast number of our population, and this interest should be jealously protected. Our workingmen are not asking unreasonable indulgence, but as intelligent and manly citizens they seek the same consideration which those demand who have other interests at stake. They should receive their full share of the care and attention of those who make and execute the laws, to the end that the wants and needs of the employers and the employed shall alike be subserved and the prosperity of the country, the common heritage of both, be advanced.
    • Letter to the Democratic Convention (17 August 1884)
  • Amid the din of party strife the people's choice was made, but its attendant circumstances have demonstrated anew the strength and safety of a government by the people. In each succeeding year it more clearly appears that our democratic principle needs no apology, and that in its fearless and faithful application is to be found the surest guaranty of good government.
    But the best results in the operation of a government wherein every citizen has a share largely depend upon a proper limitation of purely partisan zeal and effort and a correct appreciation of the time when the heat of the partisan should be merged in the patriotism of the citizen.
Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters.
  • The laws and the entire scheme of our civil rule, from the town meeting to the State capitals and the national capital, is yours. Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust. Nor is this all. Every citizen owes to the country a vigilant watch and close scrutiny of its public servants and a fair and reasonable estimate of their fidelity and usefulness. Thus is the people's will impressed upon the whole framework of our civil polity — municipal, State, and Federal; and this is the price of our liberty and the inspiration of our faith in the Republic.
    • First Inaugural Address (4 March 1885)
  • After an existence of nearly twenty years of almost innocuous desuetude, these laws are brought forth.
    • Message to the US Senate on laws constraining the discretionary powers of the President to remove or suspend officials. (1 March 1886)
  • Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters. Not only is their time and labor due to the Government, but they should scrupulously avoid in their political action, as well as in the discharge of their official duty, offending by a display of obtrusive partisanship their neighbors who have relations with them as public officials.
    • Message to the heads of departments in the service of the US Government (14 July 1886)
A stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.
  • We are not here today to bow before the representation of a fierce warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America and greater than all that have been celebrated in ancient song. Instead of grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man's enfranchisement. We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constantly keep alive its fires and these shall gleam upon the shores of our sister Republic thence, and joined with answering rays a stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.
  • When more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government and expenses of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of free government.
    • Second Annual Message (December 1886)
  • I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.
    I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.
    • Message to the House of Representatives (16 February 1887)
  • Both of the great political parties now represented in the Government have by repeated and authoritative declarations condemned the condition of our laws which permit the collection from the people of unnecessary revenue, and have in the most solemn manner promised its correction; and neither as citizens nor partisans are our countrymen in a mood to condone the deliberate violation of these pledges.
    Our progress toward a wise conclusion will not be improved by dwelling upon the theories of protection and free trade. This savors too much of bandying epithets. It is a condition which confronts us — not a theory. Relief from this condition may involve a slight reduction of the advantages which we award our home productions, but the entire withdrawal of such advantages should not be contemplated. The question of free trade is absolutely irrelevant, and the persistent claim made in certain quarters that all the efforts to relieve the people from unjust and unnecessary taxation are schemes of so-called free traders is mischievous and far removed from any consideration for the public good.
    • Third Annual Message to Congress (6 December 1887), discussing tariffs. Compare "Free trade is not a principle, it is an expedient", Benjamin Disraeli, On Import Duties, April 25, 1843.
  • I have considered the pension list of the republic a roll of honor.
    • Veto of Dependent Pension Bill, July 5, 1888.
  • Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government; but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of rule.
    He mocks the people who proposes that the Government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor. Any intermediary between the people and their Government or the least delegation of the care and protection the Government owes to the humblest citizen in the land makes the boast of free institutions a glittering delusion and the pretended boon of American citizenship a shameless imposition.
    • Fourth Annual Message (3 December 1888)
  • Party honesty is party expediency.
    • Interview in New York Commercial Advertiser (19 September 1889)
  • The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people.
The United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality.
  • It has been the boast of our government that it seeks to do justice in all things without regard to the strength or weakness of those with whom it deals. I mistake the American people if they favor the odious doctrine that there is no such thing as international morality; that there is one law for a strong nation and another for a weak one, and that even by indirection a strong power may with impunity despoil a weak one of its territory.
    By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair. The Provisional Government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power.
    The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities, and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality.
    On that ground the United States cannot properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it cannot allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States cannot fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation.
  • A sensitive man is not happy as President. It is fight, fight, fight all the time. I looked forward to the close of my term as a happy release from care. But I am not sure I wasn't more unhappy out of office than in. A term in the presidency accustoms a man to great duties. He gets used to handling tremendous enterprises, to organizing forces that may affect at once and directly the welfare of the world. After the long exercise of power, the ordinary affairs of life seem petty and commonplace. An ex-President practicing law or going into business is like a locomotive hauling a delivery wagon. He has lost his sense of proportion. The concerns of other people and even his own affairs seem to small to be worth bothering about.
    • As quoted in American Magazine (September 1908)
  • What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?
    • As quoted in An Honest President (2000) by H. Paul Jeffers, p. 200
  • I have tried so hard to do the right.
    • Last words, as quoted in Just a Country Lawyer: A Biography of Senator Sam Ervin (1974) by Paul R. Clancy

Quotes about Cleveland

We are coming back just four years from today.
  • Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?
    • Republican campaign chant against Cleveland, after his admission to paying child support to Maria Crofts Halpin, who claimed he fathered her child Oscar Folsom Cleveland. After his election Democratic newspapers added a line to this "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to the White House! Ha Ha Ha!"
  • I want you to take good care of all the furniture and ornaments of the house, for I want to find everything just as it is now when we come back again... We are coming back just four years from today.
    • Frances Folsom Cleveland, to a servant at the White House, about their prospects on returning there. Cleveland won the popular vote in all three Presidential elections in which he ran, though not the electoral vote in his first race against Benjamin Harrison. As quoted in Presidential Performance: A Comprehensive Review (2004) by Max J. Skidmore, p.164
  • Four Good Reasons for Electing Cleveland: 1. He is honest. 2. He is honest. 3. He is honest. 4. He is honest.
  • Had Grover Cleveland been a politician, with the record of a spoilsman behind, his promises would mean little. They might have deceived a few of the simple, disgusted a few of the honest, caused mirth to a few other spoilsmen, and thus fulfilled their intended mission; for Americans had long since learned that, as the devil can quote Scripture, so the most dangerous type of demagogue can sing of ideals in false notes not easily distinguishable from true. But Mr. Cleveland had already put into practice the ideals which he announced, and Republicans bent on reform rallied to his support with an enthusiasm equal to that of his Democratic followers.
    • Robert McElroy in Grover Cleveland: The Man and the Statesman (1923)
  • Unskilled in sophistry and new to the darker ways of national politics, Grover Cleveland faced his accusers, his slanderers, and his judges, the sovereign people, conscious of the general rectitude of his life, and courageously determined to bear the burdens of his sins in so far as guilt was his.
    • Robert McElroy in Grover Cleveland: The Man and the Statesman (1923)
  • Democracies must have leaders who are the people's prophets and who act as their mentors. A prophet must see ahead and turn the people's minds to the future. A mentor Cleveland was — a stern and determined one. A prophet he was not.
    • Rexford Guy Tugwell in Grover Cleveland (1968)
    • Tugwell's censure appears to be not only harsh but essentially ahistorical. If Cleveland is to be damned, it cannot be for his failure to imitate Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
      • Richard E. Welch Jr. in The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland (1988)
    • A suggestion to Grover that the people of the United States needed a prophet to lead and teach them, and that person was himself, would have left him flabbergasted. He believed that the futures of individuals and nations were grounded in what they did in the present ... The nine-year-old boy who'd written, "If we expect to be great and good men and be respected and esteemed by our friends we must improve our time when we are young," grew into a man who trusted that the people knew better where they ought to be in the future than could any man in the White House.
      • H. Paul Jeffers in An Honest President (2000), p. 349
  • Grover Cleveland declined to participate in character attacks on Blaine. When presented with papers which purported to be extremely damaging to Blaine, he grabbed them, tore them up, flung the shreds into the fire, and decreed, "The other side can have a monopoly of all the dirt in this campaign."
    • H. Paul Jeffers in An Honest President (2000)

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Simple English

Stephen Grover Cleveland
File:President Grover

In office
March 4, 1885 – March, 1889
Vice President Thomas A. Hendricks (1885, died in office)
Preceded by Chester A. Arthur
Succeeded by Benjamin Harrison

24th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1897
Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson
Preceded by Benjamin Harrison
Succeeded by William McKinley

Born March 18, 1837
Caldwell, New Jersey
Died June 24, 1908
Princeton, New Jersey
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse Frances Folsom Cleveland

Stephen Grover Cleveland (born March 18, 1837 died June 24, 1908) was the 22nd (18851889) and also the 24th (18931897) President of the United States. He was the only president to serve two terms that were not one and then the other.

He was known for his honesty, integrity, and having a firm stance against corruption. He believed in small government (he wanted the government to tax less and spend less). He used the presidential veto power over 500 times, far more than most other presidents, to reject bills he disagreed with. He did not want the United States to get its military involved in Latin America.

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