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Grover Cleveland
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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Grover Cleveland

The First Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland was the only President to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later.

One of nine children of a Presbyterian minister, Cleveland was born in New Jersey in 1837. He was raised in upstate New York. As a lawyer in Buffalo, he became notable for his single-minded concentration upon whatever task faced him.

At 44, he emerged into a political prominence that carried him to the White House in three years. Running as a reformer, he was elected Mayor of Buffalo in 1881, and later, Governor of New York.

Cleveland won the Presidency with the combined support of Democrats and reform Republicans, the "Mugwumps," who disliked the record of his opponent James G. Blaine of Maine.

A bachelor, Cleveland was ill at ease at first with all the comforts of the White House. "I must go to dinner," he wrote a friend, "but I wish it was to eat a pickled herring a Swiss cheese and a chop at Louis' instead of the French stuff I shall find." In June 1886 Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom; he was the only President married in the White House.

Cleveland vigorously pursued a policy barring special favors to any economic group. Vetoing a bill to appropriate $10,000 to distribute seed grain among drought-stricken farmers in Texas, he wrote: "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. . . . "

He also vetoed many private pension bills to Civil War veterans whose claims were fraudulent. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland vetoed it, too.

He angered the railroads by ordering an investigation of western lands they held by Government grant. He forced them to return 81,000,000 acres. He also signed the Interstate Commerce Act, the first law attempting Federal regulation of the railroads.

In December 1887 he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Told that he had given Republicans an effective issue for the campaign of 1888, he retorted, "What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?" But Cleveland was defeated in 1888; although he won a larger popular majority than the Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, he received fewer electoral votes.

Elected again in 1892, Cleveland faced an acute depression. He dealt directly with the Treasury crisis rather than with business failures, farm mortgage foreclosures, and unemployment. He obtained repeal of the mildly inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act and, with the aid of Wall Street, maintained the Treasury's gold reserve.

When railroad strikers in Chicago violated an injunction, Cleveland sent Federal troops to enforce it. "If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a post card in Chicago," he thundered, "that card will be delivered."

Cleveland's blunt treatment of the railroad strikers stirred the pride of many Americans. So did the vigorous way in which he forced Great Britain to accept arbitration of a disputed boundary in Venezuela. But his policies during the depression were generally unpopular. His party deserted him and nominated William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

After leaving the White House, Cleveland lived in retirement in Princeton, New Jersey. He died in 1908.

Source: The White House Biography

message 2: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Landry A few books on Grover Cleveland, the non-consecutive terms president:

The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland (American Presidency Series) by Richard E. Welch, Jr. Richard E. Welch, Jr.

An Honest President The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland by H. Paul Jeffers H. Paul Jeffers

Grover Cleveland (The American Presidents Series) by Henry F. Graff Henry F. Graff

To the Loss of the Presidency (Grover Cleveland a Study in Courage, Vol. 1) by Allan Nevins Allan Nevins

To the End of a Career (Grover Cleveland a Study in Courage, Vol. 2) by Allan Nevins Allan Nevins

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thanks again.

message 4: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is a new book about Cleveland and his son:

A Secret Life The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland by Charles Lachman Charles Lachman

Product info:
The child was born on September 14, 1874, at the only hospital in Buffalo, New York, that offered maternity services for unwed mothers. It was a boy, and though he entered the world in a state of illegitimacy, a distinguished name was given to this newborn: Oscar Folsom Cleveland. The son of the future president of the United States—Grover Cleveland. The story of how the man who held the nation’s highest office eventually came to take responsibility for his son is a thrilling one that reads like a sordid romance novel—including allegations of rape, physical violence, and prostitution. The stunning lengths that Cleveland undertook to conceal what really happened the evening of his son’s conception are truly astonishing—including forcing the unwed mother, Maria Halpin, into an insane asylum.

A Secret Life also finally reveals what happened to Grover Cleveland’s son. Some historians have suggested that he became an alcoholic and died a young man—but Lachman definitively establishes his fate here for the first time. In this gripping historical narrative, Charles Lachman sets the scandal-plagued record straight with a tightly-coiled plot that provides for narrative history at its best.

message 5: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Book on Cleveland's cancer surgery:

The President Is a Sick Man Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth by Matthew Algeo Matthew Algeo

Product info:
n July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland vanished. He boarded a friend’s yacht, sailed into the calm blue waters of Long Island Sound, and--poof!--disappeared. He would not be heard from again for five days. What happened during those five days, and in the days and weeks that followed, was so incredible that, even when the truth was finally revealed, many Americans simply would not believe it.

The President Is a Sick Man details an extraordinary but almost unknown chapter in American history: Grover Cleveland’s secret cancer surgery and the brazen political cover-up by a politician whose most memorable quote was “Tell the truth.” When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it. The public believed the “Honest President,” and Edwards was dismissed as “a disgrace to journalism.” The facts concerning the disappearance of Grover Cleveland that summer were so well concealed that even more than a century later a full and fair account has never been published. Until now.

message 6: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is another book on Cleveland:

Grover Cleveland A Study in Character by Alyn Brodsky by Alyn Brodsky

Library Journal:
Grover Cleveland bought his way out of the Civil War draft, may have fathered an illegitimate daughter, and married someone 27 years his junior. Whereas some may see a theme in these events that helps explain his later conservative Victorian behavior, popular historian Brodsky (The Kings Depart; Madame Lunch & Friend) writes an old-fashioned political biography of America's 22d and 24th chief executiveDthe first major one in more than a half-century. He regards the split-term president as the nation's most underrated chief executive and the best of the eight who served between Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. In the short run, notes Brodsky, Cleveland lost public favor but lived long enough to regain it. On the other hand, his workaholic and inflexible style often undermined his effectiveness. Except for an occasional negative comparison to some recent contemporary presidents, this account is balanced, readable, and worthwhile.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Interesting books; thank you Bryan.

message 8: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I discovered that I didn't bring these books over from the other Cleveland thread.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oh, how did you discover that? We do not still have two threads on Cleveland do we? But glad you found them.

message 10: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig We have one for #22, and the other for #24

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oh, that is OK, I guess as it should be otherwise folks would be looking for those office years. Is he the only president who served one term and then served another after somebody else had been in office. I think he might be.

message 12: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig He was. It is ok. I just have to remember to post in both places if it is a general book on him. There are books that are specific to his term (like an election) that cross posting won't be necessary.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
True. Thanks for keeping us straight.

message 14: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Grover's wife:

Frank The Story of Frances Folsom Cleveland, America's Youngest First Lady by Annette Dunlap Annette Dunlap

When she married forty-nine-year-old President Grover Cleveland in a White House ceremony on June 2, 1886, Frances Folsom Cleveland was only twenty-one years old, making her the nation's youngest First Lady. Despite her age, however, Washington society marveled at how quickly the inexperienced Mrs. Cleveland (known as "Frank" to her family and friends) established herself as a social leader and capable spouse. Her popular Saturday receptions and glittering formal social events, combined with the warm and winning personality she displayed during her first two years in the White House, made her one of America's most popular First Ladies.

Yet, as Annette Dunlap demonstrates in Frank, there was more to this charming and resolute woman than her social and entertaining skills. Active in New York society during the four years between the two Cleveland administrations, Frances built relationships with many of the nation's elite that helped return her husband to the White House for a second term. She played a pivotal role in keeping Cleveland's operation for cancer a secret, and as the country's economic picture and Cleveland's political popularity deteriorated, she coped admirably with criticism of herself and her husband, as well as lies about her children's health.

Even though she shared her husband's opposition to women's suffrage, favoring instead an exalted role for women in the home, she struggled with Cleveland's possessiveness. A strong and opinionated woman in her own right, she developed her own network of associations that promoted kindergartens, mission work, and charitable activities that alleviated conditions for the poor.

The first widowed former First Lady to remarry, Frances found new life as a political activist, taking a strong stand for military preparedness and promoting the need for a just and lasting peace at the end of World War I. She maintained leadership roles in several organizations well into her seventies, including the board of trustees of her alma mater, Wells College. Her lasting contributions to both early and higher education, as well as her work on behalf of the poor, may well make Frances Folsom Cleveland one of America's most underrated First Ladies.

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Interesting Bryan, thank you so much for posting the information. I just got to it.

message 16: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4302 comments Mod
Grover Cleveland's New Foreign Policy: Arbitration, Neutrality, and the Dawn of American Empire

Grover Cleveland's New Foreign Policy Arbitration, Neutrality, and the Dawn of American Empire by Nick Cleaver by Nick Cleaver (no photo)


The Spanish-American War has long been viewed as a turning point in the history of American foreign relations, the moment when the United States, led by William McKinley, finally shook off its post-revolutionary isolationist principles and embarked on a new course of foreign engagement and colonial expansionism. Comparatively overlooked has been the fact that the same factors that drove the US to war in 1898 - industrial growth, commercial expansion, and increased public interest in the wider world - had already powerfully influenced foreign policy in the years before the outbreak of war. As Nick Cleaver shows in this illuminating political and diplomatic history, McKinley's predecessor in the White House, Grover Cleveland, spent four years pursuing a different approach to foreign policy that acknowledged the changes taking place in American society at the end of the nineteenth century, even as it sought to harness them in very different ways.

message 17: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks Jerome, interesting...will have to add this.

message 18: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Bourbon leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party

Bourbon Leader Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party by Horace Samuel Merrill by Horace Samuel Merrill (no photo)


The story of the power of the Democratic party and the rise to power of Grover Cleveland within the party following the civil war.

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