107 Facts About Grover Cleveland


Stephen Grover Cleveland was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States from 1885 to 1889 and from 1893 to 1897.

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Grover Cleveland is the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

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Grover Cleveland won the popular vote for three presidential elections—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of two Democrats to be elected president during the era of Republican presidential domination dating from 1861 to 1933.

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In 1881, Grover Cleveland was elected mayor of Buffalo and later governor of New York.

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Grover Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, free silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans.

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Grover Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.

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Grover Cleveland was a formidable policymaker, and he drew corresponding criticism.

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Critics complained that Grover Cleveland had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term.

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Grover Cleveland had no endowments that thousands of men do not have.

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Grover Cleveland possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense.

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Today, Grover Cleveland is considered by most historians to have been a successful leader, and has been praised for honesty, integrity, adherence to his morals and defying party boundaries, and effective leadership.

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Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837, in Caldwell, New Jersey, to Ann and Richard Falley Cleveland.

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Grover Cleveland's father was a Congregational and Presbyterian minister who was originally from Connecticut.

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Grover Cleveland's mother was from Baltimore and was the daughter of a bookseller.

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On his father's side, Grover Cleveland was descended from English ancestors, the first of the family having emigrated to Massachusetts from Grover Cleveland, England, in 1635.

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On his mother's side, Grover Cleveland was descended from Anglo-Irish Protestants and German Quakers from Philadelphia.

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Grover Cleveland was distantly related to General Moses Cleaveland, after whom the city of Grover Cleveland, Ohio, was named.

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Grover Cleveland returned to Clinton and his schooling at the completion of the apprentice contract.

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The younger Grover Cleveland was said to have learned about his father's death from a boy selling newspapers.

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Grover Cleveland received his elementary education at the Fayetteville Academy and the Clinton Liberal Academy.

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Grover Cleveland returned home to Holland Patent at the end of 1854, where an elder in his church offered to pay for his college education if he would promise to become a minister.

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Grover Cleveland stopped first in Buffalo, New York, where his uncle, Lewis F Allen, gave him a clerical job.

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Grover Cleveland later took a clerkship with the firm, began to read the law with them, and was admitted to the New York bar in 1859.

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Grover Cleveland worked for the Rogers firm for three years before leaving in 1862 to start his own practice.

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Grover Cleveland chose the latter course, paying $150 to George Benninsky, a thirty-two-year-old Polish immigrant, to serve in his place.

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In 1868, Grover Cleveland attracted professional attention for his winning defense of a libel suit against the editor of Buffalo's Commercial Advertiser.

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Grover Cleveland devoted his growing income instead to the support of his mother and younger sisters.

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Grover Cleveland had a decided aversion to Republicans John Fremont and Abraham Lincoln, and the heads of the Rogers law firm were solid Democrats.

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In 1870, with the help of friend Oscar Folsom, Grover Cleveland secured the Democratic nomination for Sheriff of Erie County, New York.

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Grover Cleveland won the election by a 303-vote margin and took office on January 1, 1871, at age 33.

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Grover Cleveland was aware of graft in the sheriff's office during his tenure and chose not to confront it.

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Grover Cleveland hanged another murderer, John Gaffney, on February 14, 1873.

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In March 1876, Grover Cleveland accused Halpin of being an alcoholic and had the child removed from her custody.

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Grover Cleveland had Halpin admitted to the Providence Asylum in an attempt to have her sober up and get her life back on track.

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Grover Cleveland asked the state legislature to form a Commission to develop a plan to improve the sewer system in Buffalo at a much lower cost than previously proposed locally; this plan was successfully adopted.

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The Republican party remained divided, and in the general election Cleveland emerged the victor, with 535, 318 votes to Republican nominee Charles J Folger's 342, 464.

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Grover Cleveland brought his opposition to needless spending to the governor's office; he promptly sent the legislature eight vetoes in his first two months in office.

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Grover Cleveland, however, saw the bill as unjust—Gould had taken over the railroads when they were failing and had made the system solvent again.

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Theodore Roosevelt, then a member of the Assembly, had reluctantly voted for the bill to which Grover Cleveland objected, in a desire to punish the unscrupulous railroad barons.

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Tammany, under its boss, John Kelly, had disapproved of Cleveland's nomination as governor, and their resistance intensified after Cleveland openly opposed and prevented the re-election of Thomas F Grady, their point man in the State Senate.

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Grover Cleveland steadfastly opposed nominees of the Tammanyites, as well as bills passed as a result of their deal-making.

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The loss of Tammany's support was offset by the support of Theodore Roosevelt and other reform-minded Republicans who helped Grover Cleveland to pass several laws reforming municipal governments.

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Grover Cleveland, too, had detractors—Tammany remained opposed to him—but the nature of his enemies made him still more friends.

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The Mugwumps, including such men as Carl Schurz and Henry Ward Beecher, were more concerned with morality than with party, and felt Grover Cleveland was a kindred soul who would promote civil service reform and fight for efficiency in government.

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In general, Grover Cleveland abided by the precedent of minimizing presidential campaign travel and speechmaking; Blaine became one of the first to break with that tradition.

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Grover Cleveland's supporters rehashed the old allegations that Blaine had corruptly influenced legislation in favor of the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad and the Union Pacific Railway, later profiting on the sale of bonds he owned in both companies.

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When confronted with the scandal, Grover Cleveland immediately instructed his supporters to "Above all, tell the truth.

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These jobs were typically filled under the spoils system, but Grover 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.

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Grover Cleveland used his appointment powers to reduce the number of federal employees, as many departments had become bloated with political time-servers.

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Later in his term, as his fellow Democrats chafed at being excluded from the spoils, Grover Cleveland began to replace more of the partisan Republican officeholders with Democrats; this was especially the case with policymaking positions.

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Grover Cleveland angered railroad investors by ordering an investigation of western lands they held by government grant.

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Grover Cleveland was the first Democratic president subject to the Tenure of Office Act which originated in 1867; the act purported to require the Senate to approve the dismissal of any presidential appointee who was originally subject to its advice and consent.

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Grover Cleveland objected to the act in principle and his steadfast refusal to abide by it prompted its fall into disfavor and led to its ultimate repeal in 1887.

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Grover Cleveland faced a Republican Senate and often resorted to using his veto powers.

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Grover Cleveland vetoed hundreds of private pension bills for American Civil War veterans, believing that if their pensions requests had already been rejected by the Pension Bureau, Congress should not attempt to override that decision.

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Grover Cleveland used the veto far more often than any president up to that time.

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In 1887, Grover Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill.

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Grover Cleveland unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to repeal this law before he was inaugurated.

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Grover Cleveland was a committed non-interventionist who had campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism.

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Grover Cleveland refused to promote the previous administration's Nicaragua canal treaty, and generally was less of an expansionist in foreign relations.

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In 1885 Cleveland appointed the Board of Fortifications under Secretary of War William C Endicott to recommend a new coastal fortification system for the United States.

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Secretary of State Thomas F 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 prevented the return of Chinese immigrants who left the United States.

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Grover 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.

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Grover Cleveland believed the Dawes Act would lift Native Americans out of poverty and encourage their assimilation into white society.

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Grover Cleveland was 47 years old when he entered the White House as a bachelor.

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Grover Cleveland's sister Rose Cleveland joined him, acting as hostess for the first two years of his administration.

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When she returned to school, President Grover Cleveland received her mother's permission to correspond with her, and they were soon engaged to be married.

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Grover Cleveland was the second president to wed while in office, and remains the only president to marry in the White House.

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At 21 years, Frances Folsom Grover Cleveland was the youngest First Lady in history, and soon became popular for her warm personality.

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Grover Cleveland's is the only child of a President to have been born there.

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Grover Cleveland claimed paternity of an additional child named Oscar Folsom Grover Cleveland with Maria Crofts Halpin.

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Chief Justice Morrison Waite died a few months later, and Grover Cleveland nominated Melville Fuller to fill his seat on April 30, 1888.

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Grover Cleveland had previously declined Cleveland's nomination to the Civil Service Commission, preferring his Chicago law practice.

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Grover Cleveland nominated 41 lower federal court judges in addition to his four Supreme Court justices.

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Grover Cleveland was renominated at the Democratic convention in St Louis.

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Grover Cleveland continued his duties diligently until the end of the term and began to look forward to returning to private life.

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Harrison administration worked with Congress to pass the McKinley Tariff, an aggressively protectionist measure, and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which increased money backed by silver; these were among policies Grover Cleveland deplored as dangerous to the nation's financial health.

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At first he refrained from criticizing his successor, but by 1891 Grover Cleveland felt compelled to speak out, addressing his concerns in an open letter to a meeting of reformers in New York.

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Grover Cleveland's enduring reputation as chief executive and his recent pronouncements on the monetary issues made him a leading contender for the Democratic nomination.

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Grover Cleveland's leading opponent was David B Hill, a Senator for New York.

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The panic was worsened by the acute shortage of gold that resulted from the increased coinage of silver, and Grover Cleveland called Congress into special session to deal with the problem.

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Grover Cleveland was outraged with the final bill, and denounced it as a disgraceful product of the control of the Senate by trusts and business interests.

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In 1892, Grover Cleveland had campaigned against the Lodge Bill, which would have strengthened voting rights protections through the appointing of federal supervisors of congressional elections upon a petition from the citizens of any district.

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Grover Cleveland obtained an injunction in federal court, and when the strikers refused to obey it, he sent federal troops into Chicago and 20 other rail centers.

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Just before the 1894 election, Grover Cleveland was warned by Francis Lynde Stetson, an advisor: "We are on the eve of [a] very dark night, unless a return of commercial prosperity relieves popular discontent with what they believe [is] Democratic incompetence to make laws, and consequently [discontent] with Democratic Administrations anywhere and everywhere.

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When Grover Cleveland took office he faced the question of Hawaiian annexation.

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Five days after taking office on March 9, 1893, Grover Cleveland withdrew the treaty from the Senate and sent former Congressman James Henderson Blount to Hawai'i to investigate the conditions there.

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Grover Cleveland agreed with Blount's report, which found the populace to be opposed to annexation.

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The Senate, under Democratic control but opposed to Grover Cleveland, commissioned and produced the Morgan Report, which contradicted Blount's findings and found the overthrow was a completely internal affair.

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Grover Cleveland dropped all talk of reinstating the Queen, and went on to recognize and maintain diplomatic relations with the new Republic of Hawaii.

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Closer to home, Grover Cleveland adopted a broad interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine that not only prohibited new European colonies, but declared an American national interest in any matter of substance within the hemisphere.

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Second Grover Cleveland administration was as committed to military modernization as the first, and ordered the first ships of a navy capable of offensive action.

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Grover Cleveland decided to have surgery secretly, to avoid further panic that might worsen the financial depression.

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Grover Cleveland enjoyed many years of life after the tumor was removed, and there was some debate as to whether it was actually malignant.

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Several doctors, including Dr Keen, stated after Grover Cleveland's death that the tumor was a carcinoma.

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Further, Grover Cleveland had not consulted the Senators before naming his appointee, leaving many who were already opposed to Grover Cleveland on other grounds even more aggrieved.

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Grover 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.

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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.

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Later, in 1895, another vacancy on the Court led Grover Cleveland to consider Hornblower again, but he declined to be nominated.

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Instead, Grover Cleveland nominated Rufus Wheeler Peckham, the brother of Wheeler Hazard Peckham, and the Senate confirmed the second Peckham easily.

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Grover Cleveland silently supported the Gold Democrats' third-party ticket that promised to defend the gold standard, limit government, and oppose high tariffs, but he declined their nomination for a third term.

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Grover Cleveland consulted occasionally with President Theodore Roosevelt but was financially unable to accept the chairmanship of the commission handling the Coal Strike of 1902.

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Grover Cleveland's health had been declining for several years, and in the autumn of 1907 he fell seriously ill.

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Grover Cleveland secretly bought a farmhouse, Oak View, in a rural upland part of the District of Columbia, in 1886, and remodeled it into a Queen Anne style summer estate.

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Grover Cleveland sold Oak View upon losing his bid for re-election in 1888.

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Grover Cleveland was a member of the first board of directors of the then Buffalo Normal School.

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Grover Cleveland appeared on the first few issues of the $20 Federal Reserve Notes from 1914.

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