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President Grover Cleveland

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President Grover Cleveland
Princeton, New Jersey 08540

Our twenty-second, and twenty-fourth, president was born on March 18, 1837 in New Jersey. His father was a Presbyterian minister. As a young child Cleveland grew up in New York with his eight brothers and sisters. He later became a lawyer in Buffalo.

At the age of forty-four Grover Cleveland entered the world of politics. He was the Mayor of Buffalo in 1881 and eventually became the Governor of New York. Within three years, he had earned his way into the White House.

Grover Cleveland was the first Democratic president to be elected after the Civil War. Upon entering the White House, he had a difficult time adjusting to the life of luxury. In June of 1886, he married Frances Folsom, becoming the only president to marry while still in office.

As president, Cleveland vetoed several bills that gave free handouts, be it money or other luxury, to the people. To which he stated: "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 ordered an investigation of the western lands held by the Government, and forced them to return $81,000,000. Cleveland then signed the Interstate Commerce Act, which was the first law that attempted to federally regulate the railroads. In 1887, he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs.

In the campaign of 1888, Grover Cleveland lost by having fewer electoral votes, he did however have the majority of popular votes. He was elected again in 1892, and he faced an acute depression.

Cleveland’s second term focused mostly on the Treasury crisis in America. He repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, and maintained the Treasury’s gold reserve. Then the railroad strike hit. Grover Cleveland sent Federal troops to enforce the strike. To this he said: "If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a post card to Chicago, that card will be delivered." Although his blunt way of dealing with disputes stirred the pride of Americans, Cleveland’s policies were unpopular. He was deserted by his party and was not re-nominated.

After leaving the White House, Grover Cleveland retired to Princeton, New Jersey. He died there on June 24, 1908.



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