BECK index

United States & Cleveland 1885-89

by Sanderson Beck

Cleveland to 1885
United States & Cleveland in 1885
United States & Cleveland in 1886
United States & Cleveland in 1887
Cleveland, Indians & the West
United States, Cleveland & Elections in 1888

Cleveland to 1885

      His father Richard Cleveland was a Presbyterian minister at Caldwell, New Jersey when Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on 18 March 1837, the fifth of nine children. In 1841 the family moved to Fayetteville, New York where Grover went to the Fayetteville Academy. He had a Puritan upbringing and had to memorize the Westminster Catechism which answers 107 questions on God the Creator, original sin, the Christ as Redeemer, the Ten Commandments, and the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. In addition to religion his father taught him some Latin and mathematics. Grover eventually became a Deist and developed strong convictions of social responsibility. In 1850 the family moved to Clinton, and Grover was a mercantile apprentice for two years in Fayetteville. He also attended the Clinton Liberal Academy before working in a general store for room and board and $50 a year. After his father’s death in 1853 he left school again to support the family. He became the bookkeeper at New York City’s Institution for the Blind, and he taught the younger children. There he met blind Fanny Crosby who later said he was kind and sympathetic and resented the superintendent’s cruelty.
      Grover Cleveland stopped using the name Stephen and declined money because he would not promise to become a minister. In 1855 he went to Buffalo and began studying law. He became a clerk at the law firm of Rogers, Bowen & Rogers. New York admitted him to the bar in 1859, and the firm paid him $1,000 a year, enabling him to send more money to his mother. Cleveland became a Democrat and a delegate from the second ward, and in November 1862 he was elected ward supervisor. In January 1863 he became assistant district attorney for Erie County for three years. As the DA’s health declined, he was given more responsibility. Cleveland during the Civil War was a Unionist, and he supported Lincoln’s suspending the writ of habeas corpus. Because he was supporting his mother and two sisters, he paid a Polish immigrant $300 to be his substitute as a soldier. During his three years as the assistant DA he attended all 36 grand juries and tried nearly half of them. In 1865 he got the Democratic nomination for District Attorney, but he lost a close race against the Republican Lyman K. Bass who was his friend and former roommate.
      In 1866 Cleveland successfully defended pro bono the Fenian raiders who tried to drive the British out of Canada. He declined money the Fenians raised for him. He also defended the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser editor who was sued for libel in 1868. Cleveland formed a law firm with Isaac K. Vanderpoel who soon became a police magistrate, but Cleveland started a firm with two other young lawyers in 1869. He ran for county sheriff and was elected by 303 votes in the fall of 1870. He served for three years and earned $40,000. He conducted two hangings that were hidden from spectators. The Erie Canal had made Buffalo the second largest city in New York, and Erie County had the largest jail. The city had 673 saloons and many brothels.
      In 1874 Cleveland formed a law firm with Bass and Wilson S. Bissell, and he gained a reputation for integrity and fair justice. Often judges asked his advice as an impartial person. He declined a position with the New York Central Railroad. He represented some corporations, and by this time he had saved $75,000.
      In Buffalo both Democrats and Republicans had political machines, and they divided the spoils. In 1881 after the Democratic boss John C. Sheehan agreed not to run for controller, Cleveland ran for mayor. The journalist William Hudson studied his speeches and suggested the slogan “Public Office Is a Public Trust.” Cleveland liked it and accepted the nomination on the conditions that no votes would be purchased and that he would not canvas saloons. Cleveland won by 3,592 votes out of 26,648 cast, and he became the Mayor of Buffalo on 2 January 1882.
      Cleveland cancelled the inaugural festivities and ordered municipal employees to start working the next morning and to stop working half-days for a full-days’ pay. His salary was $2,500 a year. He arranged for his partner to handle the law firm and said he could be consulted when there was no conflict of interest. He set out to conduct the city with the efficiency of a private business. When he learned that 36% of deaths were caused by diseases which were preventable, he had the board of health clean up the sewage system by bringing water from the Niagara River. Aldermen had awarded a five-year contract to George Talbot for his $422,500 bid in which the aldermen were to get $50,000. Cleveland vetoed that bill and persuaded the aldermen to give the contract to Thomas Maytham for his $109,000 bid. He discovered that Martin Flanagan had been convicted of murder because of a botched defense by two lawyers, and the Mayor went with the jurors and persuaded Gov. Cornell at Albany to commute his sentence. Instead of using $500 from the budget for the 4th of July, he led the fundraising to pay for the celebration. In one year he saved the city of Buffalo over $1 million. Cleveland was six feet tall and weighed about 270 pounds.
      The Republican John Adams Dix had been elected Governor of New York in 1872. He eliminated property qualifications for black voters, was given a line-item veto on appropriation bills, and got the governor’s term increased from two to three years. The latter did not take effect until the 1876 election. In the 1874 election Dix was defeated by the Democrat Samuel J. Tilden who went on to win the popular vote in the 1876 presidential election. In 1876 New York elected the Democrat Lucius Robinson for governor, and he opposed the corruption of Tammany Hall. This stimulated the Tammany boss “Honest John” Kelly to run against him as a Democrat which split the party and enabled the Republican Alonzo B. Cornell to be elected in 1879. He governed for three years; but in 1882 the Republican Charles J. Folger, who was the US Treasury Secretary, defeated Cornell at the convention for the Republican nomination. Daniel Manning was chairman of New York’s Democratic Party, and he helped the reformer Cleveland get the nomination for governor. At the Democratic convention Roswell P. Flower and Henry W. Slocum were leading on the first ballot, and Mayor Cleveland was third; but he ended up with the nomination as the compromise candidate. In his letter accepting the nomination, he wrote,

The laboring classes constitute
the main part of our population.
They should be protected in their efforts to assert
their rights when endangered by aggregated capital,
and all statutes on the subject should recognize
the care of the State for honest toil,
and be framed with a view
of improving the condition of the workingman.1

Cleveland in the election for New York Governor got 535,318 votes to the Republican nominee Charles J. Folger's 342,464, giving him the largest margin of victory (192,854) in such a race. Democrats swept the state offices and also increased their advantages in the state legislature.
      Manning persuaded Cleveland to accept young Daniel Lamont as his private secretary, and he would be a close friend, an advisor, and an intermediary with the press. On New Year’s Day in 1883 Cleveland was inaugurated as Governor of New York, and he gave a short speech, promising to reform civil service and taxation. The next day he spoke to the legislature saying that he was concerned about the injustice of the tax system, and he insisted, “All unnecessary offices should be abolished, and all employment of doubtful benefit discontinued.”2 He was persuaded to live in the governor’s mansion for its expediency, and his annual salary of $10,000 had to pay his expenses beyond rent and furnishings. He got up at 7 a.m. and often worked past midnight.
      Cleveland believed that corporations should be restricted from oppressing the people with unwarranted power. By February he had vetoed eight bills that had “pork barrel” spending or other corrupting special interests, and during his first year he vetoed 44 bills. They established the Bureau of Labor Statistics in order to assess the needs of those earning wages. They prohibited the making of cigars in tenement homes that had often involved child labor and also the manufacture of woolen hats worn by prisoners. Cleveland opposed reducing the 12-hour work day of streetcar conductors because it would have limited the right of workingmen to choose their hours. He implemented a comprehensive civil service program that prohibited assessments from state employees. He had the insurance companies supervised to benefit policyholders, and he improved the administration of the immigration bureau.
      After Democrats won the Ohio elections in October 1883, Cleveland addressed the New York state convention, saying, “We shall succeed because we deserve success, because the people are just, and because we bear high aloft the banner of their rights.”3 In his first annual address to the legislature he urged legislation to control the excesses of the great corporations, saying,

It is a grave question whether the formation
of these artificial bodies ought not to be checked
or better regulated, and in some way supervised.
At any rate, they should always be kept well in hand,
and the funds of its citizens should be protected by the State
which has invited their investment.4

In New York City he said,

Are you sure that all the property of this great metropolis,
where fortunes, which the farmer vainly works
a lifetime to secure, are made and lost in a day,
meets with equal fairness, its share of taxation?...
Immense salaries are paid to officers;
transactions are consummated by which the directors
make money while the rank and file
among the stockholders lose it;
the honest investor waits for dividends
and the directors grow rich.
It is suspected, too, that large sums are spent
under various disguises in efforts to influence legislation.5

He suggested that an auditing authority could advise on how to reimburse injured stockholders. The New York legislature passed civil service reform, and Gov. Cleveland appointed reputable citizens to the new civil service commission. When he was criticized for being too lenient in pardoning people, he said,

Justice, mercy, and humanity are the things
alone to be considered in the application of a pardon.
And if I find a poor fellow has been unjustly imprisoned,
or there is any good reason why he should be pardoned,
I’ll pardon, and will not regard the record at all.6

      Cleveland found in the New York State Assembly a partner in the Republican minority leader Theodore Roosevelt in order to bring about reforms. They worked together on three related bills. One replaced the fee system in county offices with salaries, and this stopped blackmail and saved $200,000 a year. A second bill gave mayors the authority to appoint department heads, commissioners, marshals, and police justices and to remove them for a reason with the Governor’s approval. The third removed the aldermen’s power to confirm the mayor’s appointments. The aldermen had been tools of Boss Kelly’s machine.
      Cleveland became known for criticizing the corruption of Tammany leaders and lost their support by opposing their man Thomas F. Grady to lead the state’s Senate. Cleveland’s reputation was spreading, and his name was often mentioned as a candidate for President. On June 30 he wrote to New York’s Democratic Party chairman Daniel Manning that he would accept the Democratic nomination for President but not for Vice President. On July 4 he made a speech while dedicating a Civil War monument in Buffalo. He praised New York and noted that they sent 450,000 men to fight for the Union.
      The former Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden on June 10 had written a letter that he no longer had the physical strength to run for President. On June 18 Manning at the Democratic state convention allowed the Tammany men to have half of the New York County delegates to the convention, but the Cleveland majority was prepared to support the unit rule. On July 5 the civil service reformer George W. Curtis of Harper’s Weekly endorsed Cleveland for President.
      Cleveland did not attend the Democrat’s national convention at Chicago on 8 July 1884. Mugwumps, who did not like the Republican candidate Blaine, urged Democrats to nominate Cleveland. Gov. Richard Hubbard of Texas was the temporary chairman and praised the honor of Samuel Tilden and Thomas Hendricks for accepting the ruling by the Elector Commission that made Rutherford Hayes President in 1877. Tom Grady of New York opposed Cleveland, and he proposed that they abolish the unit rule on voting. This was an attempt to stop Cleveland, and it was defeated 463-322.
      The next day Col. William Vilas of Wisconsin became chairman and criticized the Republicans for renewing sectional strife. Cleveland had much support in the South where General Butler was especially disliked because of how he had treated Louisiana during the Civil War. Delaware nominated their Senator Thomas F. Bayard, and Thomas Hendricks of Indiana offered the former Senator Joseph F. McDonald. Gov. George Hoadley of Ohio suggested their former Senator Allen G. Thurman. Other candidates were the House Speaker John G. Carlisle of Kentucky and the former Speaker Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania. Then Rep. Daniel Lockwood of Buffalo put Cleveland’s name in for nomination, saying that he understood honest government and that he would assure New York’s electoral votes. Tom Grady rose up and said that Cleveland would not carry New York. Bourke Cockran warned that Cleveland was a dwarf compared to Tilden. Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, who had moved to Wisconsin, seconded Cleveland’s nomination, saying that people

respect him not only for himself, for his character,
for his integrity and judgment and iron will,
but they love him most of all
for the enemies he has made.7

This referred to Kelly and the Tammany men who were much disliked by those in states other than New York. Before adopting it they heard a reading of the platform that included reforming federal land sales, reducing taxes and import duties, and restraining monopolies.
      They began voting and at 1:30 a.m. announced that Cleveland had 392 votes to 170 for Delaware’s Senator Thomas F. Bayard and 88 for the former Senator Allen G. Thurman of Ohio. With the Democrats’ two-thirds rule 547 votes were needed for nomination. The next day an effort was made to shift votes to Thomas Hendricks of Indiana, but more went to Cleveland giving him 683 votes and the nomination. Bayard got 81.5 and Hendricks 45.5. Then by acclamation they nominated Thomas A. Hendricks for Vice President again.
      Cleveland was notified by telegraph and by telephone to Albany that he had been nominated. In his letter of acceptance he suggested a constitutional amendment to limit the presidency to one term, but he did not make this a campaign issue. He wrote that he would dedicate himself to civil service reform, economic government, and legislation to benefit the working class. He warned that Republicans were influenced by the wealthy, that having been in power so long they had become corrupt, and that their high tariffs had increased surpluses. The Republican National Committee had subsidized the campaign of General Butler for the Greenback Party in order to take Democratic votes, but the Prohibition Party could take votes from Blaine in upstate New York. The Tammany Hall opposition in New York City led by the boss Kelly was opposing Cleveland who on August 31 wrote to Daniel Lamont,

I had rather be beaten than to truckle to Butler or Kelly.
I don’t want any pledge made for me
that will violate my professions or betray
and deceive the good people who believe in me.8

Blaine challenged Cleveland to a debate on tariffs or any other issues, but Cleveland declined.
      On July 12 the Boston Advertiser praised Cleveland for having “the happy faculty of being able to refuse a request without giving offense” and for being “always as one heartily desirous of getting at the bottom of any matter he may have in hand, and of acting wisely on it.”9
      On July 21 the Buffalo Evening Telegraph published on the front page the scandalous “Pitiful Story of a Maria Halpin and Governor Cleveland’s Son.” Cleveland did not acknowledge that the child was his, though he contributed to the boy’s support. He doubted if Halpin herself knew who the father was; but as he was the only possibility who was not married, she named her son Oscar Folsom Cleveland, hoping he would marry her. Cleveland apparently accepted responsibility in order to protect his friend Folsom and his family. Because Halpin was drinking heavily and neglected her baby, she was committed to the Providence Asylum while the boy was sent to the Protestant Orphan Asylum. She escaped and abducted her son who was then returned to the orphanage and was adopted. This scandal was promoted by the Boston Journal, the only newspaper in New England that endorsed Blaine. Later on 19 May 1885 Joseph Pulitzer’s World accused Republican leaders of getting Buffalo’s Rev. George H. Ball to expose the rumors. Cleveland advised his supporters to tell the truth.
      The Mulligan letters revealed that Blaine in 1869 had saved a land grant for the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad which then let him sell their bonds with a high commission. On 16 April 1876 Blaine wrote a letter to Warren G. Fisher describing a letter exonerating him but told him to keep this letter confidential, writing “Burn this letter.” This last statement was used against him in the campaign. The Nation editor Lawrence Godkin argued that Blaine’s public corruption was more relevant to the presidency than Cleveland’s alleged private moral failing. Blaine was also accused of continuing to raise the “bloody shirt” of Civil War conflicts and of favoring the spoils system.
      During the campaign Cleveland made only a few speeches, spending most of his time working as Governor in Albany. Blaine made over 400 speeches in a six-week period. Cleveland visited Buffalo on October 2, then was hailed in a parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and he spoke on the 28th in Newark, New Jersey. The next day Blaine talked to Protestant clergy in New York City, and the Rev. Samuel D. Burchard introduced Blaine and called Democrats the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” Although Blaine rejected that, the Democrats used it to win votes from Catholics especially in critical New York. That same night Blaine met with 200 of the richest men in America for a “prosperity dinner” at Delmonico’s. Excluding reporters led to suspicion, and this would be satirized by cartoonists as “The Royal Feast of Belshazzar Blaine and the Money Kings.” Cleveland was widely respected for his integrity.
      The election on November 4 was very close and was not decided for several days. Cleveland got 4,914,482 votes to Blaine’s 4,856,905. Cleveland won New York’s 36 electoral votes by merely 1,147 votes, giving him a 219-182 Electoral College victory.
      President-elect Cleveland appointed the experienced Senator Thomas F. Bayard of Delaware as Secretary of State. He had promised Samuel Tilden that he would put Daniel Manning in his cabinet, and he became Treasury Secretary. Wealthy lawyer William C. Whitney had gone to Harvard, and he had opposed the Tweed Ring and saved New York City millions on fraudulent claims. He had donated $20,000 to Cleveland’s campaign and was named Navy Secretary. William C. Endicott was also a Harvard graduate who was put on the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and Cleveland made him Secretary of War. He balanced his cabinet with two southerners—Senator Lucius Q. C. Lamar of Mississippi as Interior Secretary and Senator Augustus H. Garland of Arkansas as Attorney General. William F. Vilas of Wisconsin became Postmaster General.
      Business failures increased to nearly 10,000 in both 1884 and 1885. In 1882 railroad construction was 11,569 miles; but in 1885 it was down to 2,982 as pig-iron also fell. Nearly 750,000 immigrants arrived in 1882, but less than 400,000 came in 1885. A government report in 1885 found that one million Americans or 7.5% of those who worked in industry, agriculture, and trade were unemployed.
      The Knights of Labor persuaded the US Congress to pass the Foran Act on 28 February 1885 that prohibited employers from making contracts with immigrants by paying for their passage in exchange for a period of indentured service. The Republican Martin Foran of Ohio opposed too many immigrants because they often worked as strike breakers.
      The US Congress on March 3 added an Indian Major Crimes Act to the Indian Appropriation Act giving Federal courts jurisdiction on the crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with intent to kill, arson, burglary, and larceny. On that day the US Post Office began special delivery service. The first-class postal rate for a letter was doubled to two cents. On the same day the US Congress approved a Board of Fortifications and Coast Defenses. Also on the 3rd California became the first state to approve a forest commission.
      Grover Cleveland had left Albany, New York on March 2, hiring a train paid for by himself and the Democratic Party, rather than accepting a free train.

United States & Cleveland in 1885

      On a sunny day on 4 March 1885 Grover Cleveland gave his memorized inaugural address that lasted 15 minutes, saying among other similar principles,

   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….
   The large variety of diverse and competing interests
subject to Federal control,
persistently seeking the recognition of their claims,
need give us no fear that
”the greatest good to the greatest number”
will fail to be accomplished
if in the halls of national legislation
that spirit of amity and mutual concession shall prevail
in which the Constitution had its birth….
   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….
It is the duty of those serving the people in public place
to closely limit public expenditures to the actual needs
of the Government economically administered.
   The genius of our institutions,
the needs of our people in their homelife,
and the attention which is demanded for the settlement
and development of the resources of our vast territory
dictate the scrupulous avoidance of any departure
from that foreign policy commended by the history,
the traditions, and the prosperity of our Republic.
It is the policy of independence, favored by our position and
defended by our known love of justice and by our power.
It is the policy of peace suitable to our interests.
It is the policy of neutrality, rejecting any share
in foreign broils and ambitions
upon other continents and repelling their intrusion here.
It is the policy of Monroe and of Washington and Jefferson—
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations;
entangling alliance with none.”
   A due regard for the interests and prosperity
of all the people demands that our finances
shall be established upon such a sound and sensible basis
as shall secure the safety
and confidence of business interests
and make the wage of labor sure and steady,
and that our system of revenue shall be so adjusted
as to relieve the people of unnecessary taxation,
having a due regard to the interests of capital invested
and workingmen employed in American industries,
and preventing the accumulation of a surplus
in the Treasury to tempt extravagance and waste.
   Care for the property of the nation
and for the needs of future settlers
requires that the public domain should be protected
from purloining schemes and unlawful occupation.
   The conscience of the people demands that
the Indians within our boundaries shall be fairly
and honestly treated as wards of the Government
and their education and civilization promoted
with a view to their ultimate citizenship,
and that polygamy in the Territories,
destructive of the family relation
and offensive to the moral sense of the civilized world,
shall be repressed….
   The people demand reform
in the administration of the Government
and the application of business principles to public affairs.
As a means to this end,
civil-service reform should be in good faith enforced.
Our citizens have the right to protection
from the incompetency of public employees who
hold their places solely as the reward of partisan service,
and from the corrupting influence of those who promise
and the vicious methods of those who expect such rewards;
and those who worthily seek public employment
have the right to insist that merit and competency
shall be recognized instead of party subserviency
or the surrender of honest political belief.
   In the administration of a government
pledged to do equal and exact justice to all men
there should be no pretext for anxiety
touching the protection of the freedmen in their rights
or their security in the enjoyment of their privileges
under the Constitution and its amendments.10

He also indicated that he was not going to change the exclusion of Chinese immigrants.
      The inaugural ball was held in the Great Hall of the unfinished Pension Building with music by John Philip Sousa and the US Marine Corps Band.
      As Cleveland was still unmarried, his sister Rose acted as official hostess in the White House. She graduated from Houghton Seminary and taught there and at a collegiate institute in Lafayette, Indiana. She had just published George Eliot’s Poetry and Other Studies, and it became a best seller. Having lectured, she liked to converse with educated visitors. Cleveland also allowed the family of his private secretary Lamont to reside in the White House. The President continued to rise early and work late. He met with visitors every morning at 10 except on Sundays and Mondays, the day he consulted his cabinet which met on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He encouraged them to speak freely, but he made decisions himself without taking a vote. After the scandalous campaign Cleveland did not provide space inside for reporters, though they could interview visitors outside.
      On March 13 Cleveland warned settlers to stay off the land in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). He learned that about 2.75 million acres of public land had been obtained fraudulently by railroads, cattlemen, and claim-jumpers in the Dakotas and Kansas as well as in the Indian Territory. On April 3 he signed legislation that opened the US public land to settlers.
      Cleveland enforced the 1883 Civil Service Law that required examinations for civil service positions, though about 110,000 political appointees were not yet under that law. Archbishop James Gibbons of Baltimore recommended Anthony M. Kelly of Virginia for minister to Italy, and Cleveland took his advice not knowing that Kelly criticized the Italian government for usurping power. They rejected Kelly, and Cleveland made the mistake of sending him to Austria which was allied with Italy and also refused to accept Kelly.
      Cleveland took over an administration in which 95% of the employees were Republicans. In the US Senate the Republicans maintained a slight 37-34 advantage. In his first ten months he gave the US Senate the names of 643 holdovers he wanted to replace, but they blocked his nominations. Democrats in the US House of Representatives had lost 14 seats, but they still had a 182-141 majority over the Republicans.
      Cleveland was careful not to reward his friends with jobs he did not think their qualifications merited. Wilson Bissell wanted a cabinet appointment; but when Cleveland only offered him ceremonial jobs such as Currency Comptroller or Treasurer, Bissell declined, went home, and wrote angry letters. On June 25 Cleveland wrote to Bissel,

If, in carrying my present burden,
I must feel that my friends are calling me selfish
and doubting my attachment to them,
and criticizing the fact that in my administration
of my great trust I am not aiding them,
I shall certainly be very unhappy,
but shall nevertheless struggle on.11

      Postmaster General Vilas had railroad interests, but he tried to stop their overcharging the government for transporting mail. The Congress decided not to let the government own the mail cars. Cleveland did not try to compete with Europeans with an imperialistic navy but limited modernizing to protecting American coasts. He liked to eat, and his weight approached 300 pounds.
      The New York Customs Collector E. L. Hedden was a Democrat, and he was criticized for replacing the Brooklyn Customs District chief weigher Captain Bacon who was a Republican with the Democratic ward heeler George H. Sterling. Reformers complained in September, and Edward M. Shepard, who led the Young Men’s Democratic Club of Brooklyn, submitted evidence and asked Cleveland to restore Bacon. Cleveland agreed that they should take the competitive exam. When Sterling came out 22nd out of 45 candidates, the job was given to the person who got the top score. On September 11 Cleveland released his letter accepting the resignation of Civil Service Commissioner Dorman Eaton. Lt. Gov. David B. Hill had replaced Cleveland as governor of New York and was being supported by Tammany Democrats who wanted to use him to replace Cleveland. Despite knowing this, Cleveland donated $1,000 to his campaign, and Hill won a big victory in the governor race.
      On September 30 recent immigrants from Sweden and Britain attacked the Chinese who worked for less pay at Rock Springs in the Wyoming Territory, killing 28 Chinese and chasing others out of town. The Chinese minister in Washington DC complained, and Secretary of State Bayard apologized and said they would investigate.
      Sporadic violence against Chinese people occurred in various places in the Washington Territory, and an anti-Chinese congress had met at Seattle on September 28. Tacoma’s Mayor Weisbach presided and ordered the Chinese to leave that city by November 1. He said that if General John W. Sprague tried to protect the Chinese, the mayor would have him hanged. On the 3rd a mob forced over 150 Chinese to go to the railroad station and board a train for Portland. Then they destroyed the Chinese community. On November 7 Weisbach, the fire chief, and 25 others were indicted for felony conspiracy and were taken to Vancouver. They all pleaded not guilty, posted bail, and returned to Tacoma. The charges were all eventually dismissed.
      Vice President Thomas Hendricks died on November 25. This stimulated the Congress to clarify the presidential succession that established the line from the Vice President to the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and War, the Attorney General, the Postmaster General, and the Interior Secretary in that order. President Cleveland signed the bill on 19 January 1886.
      Cleveland wrote to the National Civil Service Reform League assuring them that he was pledged to reform. He refused to remove qualified Republicans unless a Democrat was at least equally capable. When Joseph Keppler, the editor of Puck, sent him a clipping of a critical article, Cleveland wrote back on 12 December 1885,

I don’t think there ever was a time when newspaper lying
was so general and so mean as at present
and there never was a country under the sun
where it flourished as it does in this.
The falsehoods daily spread before the people
in our newspapers,
while they are proofs of the mental ingenuity
of those engaged in newspaper work,
are insults to the American love
for decency and fair play of which we boast.12

      Civil service reformers complained that Cleveland appointed more Democrats than Republicans; but Democrats had not held the Presidency for 24 years, and Cleveland noted that he replaced fewer employees than Republicans had. About 70% of the unclassified employees would be replaced by October 1886, and about 42,000 postmasters would lose their jobs by 1888. The internal revenue collector for the Philadelphia district would tell a Senate committee in April 1888 that of the 62 workers in his office only four had been there in February 1885.
      Cleveland was fiscally conservative, and he vetoed a bill giving veterans who served at least 90 days a pension. In filling offices he favored disabled veterans but not all veterans. Some of his veto messages were criticized for being sarcastic. He approved the Interstate Commerce Act that regulated railroads and established the Interstate Commerce Commission.
      President Cleveland wanted to preserve the gold standard and considered ending the coinage of free silver, and in his first year the gold reserve increased from $125 million to $151 million. In his First Annual Message to Congress on December 8 he discussed the various friendly relations the United States had with different nations. He noted that the US surplus had declined to $70 million. By reducing taxes on imports he believed that this reduced the cost of living for families. He called for the repeal of the 1878 Bland-Allison Silver Coinage Act that allowed the US Treasury to purchase from $2 million to $4 million of silver each month. Because silver dollars were worth 80% of gold dollars this was causing people to exchange their silver coins for gold coins which they saved in accord with Gresham’s law that cheap money drives more valued money out of circulation.
      The US Senate Committee on Education and Labor reported that they found that from sworn public documents almost 3,500 persons, who were mostly Negroes, were murdered between 1866 and 1879, and the offenders were not arrested or put on trial.
      The Bureau of Animal Husbandry had been established in 1884, and in 1885 its inspector, the epidemiologist Theobald Smith, discovered a bacteria that he named Salmonella after the Bureau’s head, the veterinarian Daniel Elmer Salmon.

United States & Cleveland in 1886

      On 4 January 1886 Cleveland declared his belief that the executive and legislative branches should be independent. He said that he would not try to influence legislation and that he would act independently. This lack of coordination would have political consequences on the coinage issue. Congress could not pass an unlimited coinage bill, and Cleveland did not get the Bland-Allison Silver Coinage Act repealed. By the end of 1886 most of the US bonds had been called in, and the government had to compete with other purchasers causing it to pay higher interest. Unearned profits for the capitalists were increasing.
      By 1886 about 90% of the farm workers in California were Chinese. On February 7 in Seattle mobs began driving the Chinese from their homes, and about 350 were led away to the pier. Funds were raised to remove about 200 by steamships to San Francisco. Federal troops arrived on the 10th and found the riot was over, but they stayed in Seattle for four months.
      Treasury Secretary Manning in March had appointed his deputy Charles Fairchild to lead a commission to reform the Treasury Department. The suspected fraudulent expenses of the customs houses were reduced from $90,000 the previous year to $15,000. Manning refused to remove bureau heads except for cause, and the War and Navy Departments adopted the same policy. Cleveland and Manning used greenbacks for disbursements in order to retain gold coins, and in 1886 they increased the gold reserve to $151 million. On March 23 Treasury Secretary Manning suffered a burst blood vessel in the brain and offered to resign. Cleveland let his deputy Charles S. Fairchild run the Treasury and appointed him after accepting Manning’s resignation in February 1887.
      In the previous quarter century the number of industrial workers in the US had more than tripled to about six million. By the 1870s about 300,000 craft laborers were in national unions. In 1881 the Knights of Labor allowed immigrants, Negroes, and women into the union. The Knights backed currency reform, eliminating private banks, stopping land speculation, nationalizing natural resources, gaining equal pay for equal work, and reducing the work-day to eight hours.
      Coke workers in western Pennsylvania had rioted in early 1885. When Cleveland became President, 50,000 workers were on strike in coal mines of that state, Maryland, and Ohio with factories disrupted in New England and the Alleghenies. The Knights of Labor had gained improvements from Jay Gould’s Union Pacific Railroad in 1884 and the Wabash Railroad in 1885. They challenged the Missouri Pacific and got their union recognized. The Texas & Pacific Railroad was in bankruptcy, and the Knights demanded protection against Gould. They went on strike against the Texas & Pacific, and the work stoppage spread to the Missouri Pacific and to Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas.
      The Knights of Labor had 110,000 members in 1885, but by July 1886 they had 729,000 in about 15,000 local assemblies. In 1881 in the US there had been 471 strikes related to 2,928 companies and 129,521 employees. In 1886 there were 1,411 strikes involving 9,861 companies and nearly a half million employees. In March about 51,000 people were on strike from the mines of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio and from factories in New England and the Alleghenies. A railroad strike started at Fort Worth on March 1 and spread from Texas to Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Illinois. The strikes stopped trains running on 6,000 miles of track. All freight west of the Mississippi River was idle.
      Some reacted by starting the Law and Order League, and violence erupted. Labor leader Terence Powderly met with Jay Gould, but negotiation failed. Governors of those states (except Illinois) on March 26 ordered managers to send out trains with law-enforcement officers to protect them. Strikers disabled engines and uncoupled freight cars. In early April some strikers clashed with deputies at Fort Worth, and several were killed. There were more casualties at East St. Louis. In 1886 the United States had double the number of strikes of any previous year. The economy was growing after a recession in 1884, and workers wanted more pay and better working conditions.
      Cleveland had sent a message to Congress on 1 March 1886 arguing that the Tenure of Office Act preventing the President from removing his appointees was unconstitutional. A bill to repeal the Tenure of Office Act was introduced on July 21 and passed the Senate 30-22 on December 17 and in the Democratic House. On 3 March 1887 the Tenure of Office Act was repealed.
      In April 1886 Cleveland asked for legislation to facilitate arbitration of disputes between employees and managers, and he proposed a Commission of Labor to promote the consideration and settlement of conflicts between workers and capitalists. He believed that arbitration was a rational method of reconciliation and a better alternative to fighting. The US Congress set up a committee to investigate the labor troubles, and they enacted a bill providing for the expenses of voluntary arbitration of railroad conflicts up to $1,000 in each case. On April 22 President Cleveland sent a Special Message to Congress on Labor Legislation. He wrote,

Under our form of government the value of labor
as an element of national prosperity
should be distinctly recognized,
and the welfare of the laboring man should be regarded
as especially entitled to legislative care.
In a country which offers to all its citizens
the highest attainment of social and political distinction
its workingmen can not justly or safely be considered
as irrevocably consigned to the limits of a class and entitled
to no attention and allowed no protest against neglect.
   The laboring man, bearing in his hand
an indispensable contribution to our growth and progress,
may well insist, with manly courage and as a right,
upon the same recognition from those who make our laws
as is accorded to any other citizen
having a valuable interest in charge;
and his reasonable demands should be met
in such a spirit of appreciation and fairness
as to induce a contented and patriotic cooperation
in the achievement of a grand national destiny….
   The present condition of the relations
between labor and capital is far from satisfactory.
The discontent of the employed is due in a large degree
to the grasping and heedless exactions of employers
and the alleged discrimination in favor of capital
as an object of governmental attention….
   But I suggest that instead of arbitrators
chosen in the heat of conflicting claims,
and after each dispute shall arise,
for the purpose of determining the same,
there be created a commission of labor,
consisting of three members,
who shall be regular officers of the Government,
charged among other duties
with the consideration and settlement, when possible,
of all controversies between labor and capital.13

The Senate rejected the President’s proposal, but they legalized trade unions and passed a bill giving letter-carriers the 8-hour day. Congress did approve a bill calling for voluntary arbitration and for a commission to investigate labor issues to be appointed by the President which he signed. Strikes decreased and ended on May 4 as the Missouri Pacific reinstated a fifth of the strikers. They sang,

We mean to make things over
   We’re tired of toil for nought
But bare enough to live on; never
   An hour for thought.
We want to feel the sunshine: we
   Want to smell the flowers
We’re sure that God has willed it
   And we mean to have eight hours.
We’re summoning our forces from
   Shipyard, shop and mill
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
   Eight hours for what we will!14

      Labor unrest in Chicago led to the McCormick Reaper Company locking out 1,400 employees, and police enforcing this brutally clubbed workers. On May 1 about 100,000 trade unionists demonstrated and demanded an 8-hour day. After the events of this week May 1 would be celebrated as International Workers Day or Labor Day. Two days later August Spies spoke to locked-out McCormick workers outside the plant, and they were attacked by police again, killing one man and seriously injuring six others. Editor Spies in the radical Arbeiter-Zeitung (Workers’ Times) called to workingmen for revenge with arms, and about 1,500 people gathered in Haymarket Square on May 4 and listened to speeches. During the last speech by Samuel Felden 180 police broke up the meeting. Felden shouted, “We are peaceable!” A moment later a home-made bomb exploded among the police. Eight police were killed or mortally wounded, and about sixty were injured. Police started shooting into the unarmed crowd as it dispersed; at least four workers were killed, and this caused three times the casualties of the police bombing.
      Newspapers denounced those demonstrators as anarchists and socialists while others blamed Polish and German immigrants. Ten people were indicted for the bombing, but none were accused of being the unknown bomber. The trial began on June 21. Albert Parsons eluded capture but walked into the courtroom to surrender on July 21. Eight anarchists were convicted in the trial biased by the prejudiced judge Joseph E. Gary who sentenced seven to death and one to 15 years in prison. Gov. Richard J. Oglesby commuted the sentence of two to life in prison. Louis Lingg wrote a defiant message and committed suicide the day before his scheduled execution. Four lawyers that included the famous Benjamin Butler appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court and to the US Supreme Court which declined hear the case. August Spies, Albert Parsons, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer were hanged on 11 November 1887. About 6,000 people followed the coffins to the cemetery going by about 300,000 who gathered along the streets. In June 1893 Gov. John Peter Altgeld pardoned Michael Schwab, Oscar Neebe, and Samuel Felden. In the year after July 1886 the Knights of Labor lost nearly 180,000 members.
      On May 10 the US Supreme Court in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad ruled unanimously that corporations are covered by the equal rights clause of the 14th amendment. California law had taxed railroad companies at a higher rate than individuals. Also on May 10 in Yiek Mo v. Hopkins the US Supreme Court decided that a municipal order discriminating against Chinese laundries was unconstitutional because of the 14th amendment.
      Since 1875 Cleveland was close friends with his former law partner’s widow Mrs. Folsom and her daughter Frank (a.k.a. Frances) who was born in July 1864. Cleveland contributed a baby carriage for the family. He and Frances became secretly engaged in the spring of 1885 and were married in the White House on 2 June 1886 with 31 people attending. She promised to “love, honor, comfort, and keep” her husband. Sousa’s band played the wedding march, and there was a dinner reception. That night they went to a rented cottage in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a six-day honeymoon. The President considered it a “colossal impertinence” when about thirty journalists showed up there. The marriage improved his relations with the public. She held two receptions a week and greeted up to 8,000 people. She played piano, and Cleveland refused to accept a piano as a gift or any other gifts. He was angry that her name was used to sell various products, and he asked Congress to pass a law against such devices; but the bill failed, and manufacturers increased their “Frankie” advertisements.
      During the summer the US Congress and Cleveland approved the construction of five cruisers named the Charleston, Baltimore, Newark, Philadelphia, and San Francisco and the battleships Texas and Maine. Alfred T. Mahan was the President of the Naval War College on June 22, and he began writing The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 which would be published in 1890.
      Cleveland on July 17 during the Congressional recess suspended the US Attorney George M. Duskin in Alabama and replaced him with the qualified Democrat John D. Burnett. Congress did not resume until December 14 and six days later Duskin’s term ended. The Senate Judiciary Committee asked for documents on Duskin and Burnett, but Cleveland had the Attorney General Augustus Garland withhold any more documents. The US Senate voted 32-25 to censure Attorney General Garland, the only censure of a US cabinet officer so far. Because Duskin’s term had expired, they confirmed Burnett. A bill to repeal the Tenure of Office Act was introduced on July 21 and passed the Senate 30-22 on December 17 and in the Democratic House in March 1887.
      On August 2 Cleveland signed a bill that enacted a 2-cent tax per pound of oleomargarine which had become so popular as a substitute for butter that the value of 14 million milk cows had fallen from $40 each to $30.
      In August at Cleburne, Texas the Farmers Alliance adopted 17 political demands which stimulated the Populists, and by early 1887 the Alliance had 200,000 members in 3,000 local alliances.
      On October 25 the US Supreme Court in Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway ruled that only the Federal government could regulate interstate commerce and railway rates.
      President Cleveland traveled occasionally. He attended the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York on 28 October 1886. The sculptor Auguste Bartholdi named it Liberty Enlightening the World, and he was assisted by Gustave Eiffel who arranged for its shipping. The French people raised $450,000 to pay for the sculpture, and Americans contributed $350,000 for the pedestal. The last five lines of the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus were inscribed on the pedestal.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

      On that day Cleveland concluded his short speech by saying,

   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.15

      Eleven days later Cleveland spoke at Harvard University’s 250th anniversary; but he declined an honorary degree because he believed a university degree should be earned.
      Cleveland’s cabinet included finance men who favored lower tariffs which would reduce the surplus. Whitney and others warned that this could cause the loss of New York and the next election. Cleveland argued that lower tariffs would make raw materials less expensive and would open wider foreign markets for manufactured goods. He focused on this and did not respond to concerns by farmers and to those opposing monopolies. Republicans argued that high tariffs meant higher wages. In the 1886 elections the Democrats lost 15 seats in the House of Representatives but maintained a 167-152 majority. In the Senate Democrats gained two seats, but Republicans still had a 38-36 advantage. The House passed a reduction of import tariffs from 47% to 40%, but it failed in the Senate.
      On December 11 in Houston County, Texas the Colored Farmers National Alliance and Cooperative Union was organized, and by 1891 they would have over a million members in 12 states.
      That month the US Government announced that the Navy had seized three Canadian seal-fishing ships for doing illegal hunting. Marine biologists warned that if seal hunting continued as before, the seals would be gone by the end of the century.

United States & Cleveland in 1887

      When Cleveland became President in March 1885, the US Government was paying $65.5 million a year to 34,125 pensioners who were mostly Union veterans of the Army and Navy and their families. This had increased by almost 500% in two decades even though the number of pensioners had reached a peak of 238,411 in 1873. The Arrears of Pension Act of 1879 had enabled veterans to apply for back payments to the date of their discharge. Previous to this change there were about 19,000 claims each year, but after the act this increased to over 10,000 monthly. By 1885 there were 325,000 Civil War pensioners. Pensions became the leading Federal expense about equal to interest on the national debt. Cleveland was concerned about fraudulent claims that were unjust to deserving veterans and government waste. Decisions by the Pension Bureau were disregarded as Congressmen ignored rejections and were gaining support from constituents by backing these claims. In a six-month period the US Senate approved 4,127 new claims. Cleveland stayed up late at night studying these claims and vetoed three-quarters of them. The organization of Union Army and Navy veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) had increased their membership to 400,000. Many criticized Cleveland for having paid for a substitute during the Civil War and as the first Democrat elected President since then favoring the South. He was trying to unite the country again and included two men from the South in his cabinet. Cleveland began vetoing pension bills on 8 May 1886. Although former President Hayes criticized Cleveland for “penny-pinching,” he had to admit that Cleveland signed more than twice as many pension bills as he vetoed.
      In January 1887 the US Congress approved Blair’s Dependent Pension bill that granted a pension to anyone who served in the Civil War for at least 90 days, but President Cleveland vetoed it on February 11. The Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post advised that this bill tempted people to swindle the government, and the New York World noted that pension expenditures were already over $76 million per year. In his veto message Cleveland pointed out that the US Government had already spent $808,624,812 on pensions since 1861. Congress was unable to override the veto.
      On January 20 the US was authorized to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu as it renewed the 1875 commercial treaty with Hawaii, agreeing not to charge duties on sugar imported from Hawaii. This opened the way for American speculators and corporations to bring to Hawaii thousands of Chinese and Japanese immigrants.
      On February 3 the US Congress approved a bill for regulating the counting of the electoral votes in order to avoid the confusion that had occurred in 1876.
      Cleveland vetoed the Texas Seed bill on February 16 because he thought that the Texas legislature could meet the need to replace the seed-grain that had been lost in a drought. In his time he believed that “though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”16
      On February 20 Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore presented a memorial for Pope Leo XIII explaining that he had met with the bishops of America to relieve them of the concern that the Knights of Labor’s constitution had unacceptable secret rituals adapted from the Masonic Order. This led to an end of the Catholic ban on the Knights of Labor in Canada. Gibbons also spoke on the progress of the Catholic Church in America while in Italy on March 25. He advocated the Catholic University of America which was established in Washington DC on April 10, and he became its first chancellor.
      On March 2 the Hatch Act became law providing funds for land-grant colleges and agricultural experiment stations starting with $15,000 for each college. The next day the Tenure of Office Act was repealed. Cleveland asked for this because he believed that it was unconstitutional.
      On March 3 the Edmunds-Tucker Act outlawing polygamy went into effect. The Act disincorporated the Latter Day Saints Church and the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company but allowed its assets to be used for public education in the Utah Territory. Women who had been given the vote in the Territory were disenfranchised. Marriage licenses were required, and local judges were to be replaced by federally appointed judges.
      The Colorado legislature on March 7 prohibited the employment of children under the age of 14 for work in mines, smelters, mills or factories.
      The Interstate Commerce Act became law on April 7 and was designed to regulate railroad rates and curtail monopolistic practices, and it established the 5-man Interstate Commerce Commission to supervise the regulations.
      On April 30 General Richard Drum informed War Secretary Endicott that the War Department had many captured Union and Confederate flags, and Drum suggested returning them to their states. Cleveland approved; but this reopened wounds of the Civil War and was criticized by northern and southern politicians. Northern newspapers objected to returning the Confederate flags. Cleveland believed he had exceeded his authority and left it to Congress to decide the contentious issue. Virginia’s Governor Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee, wrote to the Petersburg Index-Appeal on June 20,

The proposition to return the Southern battleflags
did not originate with Southern soldiers.
While they would have accepted again their banners
bathed in the blood of brave comrades, they recognized that
flags captured in battle are the property of the victors,
and were content to let them remain in their charge.
Flags captured from Northern troops by Southern soldiers
have been returned in some cases with ceremonies.
The country should not again be agitated
by pieces of bunting that mean nothing now.
The South is part and parcel of the Union today,
and means to do her part toward increasing the prosperity
and maintaining the peace of the republic,
whether the flags rot in Washington
or are restored to their former custodians.17

      Cleveland did not visit Gettysburg, but he sent a letter to their gathering of veterans in which he wrote,

While those who fought and who have so much to forgive
lead in the pleasant ways of peace,
how wicked appear the traffic in sectional hate,
and the betrayal of patriotic sentiment.
It surely cannot be wrong to desire the settled quiet
which lights for our entire country
the path to prosperity and greatness;
nor need the lessons of war be forgotten
and its results jeopardized,
in the wish for that genuine fraternity
which insures national pride and glory.18

      The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Encampment was to be in St. Louis in September, and Mayor David Fields invited Cleveland to attend. Cleveland asked Fields to report on the public sentiment. He replied that many in the GAR hoped he would decline, and he suggested doing so and invited him to the annual Fair and Veiled Prophet pageant the following week. Cleveland realizing that he would be insulted and possibly harmed and that to decline would be cowardly, he nonetheless decided that dignity of the Presidency was more important and withdrew his acceptance to the GAR event.
      On June 30 a meeting of reformers demanded that King Kalākaua in Honolulu dismiss his cabinet that was led by Walter M. Gibson. The next day they discovered a shipment of weapons and arrested Gibson. Lawyers associated with the Hawaiian League drafted a Constitution, and on July 6 according to Queen Liliuokalani the King was forced to sign what some called the “Bayonet Constitution.”
      Cleveland had never been west of the Mississippi River, but on 20 September 1887 he left Washington with his guests in a Pullman car at his own expense. They stopped at Richmond, Indiana and New Lisbon, Wisconsin, and he shook hands with many. He was received enthusiastically at the St. Louis fair, and even Republicans welcomed him in Milwaukee. He gave speeches with popular platitudes, and some shouted they were glad he had vetoed the pension grabbers. Mrs. Cleveland was especially admired, and at St. Paul her husband thanked them for treating her well when she went to school there. He went fishing at Madison, Wisconsin where they stayed with Postmaster General Vilas. The Clevelands stopped shaking hands there, as they had sore hands after over 15,000 handshakes. At Memphis a crowd of 100,000 gathered from five states, and in Atlanta the churches provided hospitality for 7,000 from out of town.
      The surplus for the fiscal year 1886-87 was about $103 million and growing. Those who wanted lower tariffs had formed the National Tariff Reform League in November 1885. Yet about forty protectionist Democrats were in the US House of Representatives led by Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania. Cleveland had refused his request to include a protectionist in his cabinet. During the Arthur Administration (1881-85) the high customs duties had provided the federal revenues and increased the surplus, but they raised prices which was a severe burden for those with low incomes. In the platforms of the 1884 campaign both major parties promised to lower tariffs. House Ways and Means Committee chairman William R. Morrison of Illinois introduced a bill to eliminate duties on salt, wool, lumber, hemp, and flax and to reduce rates on steel rails, pig iron, and window glass. Cleveland supported the bill but gained no converts. Randall maneuvered the House to put aside the bill. Farmers in the West opposed the eastern industrialists. In the 1886 elections those for high tariffs did well in Ohio, Illinois, and Connecticut.
      The US Attorney General Garland three years earlier had received $500,000 in shares from Pan-Electric whose only asset was a telephone patent that could not compete unless Bell’s patent was declared invalid. While Garland was on vacation, the Solicitor General filed a suit against Bell. Cleveland stopped the suit and asked Interior Secretary Lamar to study the issue, and he advised continuing the suit. Garland claimed he got the stock for organizing the company, and the investigating committee voted his exoneration while a minority were for censure. Cleveland did not dismiss Garland.
      The US Congress had adjourned on March 3 without doing anything to reduce the Treasury’s surplus. The Cleveland administration had purchased $50 million more of outstanding bonds in the fiscal year of 1886 and $125 million in fiscal 1887, but this would have only a temporary effect on the surplus. Before he resigned because of illness in February 1887, Treasury Secretary Manning suggested that the Treasury could redeem all the canceled greenbacks with metal coins to stabilize the currency. Greenback paper money was widely respected in the country, and in the West they might refuse to retire them. New York Rep. Abram Hewitt had proposed paying off the 4% and 4.5% bonds.
      President Cleveland and Secretary of State Bayard warned the German envoy Von Alvensleben that the United States would check any action by Germany to take over Samoa, and they hoped that a conference in Washington in June could resolve the conflicts over those Pacific islands between the Americans, the British, and the Germans; but the British seemed to favor the Germans, and they could not agree. After Germans forced King Malietoa into exile, Cleveland in early October ordered the USS Adams to move from Hawaii to Apia. There the Americans and the Germans each had three war ships while the British had only one.
      On July 21 an Ohio Democratic convention recommended limiting tariffs, and Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska followed their lead. On September 4-7 Cleveland hosted a political conference on tariffs at his Oak View home in Washington for Democratic leaders, and they agreed that some tariff reductions were needed. House Speaker Carlisle offered to introduce legislation, and the party became more united.
      In November about 10,000 sugar cane workers in Louisiana went on strike, and on the 23rd Gov. S. D. McEnery sent white paramilitary forces who attacked the black workers and their families in Thibodaux killing at least 35 and perhaps hundreds. The massacre led to state legislation that disenfranchised most blacks and blocked the organizing of workers.
      Cleveland devoted his Third Annual Message to Congress on December 6 to addressing the financial emergency with a plea for lower tariffs. The surplus for the fiscal year ending in June had risen to $103 million and was estimated to reach $140 million for the current fiscal year. He argued that reducing tariff rates should be the means to reduce the surplus. He did not want to reduce the tax on luxuries saying,

The taxation of luxuries presents no features of hardship;
but the necessaries of life
used and consumed by all the people,
the duty upon which adds to the cost of living
in every home, should be greatly cheapened.19

He held that some tariffs had been raised much too high and had placed unjust burdens on the poor because of taxes on coffee, sugar, and clothing. Cleveland pointed out that over 4,000 imports were subjected to duties, but only a few of them competed with domestic manufacturing. He argued that the issue of free trade was irrelevant in regard to the public good. He explained,

The simple and plain duty which we owe the people
is to reduce taxation to the necessary expenses
of an economical operation of the Government
and to restore to the business of the country
the money which we hold in the Treasury
through the perversion of governmental powers.
These things can and should be done
with safety to all our industries,
without danger to the opportunity for remunerative labor
which our workingmen need,
and with benefit to them and all our people
by cheapening their means of subsistence
and increasing the measure of their comforts.20

      Several newspapers praised his message, and The Nation called it “the most courageous document” since the end of the Civil War. Two days later James Blaine in Paris gave an interview to the New York Herald suggesting instead repealing the taxes on tobacco and whiskey, an idea designed to gain votes. The Democratic protectionist Randall predicted that the new Congress would reduce internal taxes by at least $60 million. Most Democratic leaders supported Cleveland who warned that those supporting Randall would not get political patronage. The House Ways and Means Committee chairman Roger Q. Mills agreed to construct a bill to please Cleveland and the Democratic leaders, and he presented it to the House on April 17. He argued that after the Civil War taxes which affected the rich had been repealed while those burdening the poor were retained. The national debt was still about $2 billion. He noted that over three-quarters of US exports were agricultural products and that high tariffs on imports were limiting these goods going to foreign markets. He disagreed with the contention that high tariffs led to high wages by explaining that manufacturers did not raise the pay of workers just as Jay Gould, who could afford to pay more, still gave a bootblack only a nickel. In the “great tariff debate” on May 19 Ohio Rep. William McKinley led the Republicans, but the Mills bill passed the House 162-149. Republicans still controlled the Senate and blocked the bill, but Cleveland had made gains with his party. Edwin Godkin, a Republican Mugwump, praised Cleveland’s accomplishment in becoming the Democrats’ first leader they have had in a quarter of a century.
      A drought in the Great Plains states caused corn production to fall from 126 million bushels in 1886 to 76 million. Corn had sold for 63 cents a bushel in 1881, but in 1890 it fell to 28 cents. Wheat prices fell to 67 cents a bushel. Cotton sold for 15 cents in 1873, but by the late 1880s it was down to 8 cents.
      The Florida legislature approved a law segregating black and white railway passengers using a separate car that was to be “equally as good.” Violators could be fined up to $500.

Cleveland, Indians & the West

      Cleveland’s policy toward the Native Americans (Indians) was to recognize their rights and to help them to improve their lives. Yet how he intended to do that and what many tribal people wanted often varied and clashed. He proposed making English the only language used in the schools operated by the government while many wanted to be able to continue to use their native languages as well. Plans to break up the land of the nations or tribes for individual families was also resisted because of adherence to tribal culture.
      On 27 February 1885 President Arthur in his last week had ordered Winnebago and Crow Creek lands opened up to white settlers on May 1. These 494,778 acres east of the Missouri River in the Dakota Territory were worth about $1.5 million. On March 3 the Arthur administration claimed that all treaty land was under its federal jurisdiction. The next day President Cleveland was inaugurated. By the day after that about 2,000 settlers had moved into the designated territory while about 10,000 others respecting the May date gathered by the border. Cleveland ordered federal marshals to go and warn the trespassers that they must withdraw themselves and their property. Many stayed and prepared to defend themselves. The President also asked the Army commander General Philip Sheridan to investigate and make a report. He found out that about 4 million acres or 90% of the territory intended for the Indians was being leased to settlers and Indians at less than two cents an acre per year. Owners of about 200,000 cattle paid no tax for the grazing land, and they were holding Indians liable for livestock damages.
      Gabriel Dumont was a buffalo hunter, and as a chief he led about 300 Metis in the Northwest Rebellion in Canada and fought the Northwest Mounted Police near Duck Lake on March 26. After he learned that their leader Louis Riel had surrendered to Canadian soldiers on May 15, Dumont led his followers over the border to Cypress Hills in the Montana Territory. He was detained but was soon released by a memo from President Cleveland.
      On April 17 Cleveland proclaimed that he was rescinding Arthur’s order, and he declared that the government would enforce the treaties and the laws. Ranchers sent a delegation to Washington. Cleveland told them that he was representing the public interest, and he criticized them for creating their own hardships.
      Ranchers had started putting up fences in 1878, and in 1883 many cattlemen obtained leases of Indian land for grazing. By 1885 about 30,000 acres of public land had been enclosed, and the US Congress made barbed-wire fences on public land unlawful on February 25. On July 23 Cleveland gave them forty days to remove them. Ranchers complained that this was not enough time, and by the following spring more than 80% of the cattle had died.
      The US corn crop which had passed one billion bushels per year in 1870 reached two billion in 1885. Most of the corn was fed to hogs and cattle, though many cattle still fed on grass.
      Reformers and concerned government officials had organized the first Mohonk conference in 1883, and they met annually for thirty years at Lake Mohonk, New York to help assimilate the Indians. In 1885 their delegation urged the US Government to grant land and citizenship to native people who were prepared for that.
      The Indian agent at Santa Fe warned the President that an Indian war was sure to start in the spring of 1886. General Sheridan asked the Indians to present their injuries and injustices they had suffered and to explain their condition to the government so that problems could be resolved. He warned them that lawless acts against the settlers would be prevented or punished. On April 20 Cleveland had the War Department issue Field Order No. 7, and on May 17 Apaches led by Geronimo left the San Carlos reservation in the Arizona Territory, crossed borders, and began attacking and plundering the settlers. US Federal border troops on July 17 raided Geronimo’s camp. After fleeing to Mexico a small band led by Geronimo surrendered to General Nelson Miles on 4 September 1886. The promise that they could keep their wives was broken when the men were transported to Florida. This has been called the last major Indian war in the United States.
      In the last few days of January 1887 a terrible blizzard killed millions of cattle in Montana, Kansas, Wyoming, and the Dakotas and about 200 people from exposure, pneumonia, and influenza.
      Senator Henry L. Dawes was the chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and the Dawes Severalty Act or General Allotment Act became law on 8 February 1887 authorizing the allotment of tribal land in lots of 160 acres to families and 40 acres to individuals. Indians who accepted this land could become citizens. The Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and the Iroquois country were exempt from this Act. Cleveland consulted with missionaries and teachers who were committed to the best interests of the Indians, and they began by designating 27 reservations. Many resented the loss of their nomadic traditions. In 1887 about 264,000 Indians in the United States owned 137,765,000 acres of land valued at $160 million and a trust fund worth $18 million. By 1890 Indians would have only about 104 million acres.
      By the time the US Congress stopped giving large grants of land to railroads in 1871 they had given them more than 160 million acres. Cleveland ordered the vast amount of forfeited land returned to the public domain. Syndicates formed to control the contracts for surveying the land, and they often cheated the government. Big lumber and cattle companies exploited the system. An investigation verified about 5,000 cases of perjury. One of the largest offenders was the Montana Improvement Company that began in 1883 with $4 million to plunder the forests in Montana and Idaho. Just before Cleveland’s inauguration President Arthur’s Interior Secretary Teller ordered clerks to issue patents for 680,000 acres. When he became President, Cleveland had his Interior Secretary Lamar stop the issuing of patents and begin investigating fraudulent claims. He also had the General Land Office suspend its activities. Cleveland sent 42 special agents to the West, and by June 1886 they found over 3,000 cases of suspected fraud. The government prosecuted corporations in criminal and civil courts and recovered about $3 million in 1885. That year the population of the United States reached 50 million. Farmland was increasing by about 15 million acres annually, most of it west of the Mississippi River.
      The southern economy was being industrialized with steel mills in Birmingham, Alabama and new factories in Atlanta, Georgia. The economy was recovering. In the five-year period ending in 1886 the population of the South increased by 16% while wealth grew by more than 40%.
      General Crook had been sent back to Arizona in 1882, and he tried to capture Geronimo who with other leaders parleyed with Crook in May 1883. Geronimo returned to San Carlos one year later, but he left with others in May 1885 and spent time in Mexico. On 25 March 1886 General Crook offered Geronimo a two-year exile in the East, and he and other Chiricahua accepted. Geronimo surrendered to General Miles on September 4 at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona. They were taken as prisoners of war by train to Fort Pickens, Florida until 1888 when they were reunited with their families at Mt. Vernon Barracks, Alabama. In 1894 they were transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and were given land to farm.
      During a solar eclipse on 1 January 1889 the Nevada Paiute medicine man Wovoka, who was a Christian, went into a trance for three days and experienced life after death in a vision he interpreted as a resurrection of the dead that would lead to removing the white people and their civilization from North America if the native people practiced the love of the Christ. Wovoka invented the Ghost Dance and taught it to others who spread it to the east. In his “Messiah Letter” he talked about a Judgment Day and told the Indians not to harm any living being nor drink whiskey nor fight the white man.                                                        

United States, Cleveland & Elections in 1888

      In January 1888 Cleveland transferred Postmaster General Vilas to replace Interior Secretary Lucius Lamar when Cleveland appointed Lamar to the US Supreme Court. The lawyer Donald Dickinson of Michigan became the Postmaster General on January 6. During a railroad strike Dickinson avoided sending Federal forces by altering distribution routes. Cleveland had Dickinson apply civil service reforms to reduce patronage.
      Theodore Roosevelt in January 1888 told the Union League Club of Washington that the Republican Party stands for more than just protective tariffs but also “for the national idea, for honest money, and for any honest civil service,” and he accused President Cleveland of breaking his promises on civil service.
      President Cleveland and British Prime Minister Salisbury agreed on a 6-man joint commission to negotiate a treaty on US and Canadian fishing rights. US Secretary of State Bayard helped work out a mutually beneficial agreement that was signed on February 15, but Republican Senators, who supported the interests of New Englanders’ fishing, blocked its ratification by a 27-30 vote on August 21. Two days later Cleveland asked the Congress to give the President the authority to suspend operations by Canadians transporting merchandise across US territory to or from Canada.
      On March 12 Secretary of State Bayard and the Chinese minister signed a treaty in Washington that excluded Chinese workers from immigrating into the US for 20 years. The United States agreed to pay an indemnity of $276,619 to compensate for the losses from the mob violence in the territories. The US Senate amended the treaty and approved; but China refused to ratify it, and Chinese people protested against the treaty in Canton.
      US Chief Justice Morrison Waite died on March 23. Cleveland nominated Melville Fuller on April 30, but the Senate did not confirm him until July. He became chief justice on October 8. He was a conservative Democrat and had been a corporate lawyer and usually took the corporate side in 22 years on the court.
      In May the US Congress asked Cleveland to organize a conference of American nations in order to promote free trade and peace. On July 13 Secretary of State Thomas Bayard invited the Latin American nations to a conference to be held the next year in Washington.
      On May 30 the Prohibition Party nominated Clinton B. Fisk for President. The National Greenback Party met in Cincinnati on May 16 and in September, but they had so few delegates that the party folded.
      The Democratic National Convention was held June 5-7 in St. Louis, and President Cleveland was renominated by acclamation. For Vice President they nominated the former Senator Allen G. Thurman of Ohio on the first ballot. Cleveland did not choose Thurman but accepted him.
      On June 13 the Bureau of Labor became the Department of Labor, but it did not have the executive rank which would have made its head a member of the cabinet.
      The Republican Party Convention met in Chicago on June 19 for seven days. Frederick Douglass spoke on the first day and persuaded the delegates to include in their platform a guarantee that the Federal government would protect the rights of blacks. Twelve candidates received more than a dozen votes on the first ballot. On the fourth ballot the leading candidates were Senator John Sherman of Ohio 244, former Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana 216, former Gov. Russell Alger of Michigan 135, former Treasury Secretary Walter Gresham 98, and Senator William Allison of Iowa 88. Harrison took the lead on the seventh ballot and won on the next vote with 544 delegates. He was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison. Although Levi Morton had failed to be elected Senator from New York in 1885 and 1887, he was nominated for Vice President on the first ballot.
      About half of the US Senators were wealthy, and several were involved with the railroads and represented their interests. These included James G. Fair of Nevada who made $30 million from mines and was associated with the Southern Pacific, California’s Leland Stanford with the Central Pacific, Oregon’s Joseph N. Dolph with the Northern Pacific, Georgia’s Joseph E. Brown with the Southern Railroad who opposed regulating railway rates, J. Donald Cameron with the Pennsylvania Railroad, the railroad tycoon Johnson N. Camden of West Virginia, Arthur Pue Gorman with the Central Maryland Railroad, and New Jersey’s William J. Sewell who was President of the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad Company.
      During the campaign Cleveland declined to make speeches as beneath the dignity of a President. The chairman of the Democratic Party was William H. Barnum who owned iron mines and was a member of the Iron and Steel Association. He was replaced by Calvin W. Brice who was rumored to be secretly opposed to Cleveland. He was a corporate lawyer and financed railroad construction. The running mate Thurman was not an effective campaigner, and in early September before 20,000 people in New York he showed himself to be “an old, weak, broken-down man” when he said he was unwell and did not speak. The campaign explained that he had acute gastroenteritis.
      Benjamin Harrison remained at his home in Indianapolis during the campaign, but he made over eighty speeches to groups who came to see him. To 300 Negroes he said, “I have a respect for, and a very deep interest in, the colored people.” He told a thousand railroad workers, “You have signaled the Republican train to go ahead.” To a hundred little girls he said, “Children have always been attractive to me.” To members of the Chicago German-American Republican Club he declared, “My German-American friends, you are a home-loving people,” and to Civil War veterans, he exclaimed, “When you lifted your hands and swore to protect and defend the Constitution and the flag, you didn’t even know what your pay was to be.”21
      While Harrison ran a “front-porch campaign” which was actually speeches from a platform in his yard, the Senator Matthew S. Quay of Pennsylvania was the chairman of the Republican Party and favored patronage and big business. In New York the Republicans raised an unprecedented $4 million. This money enabled them to send more speakers out campaigning. Senator Sherman toured the swing states in the East, and Blaine persuaded voters in New York and Indiana.
      The dry-goods merchant John Wanamaker led an advisory board of businessmen who raised money, getting large contributions based on the protective tariff issue. Press associations circulated newspapers to the masses from a network of reporters. Because of civil service reforms few contributions were coming from government employees. Wanamaker found thousands of people to make speeches and distribute literature.
      The number of local Republican clubs in the North and the West increased from 6,500 in 1887 to about 10,000 in 1888. The national committee vice chairman James M. Clarkson organized them into the League of Republican Voters to arrange meetings and rallies, distribute literature, and get people to vote in elections.
      The American Iron and Steel Association led by James M. Swank of Pennsylvania favored Republicans, and he mailed 125,519 pamphlets to Minnesota. The Protective Tariff League claimed that a thousand members had donated $100 each to the Republican campaign. Home Market Clubs backed Harrison. Mark Hanna contributed $5,000, canvassed Ohio, and raised $100,000 for the Republicans. Frederick Douglass campaigned for Harrison in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. He exposed how southern states suppressed voting and elected representatives with fewer votes than other states.
      The Democratic Party had about 3,000 groups in their National Association of Democratic Clubs. Cleveland was supported by the American Free Trade League, the Massachusetts Tariff Reform League, and the Reform Club of New York. The American Tariff Reform League was incorporated in September 1887, and by the summer of 1888 they had 60,000 members. Many pamphlets and articles were disseminated around the country, and both major parties spent more money than in any previous election. David Wells was president of the American Free Trade League and wrote Relation of the Tariff to Wages. Henry Varnum Poor argued against that in Twenty-Two Years of Protection.
      A new level of corruption was reached as huge amounts were spent to buy votes. Republicans paid New York bosses $150,000 that was used to sway tens of thousands of voters. Many Pennsylvanians were transported to New York to vote for Harrison. In October he complained to the New York Tribune editor Whitelaw Reid that Democrats in Indiana were making “free use of money” to buy the votes of Democrats, and the Republican state chairman charged that their enemy was importing hundreds of illegal voters. Just before the election a Democratic newspaper in Indiana exposed a letter from Republican treasurer William W. Dudley which instructed how to organize floaters into blocs of five led by a trusted man with cash to get everyone to vote their ticket. Dudley said it was forged and sued newspapers for libel, but none of the county chairmen had a different letter.
      Cleveland’s campaign manager William L. Scott suggested a bill to exclude Chinese workers. Cleveland wanted to win votes in California and signed it on October 1. Chae Chan Ping had obtained a return certificate before leaving for China in 1887. When he returned on 7 October 1888 he was not allowed to disembark. He challenged his exclusion in Federal court, and the US Supreme Court rejected his case on 13 May 1889 writing that they considered “the presence of foreigners of a different race in this country, who will not assimilate with us, to be dangerous to its peace and security.”22
      On October 21 The British ambassador Lionel Sackville-West on September 13 had written a letter supporting Cleveland on the Canadian trade issue. Republicans waited until October 24 to publicize the letter which aroused Irish-Americans, who hated the British, to vote against Cleveland.
      In the election on November 8 Cleveland won the popular vote by 90,596 votes out of about 11 million, but Benjamin Harrison won New York by 14,373 votes and the electoral college 233 to 168. Once again a different New York outcome would have changed the winner. All the other states were the same as 1884 except Cleveland narrowly lost Indiana this time. The Prohibition Party’s Fisk got 249,819 votes, and their votes came mostly from New York, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. The Union Labor candidate Alson Streeter had 146,502 votes mostly from Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas.
      Because Jim Crow legislation prevented black Republicans from voting in the South, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina had 45 members in the House of Representatives with one representative for about 19,200 voters while California, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington had 33 members representing an average of 47,200 voters. Harrison managed to win the Electoral College; but he lost the popular vote because he was denied the votes of black Republicans in the South. During his presidency Harrison would try to protect the rights of those black voters; but Democrats blocked that, enabling Cleveland to win re-election in 1892.
      In 1888 the Republican Senator Eugene Hale of Maine revealed that up to June 1887 the Cleveland administration had replaced 40,000 of the 52,609 fourth-class postmasters, 2,000 of the 2,359 presidential postmasters, 138 of the 219 consuls, 100 of 111 customs collectors, 84 of 85 internal revenue collectors, 64 of 70 marshals, and 22 of 30 territorial judges. Yet many had four-year terms that expired. Cleveland retained and promoted Republicans he considered deserving.
      In his 4th Annual Message to Congress on December 3 Cleveland praised the work of the Agriculture Department. He had appointed Norman Coleman as the secretary in April 1885, and on 15 February 1889 he nominated Coleman to be a cabinet officer, but the US Senate did not confirm the appointment. In his December message Cleveland criticized government for helping the wealthy get richer while the poor toiled under oppression.

   We discover that the fortunes realized
by our manufacturers are no longer solely the reward
of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight,
but that they result from the discriminating favor
of the Government and are largely built upon
undue exactions from the masses of our people.
The gulf between employers and the employed
is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming,
one comprising the very rich and powerful,
while in another are found the toiling poor.
   As we view the achievements of aggregated capital,
we discover the existence of trusts, combinations,
and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear
or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel.
Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained
creatures of the law and the servants of the people,
are fast becoming the people’s masters.
   Still congratulating ourselves upon the wealth
and prosperity of our country
and complacently contemplating every incident of change
inseparable from these conditions, it is our duty
as patriotic citizens to inquire at the present stage
of our progress how the bond of the Government
made with the people has been kept and performed.
   Instead of limiting the tribute drawn from our citizens
to the necessities of its economical administration,
the Government persists in exacting from the substance
of the people millions which, unapplied and useless,
lie dormant in its Treasury.
This flagrant injustice and this breach of faith and obligation
add to extortion the danger attending
the diversion of the currency of the country
from the legitimate channels of business.
   Under the same laws by which these results are produced
the Government permits many millions more to be added
to the cost of the living of our people
and to be taken from our consumers, which unreasonably
swell the profits of a small but powerful minority.
   The people must still be taxed for the support
of the Government under the operation of tariff laws.
But to the extent that the mass of our citizens
are inordinately burdened beyond any useful public purpose
and for the benefit of a favored few, the Government,
under pretext of an exercise of its taxing power,
enters gratuitously into partnership with these favorites,
to their advantage and to the injury
of a vast majority of our people.
   This is not equality before the law.
   The existing situation is injurious to the health
of our entire body politic.
It stifles in those for whose benefit it is permitted
all patriotic love of country, and substitutes in its place
selfish greed and grasping avarice.
Devotion to American citizenship for its own sake
and for what it should accomplish as a motive
to our nation’s advancement and the happiness
of all our people is displaced by the assumption
that the Government, instead of being the embodiment
of equality, is but an instrumentality through which
especial and individual advantages are to be gained.
   The arrogance of this assumption is unconcealed.
It appears in the sordid disregard
of all but personal interests, in the refusal to abate
for the benefit of others one iota of selfish advantage,
and in combinations to perpetuate such advantages
through efforts to control legislation
and improperly influence the suffrages of the people.
   The grievances of those not included within the circle
of these beneficiaries, when fully realized,
will surely arouse irritation and discontent.
Our farmers, long suffering and patient,
struggling in the race of life with the hardest
and most unremitting toil, will not fail to see,
in spite of misrepresentations and misleading fallacies,
that they are obliged to accept such prices for their products
as are fixed in foreign markets where they compete
with the farmers of the world; that their lands are declining
in value while their debts increase,
and that without compensating favor they are forced
by the action of the Government to pay for the benefit
of others such enhanced prices for the things they need
that the scanty returns of their labor fail to furnish
their support or leave no margin for accumulation.
   Our workingmen, enfranchised from all delusions
and no longer frightened by the cry that their wages
are endangered by a just revision of our tariff laws,
will reasonably demand through such revision
steadier employment, cheaper means of living
in their homes, freedom for themselves and their children
from the doom of perpetual servitude,
and an open door to their advancement
beyond the limits of a laboring class.
Others of our citizens, whose comforts and expenditures
are measured by moderate salaries and fixed incomes,
will insist upon the fairness and justice of cheapening
the cost of necessaries for themselves and their families.
   When to the selfishness of the beneficiaries
of unjust discrimination under our laws there shall be added
the discontent of those who suffer from such discrimination,
we will realize the fact that the beneficent purposes
of our Government, dependent upon the patriotism
and contentment of our people, are endangered.23

      On 10 January 1889 President Cleveland had Rear-Admiral Kimberly order the warships Trenton and Vandalia to Samoa, and six days later Cleveland sent a message about the conflict in Samoa to the US Congress.
      On February 22 President Cleveland signed the bills that made North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington states. Three days later Benjamin Harrison said goodbye to his family and friends in Indianapolis and took a train to Washington.
      During Cleveland’s first term the national debt was reduced by about $245 million.


1. Grover Cleveland by Henry F. Graff, p. 37.
2. Ibid., p. 32.
3. Ibid., p. 39.
4. Ibid., p. 40.
5. Ibid.
6. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage by Allan Nevins, p. 131.
7. Grover Cleveland by Henry F. Graff, p. 52.
8. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character by Alyn Brodsky, p. 85.
9. Grover Cleveland by Allan Nevins, p. 155.
10. Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1908 ed. James D. Richardson, Volume 8, p. 300-302.
11. Grover Cleveland by Alyn Brodsky, p. 109.
12. Grover Cleveland by Alyn Brodsky, p. 125.
13. Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1908, Volume 8, p. 394-395.
14. Labor’s Untold Story by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, p. 88.
15. American Speeches: Political Oratory from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton, p. 98.
16. Grover Cleveland by Allan Nevins, p. 332.
17. Ibid., p. 334-335.
18. Ibid., p. 336.
19. Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1908, Volume 8, p. 589.
20. Ibid., p. 590.
21. The New Commonwealth 1877-1890 by John A. Garraty, p. 297-298.
22. The Chinese in America: A Narrative History by Iris Chang, p. 136.
23. Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1908, Volume 8, p. 774-775.

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