Grover Cleveland: First Inaugural Address

(1885)

About the Author

Grover Cleveland was born in New Jersey in 1837 but moved to New York as a youth. A lifelong Democrat, he was elected sheriff of Erie County, New York, in 1870 and then mayor of Buffalo. Cleveland established a reputation as a reformer and was elected governor in 1882. He won his party's nomination in 1884 and was elected president. Cleveland lost in the 1888 election, but he won a second term in 1892, becoming the only president in U.S. history to serve nonconsecutive terms. During his first term Cleveland endeavored to curb the power of special interests within Congress. His second term was marred by a severe economic crisis and a national dispute over the annexation of Hawaii. He declined to run for a third term in 1896 and instead retired from public life. Cleveland died on June 24, 1908.

In 1884 Cleveland was the first Democrat elected president since the Civil War. He entered office determined to reform national politics, and he issued a record number...

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Grover Cleveland (Library of Congress)

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