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means and opportunities would allow, Mr. Allen easily persuaded him to remain with him and assist in the preparation of the "Herd Book," several numbers of which bear the impress of the embryo President's hand.
In August, 1855, Grover began a four years' course of reading in the law office of Rogers, Bowen & Rogers, in Buffalo; and so acceptable was his service, that, after his admission to the bar, he was retained in the office three years longer as managing clerk. The War of the Rebellion came on about the middle of the latter period, and two of his brothers enlisted in the Union Army, serving to the end of the struggle. Young Cleveland was himself the first man in Buffalo select ed by the extra draft ordered by the President in August, 1862, but preferred to be represented in the service by a substitute, for which he naturally has had to suffer some adverse criticism in his political campaigns.
Mr. Cleveland's official career began with his appointment as Assistant District Attorney of Erie County, on January 1, 1863, an office which he capably filled for three years. During the last year of this incumbency, he was himself a candidate on the Democratic ticket for the District Attorneyship, but was defeated. The next year (1866), he entered for the first time fully upon independent and general law practice as a partner of J. K. Vanderpool. In 1869, he became a partner of Oscar Folsom, the father of the future Mrs. Cleveland, and A. P. Laning. The next year, however, he was called to serve the County as Sheriff for three years. At the expiration of his term, he associated himself in law practice with Lyman K. Bass, the Republican who had defeated him in the canvass for District Attorney in 1865, and with Wilson S. Bissell. The health of Mr. Bass presently failed; and the firm name, as well as membership, became Cleveland & Bissell. George J. Sicard was admitted to the partnership in 1871.
For about seven years, Mr. Cleveland had pursued the law without diversion to important official station, when, in 1880, the municipal situation in Buffalo again called him to the public service.
The operation of both the Republican and Democratic "machines," in the obtaining and administration of local offices, had created wide and deep dissatisfaction in the city. A determined revolt was made against the routine party managements; and, under the banner of "Reform," a combination of independent Democrats and Republicans was made, which nominated and elected Mr. Cleveland Mayor by a majority of 3,530. The new Mayor, in the prime of his powers, and with this popular backing, amply justified the hopes of his special constituency. Attempts were made by the City Council still to maintain corrupt practices and "jobs" by voting enormous and unnecessary appropriations; but so many of its measures were unflinchingly vetoed by Mr. Cleveland, that he came to be popularly known as "The Veto Mayor," though not in any bad sense, since his administration met with the general approbation of the press and people of the city.
Mayor Cleveland had hardly, however, been in the battle for better municipal government for two years, when, on September 22, 1882, he was nominated for Governor of the State by the Democratic Convention at Syracuse. His Republican opponent in this campaign was Judge Folger, long and honorably known in State and Federal official life, and then Secretary of the United States Treasury. Judge Folger was personally much respected; but so general was the disaffection created in his party by the methods under which his nomination had been accomplished, and the belief that the Administration at Washington was interfering unduly in State politics, that great numbers of Republicans refrained from voting, and he was defeated by the astounding plurality of 192,854 votes, receiving but thirty-seven per cent of the entire poll. Mr. Cleveland served the State as Governor until January 7, 1885, when, having been called to a higher post, he turned over his gubernatorial duties to Lieutenant-Governor David B. Hill, now United States Senator, and the most distinguished, if not the most emphatic, opponent of Mr. Cleveland within his own party. The adminis
tration of the State Government by Mr. Cleveland was fairly popular and successful, though his signature of the bill removing from the New York Board of Aldermen the confirmation of Mayors' appointments, sowed the seeds of the still existing enmity in Tammany Hall, and his veto of the measure aiming at a reduction of elevated railway fares in New York City tended to alienate the labor element from him.
Mr. Cleveland was nominated for President by the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1884. Little more than half of the New York delegation (41 in 72) originally supported his nomination; but his friends had secured a resolution compelling the delegation to vote as a unit, so that finally it had to support him unanimously. A determined effort was made at Chicago to break the unit rule, and Tammany leaders openly spoke on the floor of the Convention against his nomination; but the first ballot showed Mr. Cleveland far in the lead, with 392 out of 820 votes, and against 170 for his nearest competitor, Mr. Bayard, of Delaware. On the second ballot, Mr. Cleveland's support brought him within 50 votes of nomination, and a stampede to him occurred, the final footing showing 683 votes for him, against 137 for all others. The Republican nominee for the campaign was the Hon. James G. Blaine; and his aggressive nature, with the importance of the tariff and other issues of the year, made the canvass exceedingly animated and bitter. Mr. Blaine was defeated by 37 votes in the Electoral College, to which 66 Democratic Electors had been sent from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana, by narrow plurali
ties ranging from 1,149 in the first to 6,537 in the last.
President Cleveland was inaugurated March 4, 1885. His inaugural address promised a business Administration, with general conservatism, but adherence to Civil Service Reform and the protection of Southern citizens. This favorably impressed the country; and the measures of the Administration were on the whole not disappointing. It was weakened somewhat in its second year by the death of Vice-President Hendricks, of Indiana. It was much popularized, however, by the marriage of the President at the White House on June 2, 1886, to Miss Frances Folsom, daughter of his former partner at Buffalo. Only one child, Ruth, now in its second year, has been born to them.
The Cleveland Administration was enthusiastically approved at the Democratic National Convention in 1888, in his renomination. He was beaten in the campaign, however, by General Benjamin Harrison, his Republican opponent, by a vote of 233 to 168 in the Electoral College. He then retired to a lucrative but quiet law practice in New York City, from which he will again soon be called by the suffrages of the people given at the recent election, to the high duties of the Chief Executive. At the late Democratic National Convention, also held in Chicago, in June last (p. 176), he had the altogether exceptional honor of a third nomination for President, against the determined and unanimous opposition of the delegation from New York State; and, after a notably tranquil campaign, unmarked by the degrading personalities of previous canvasses, he is again the country's choice.