Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Cleveland, Grover

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CLEVELAND, GROVER, an American statesman; twice President of the United States; born in Caldwell, Essex co., N. J., March 18, 1837; son of a Presbyterian clergyman. He studied law, settled in Buffalo, and in 1863 became assistant district attorney of Erie county, N. Y. After becoming in succession sheriff and mayor of Buffalo, he was chosen governor of New York in 1882. In 1884 he received the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, and was elected, defeating James G. Blaine. He was renominated in June, 1888, but was defeated by Benjamin Harrison, Nov. 6 following. After a successful law practice of four years he was again nominated by the Democratic National Convention of 1892, in spite of the opposition of the delegation from his own State, and elected by very large majorities. Some of the measures of his administration were: The settlement of the Venezuelan boundary question with Great Britain; the consolidating of postoffices in large centers so as to increase the scope of the civil-service rules; and most notably the conclusion in January, 1897, of a general arbitration treaty with Great Britain, which, however, was rejected by the Senate. Possessed of great independence of character and persistence in carrying out policies once determined upon, he often aroused criticism and hostility in the ranks of his own party. On the other hand, these qualities won him admiration in many quarters. During 1896-1897 he maintained an attitude of friendliness for Spain in the midst of great popular clamor in behalf of the Cuban cause, offering the friendly services of the United States in his last annual message, in composing the differences between Spain and Cuba on a basis of home rule. After his retirement from the Presidency he lived at Princeton, N. J. He was made a trustee of Princeton University, where he lectured at times. Some of his lectures formed the basis of his book, “Presidential Problems” (1904). He died June 24, 1908.