Grover Cleveland (1837–1908) was the first Democratic president elected after the Civil War and the only person ever to be elected to non-consecutive terms in office (in 1884 and 1892). A bachelor when he was elected to his first term, he became the first president to be married in the White House when he wed Frances Folsom, a former ward twenty-seven years his junior. He also became the first president to have children while in office. When confronted with the charge that he had fathered a child out of wedlock, Cleveland immediately acknowledged the truth. He also admitted that he had avoided military service in the Civil War by paying a substitute to take his place. When warned that his fight for lower tariffs might cost him the 1888 election, he replied: “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something.” Cleveland was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in the Electoral College in 1888 even though he won the popular vote by more than 90,000. In 1892 his supporters urged him to seek accommodations with western Democrats who wanted unlimited coinage of silver. He responded: “I am supposed to be the leader of my party. If any word of mine can check these dangerous fallacies, it is my duty to give that word, whatever the cost may be to me.” As president, he signed the Indian Emancipation Act, established the Departments of Agriculture and of Labor, lowered tariffs, and successfully defended the gold standard.

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