Saturday, September 2, 2006

Grover Cleveland

A few excerpts of interest from the Wikipedia entry for fellow Buffalonian Grover Cleveland:
    He was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination between 1860 and 1912, and was the first Democrat to be elected after the Civil War. His admirers praise him for his honesty, independence and integrity. As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats he opposed imperialism, taxes, corruption, patronage, subsidies and inflationary policies, while adhering to the principles of classical liberalism.

    [....]

    As a lawyer in Buffalo, New York, he became notable for his single-minded concentration upon whatever task faced him. He was elected sheriff of Erie County, New York in 1870 and, while in that post, carried out at least two hangings of condemned criminals. Political opponents would later hold this against him, calling him the "Buffalo Hangman." Cleveland stated that he wished to take the responsibility for the executions himself and not pass it along to subordinates.

    [....]

    He vigorously pursued a policy barring special favors to any economic group. Vetoing a bill to appropriate $10,000 to distribute seed grain among drought-stricken farmers in Texas, he wrote: "Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character...."

    [....]

    Cleveland was a committed isolationist who had campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism. He reversed policy and withdrew the treaty for the annexation of Hawaii negotiated by Harrison from the consideration of the Senate. Cleveland often quoted the advice of George Washington's Farewell Address in decrying alliances, and he slowed the pace of expansion that President Chester Arthur had reestablished. Cleveland refused to promote Arthur's Nicaragua canal treaty, calling it an "entangling alliance".

    [....]

    In 1893, Cleveland sent former Congressman James Henderson Blount to Hawaii to investigate the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the establishment of a provisional government. He supported Blount's scathing report which blamed the U.S. for the overthrow; called for the restoration of Liliuokalani; and withdrew from the Senate the treaty of annexation of Hawaii.

    [....]

    Cleveland was a stout opponent of the women's suffrage (voting) movement. In 1905 in the Ladies Home Journal, Cleveland wrote, "Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by men and women in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence."

    [....]

    Because Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, the protocol was unclear as to whether he was officially the 22nd or 24th President of the United States. A special Act of Congress resolved the issue by decreeing that he was both the 22nd and the 24th President.
From page one of the New York Times on June 25, 1908: Grover Cleveland's Obituary.

He's popular over at LewRockwell.com. Prof. Thomas DiLorenzo calls him "The Great Libertarian from Buffalo" in The Last Good Democrat. And from the similarly titled article The last great Democratic president comes this assessment from Mr. Steven Greenhut: "In using Grover Cleveland as the standard, one would never find a candidate good enough to vote for again."

The image at the top of this post comes from Worldroots.com, which indicates that our hero was a descendant of Richard II of England.
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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.