Gilded Age Scandal: Grover Cleveland

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Grover Cleveland is the man responsible for establishing a trend of New York Governors: to be involved in a sex scandal. For that, David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer salute him. Cleveland was right in the middle of his 1885 presidential campaign when his opponent, James Blaine, dug up some serious dirt on the dubbed “Grover the Good.” On July 24, 1884, the Buffalo Evening Post published an article entitled “A Terrible Tale: A Dark Chapter in a Public Man’s History,” which was subtitled “The Pitiful story of Maria Halpin and Grover Cleveland’s son.” Cleveland was accused of having sexual relations with Miss Halpin, resulting in a son, Oscar Halpin. It became a national scandal and his republican opponents began chanting “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?” at his rallies. Faced with these accusations, Cleveland decided to take a road less traveled and actually tell the truth. He admitted to the sexual relations, but also that other men had sexual relations with her, and he could not be sure of his paternity. Regardless, he decided to send money to the child anyway. Despite the scandal, Cleveland managed to go into office with a slim electoral and popular lead, mostly because his opponent was facing some scandals of his own. Miss Halpin had some serious trouble with alcoholism. Grover not only had the child adopted out, but he paid to have Mrs. Halpin sent to sanitarium so she could get better. People were impressed by Cleveland’s candid honesty and attempt to right his wrongs. His supporters began to respond to the “Ma, ma, where’s my pa” chants with “He’s going to the white house, ha ha ha!” So, Cleveland won the race and became the 22nd president of the United States. He was the 24th president as well. Whatever happened to his illegitimate son? When Oscar’s mom got out of the asylum, she kidnapped Oscar in an attempt to win back her son. Grover, the hero, stepped in and tried to set her up in business, but that failed as well. Finally, Cleveland...
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