June 10th, 1884 when soon-to-be-president Governor Grover Cleveland spoke at the Rochester Semi-Centenial

June 10th, 1884 when soon-to-be-president Governor Grover Cleveland spoke at the Rochester Semi-Centenial

[Advertisement announcing Rochester’s Semi-Centennial (pinterest)]

In keeping with our Presidential visits to Rochester series (BELOW), on June 10th, 1884, New York Governor Grover Cleveland spoke at the Semi-Centennial. Cleveland’s address itself —  mainly praising New York State — was relatively short and undistinguished.


From The Letters and Address of Grover Cleveland by Grover Cleveland, ed. by Albert Ellery Bergh (1908)

About a month later, Cleveland won the Democratic presidential nomination.  In November, he narrowly defeated the Republican James G. Blaine who visited the city on September 25th, 1884.


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 9/25/1884

Cleveland was the first Democrat president elected following the Civil War and the end of Reconstuction.

New York determined the election. Cleveland lost Monroe County, but beat Blaine overall in the state by 0.10 %.


New York presidential results, 1884. Cleveland = red; Blaine = blue.

In 1888, Cleveland won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College to Benjamin Harrison. In 1892, Cleveland won in a rematch. On Memorial Day 1892, Harrison would dedicate the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Washington Square Park.

After FDR — who won the popular vote in four straight elections — only Cleveland and Andrew Jackson (1824, 1828 and 1832) won three straight popular votes as a presidential candidates.  George H. W Bush and Al Gore also won the popular vote in three straight national elections: Bush as vice president in 1980, 1984 and president in 1988; Gore as vice president in 1992 and 1996 and president in 2000.

Cleveland is one of four New York State Governors to become President: Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Presidential Visits Series

The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Donald Trump

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts