A Secret Life
From college school girl to first lady
A woman defamed. The first photograph published of Maria Halpin.
An unauthorized ad using the image of the First Lady, and a campaign poster from Cleveland’s re-election bid.
The Lion in Winter. Last known photo of Grover Cleveland.
The Halpin affidavit – “I did not believe it possible that even Grover Cleveland could attempt to further blacken me in the eyes of the world…”
First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland in a medicine ad – the unauthorized use of her image infuriated the president.
Photo left, former First Lady Rose Cleveland. On right, Frances Folsom Cleveland at age 22. She became the youngest First Lady in American history.
Francis Cleveland in 1886, the year she married Grover Cleveland and became First Lady.
Grover Cleveland on board the private yacht Oneida, site of his secret cancer operation during his second term as president.
Grover Cleveland as a young man.
Helen Fairchild Smith, the dean at Wells College. It was said she took it as her mission to prepare Folsom for the White House.
Maria’s brother-in-law, Simeon Talbott. On the right, Maria’s daughter, Ada.
Maria Halpin’s son, Frederick. To right, his sister Ada.
Maria Halpin’s son, Frederick. The back of the photo read, “Sick and expected to die.” He survived and lived to come to the defense of his mother’s honor.
Obituary of James E. King, Jr – the son of Grover Cleveland and Maria Halpin.
Evangeline Marrs Simpson Whipple and Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, who served as her brother’s First Lady from March 4, 1885 to June 2, 1886.
The boys of the Buffalo Orphan Asylum, where Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate son, Oscar, was taken.
Rose Elizabeth Cleveland in a studio portrait taken in Rome, Italy.
The Cleveland Family. From left, Marion, Francis, Esther and Richard.
The Cleveland siblings. Grover is at far left. Rose is second row, far left. Cecil and Fred, seated in front row, were lost at sea in 1872.
The Goddess – Frances Folsom Cleveland, America’s youngest First Lady.
The famous “I want my Pa!” cartoon from the Sept. 27, 1884 cover of “Judge” magazine.
Cancerous growth removed during a secret operation on President Cleveland, now preserved at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.
Cleveland became the first and, so far, only president to get married in the White House.
The Wells College Class of 1885. Frances Folsom is seen on second row.
The Providence Lunatic Asylum, later renamed the Providence Retreat, where Maria Halpin was taken by force.
The story that started it all – the July 21, 1884 edition of the Buffalo Evening Telegraph, with the famous headline, “A Terrible Tale.”
Emma Folsom and her daughter Frances. When it was reported that he was marrying Emma, Cleveland said, “I don’t see why the papers keep marrying me to old ladies.”
© 2011 Charles Lachman