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Each of the other candidates had hindrances to his nomination: Bayard had spoken in favor of secession in 1861, making him unacceptable to Northerners; Butler, conversely, was reviled throughout the South for his actions during the Civil War; Thurman was generally well liked, but was growing old and infirm, and his views on the silver question were uncertain.
The Mugwumps, including such men as Carl Schurz and Henry Ward Beecher, were more concerned with morality than with party, and felt Cleveland was a kindred soul who would promote civil service reform and fight for efficiency in government.
Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "[I]n Grover Cleveland, the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities.
He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have.
Grover returned to Clinton and his schooling at the completion of the apprentice contract.
After his father died in 1853, he again left school to help support his family.
As biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "Probably no man in the country, on March 4, 1881, had less thought than this limited, simple, sturdy attorney of Buffalo that four years later he would be standing in Washington and taking the oath as President of the United States." It was during this period that Cleveland began a relationship with a widow, Maria Crofts Halpin, and later assumed responsibility for supporting her and a child born at the time.
He fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism.
As a reformer Cleveland had such prestige that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, called "Mugwumps", largely bolted the GOP presidential ticket and swung to his support in the 1884 election.
Cleveland declined, and in 1855 he decided to move west.
During this time, Cleveland assumed a lifestyle of simplicity, taking residence in a plain boarding house; Cleveland dedicated his growing income instead to the support of his mother and younger sisters.
Tammany, under its boss, John Kelly, had disapproved of Cleveland's nomination as governor, and their resistance intensified after Cleveland openly opposed and prevented the re-election of their point man in the State Senate, Thomas F. The Republicans convened in Chicago and nominated former Speaker of the House James G.