May 28, 1886

Grover Cleveland's Handwritten Announcement of, and Invitation to, His White House Marriage

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Grover Cleveland, the first president to wed in the White House, writes to invite his Postmaster General to the wedding. “On Wednesday next at seven o'clock in the evening,” he announces,  "I shall be married to Miss Folsom at the White House”, and earnestly desires that Postmaster and Mrs. Vilas attend the “very quiet wedding.”

Cleveland had wanted to keep his marriage plans a secret, and did not in fact make them known until five days before the wedding; this letter, then, contains the startling information. At 49, the President  was marrying his 21 year-old ward, the beautiful and charming Frances Folsom.

Despite the disparity in age, however, and seemingly peculiar relation – he had to wait, he said, for his wife to grow up - theirs was an exceptionally happy marriage. The Clevelands had five children, the second of which,  arriving during Cleveland’s second term, also made history, becoming the first baby born in the White House.

Autograph Letter Signed, as President, 2 pages, recto and verso, octavo, Executive Mansion, May 28, 1886. To Postmaster General Vilas. With engraved card announcing the wedding.

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Transcript

Executive Mansion,
Washington.

May 28, 1886

My dear Mr Vilas,

On Wednesday next at seven o'clock in the evening I shall be married to Miss Folsom at the White House.

We shall have a very quiet wedding, but I earnestly desire that you and Mrs. Vilas will be present on the occasion.

Yours sincerely

GROVER CLEVELAND


Hon Wm F. Vilas
Postmaster General

-----------------------------------------
[Wedding announcement]]

Mr. Grover Cleveland
and
Miss Frances Folsom,
Married,
on Wednesday, June second,
eighteen hundred and eighty six.

Executive Mansion,
Washington.