May 28, 1886
Grover Cleveland Announces, and Invites His Postmaster to, His White House Marriage
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.