Grover Cleveland, the Only President to be Married in the White House, Writes His Bride Detailed Plans for the Wedding
May 23, 1886
My darling Frank
I feel to night that you are almost here. It seems a dreadfully long time since I have written to you.
I feel dreadfully to think that the first news you receive as you arrive will be of death among your relations. Your Grandfather Folsom was buried yesterday. I have heard no details except what I see in the papers to the effect that his death was not entirely unexpected. I had a dispatch from Dr. Martin I think Wednesday night telling me of his death and asking when you were coming to which I replied next week after the first.
I had a letter from your Aunt Frank about the same time but written before she heard of Mr. Folsom's death asking me what the change in your plan was to which your mother referred in a letter to her. I waited till last night and replied telling her you would sail from Antwerp on the 15th last. I did not mention the report nor go into any [...] particular detail about our plans. I did ask her what she thought the effect of your Grandfather[']s death would be regarding a postponement of the marriage. She wrote me that she thought no one would come from Jackson except Mrs Cadman and perhaps her daughter.
I had a letter too from Ida Gregg congratulating me and indulging in a good deal of joyous expression in anticipation of seeing us married. Did you see some very foolish things which it was reputed she said? But that's no matter.
I know that you will be glad to hear that I have made arrangements for us two to go away immediately after the ceremony and be together for a week.
But why do I talk of all these things when I have no idea of how you will feel about the date of the ceremony when you know of your Grandfather[']s death? I feel that everything is in abeyance till I know [...] will look upon the matter which has been the subject of so much planning, in the light of changed circumstances. Everything will be as you desire; and yet I know Darling, that you will want to know a little of which has been forming in my mind[.] I have thought that perhaps after all you would prefer to have the ceremony on the 2nd as contemplated and reduce it to a very quick affair indeed, though we planned to have it quick in any event. There will be nobody from my circle of relations [...] Mrs. Hoyt and Lizzie and quite likely only the latter. Your mother and Ben could go immediately after the wedding to Folsomdale. If there is a postponement there will be all sorts of [...] talk and the propriety of the situation will furnish material for that kind of [...] the attention of the gossips.
I am so afraid of jarring upon your feelings and sentiments that I don[']t want to say much about my wishes and preferences; and to tell you the truth my Love I mean to leave this to you with the above [...] only adding that Col Lamont who starts to-morrow morning to meet you and who will hand you this can tell you all you want to know. I want you to talk to him just exactly as freely as you would to me. He has been an immense comfort to me and I don't know what I should have done without him. He knows all my thoughts in connection with the matter except he cannot know how much I love you. Its rather strange to do such things by proxy but in this case it is the only way and my Colonel is no ordinary man. He will go into any detail with you; and I am sure no one outside of ourselves is more interested or has our welfare and comfort more at heart.
The hints which I have given that perhaps you would not prefer a postponement I not only follow my own judgment (subject of course to your sense of duty and propriety) but that of some others who have communicated with me. Lizzie will be in N.Y. to-morrow and of course will see you. I shall be in N.Y. a week from to-night I expect and that night or the next day will [sic] meet for the first time in an age my darling Life. I've been awfully good and patient [...] but God knows how much I want to take you in my arms. My dear Child how I wish I could take from you any perplexity. I cannot think of any more to nite for the Colonel will say all for me except to express my tender and everlasting love. He will even talk to you about the ring and learn from you whether you will let me put it on your finger just before we stand before the minister. If you would like it just as well we have thought it might be better than to try and introduce it into a Presbyterian ceremony. Don't fail to tell him how you desire to have even this matter arranged. You see we have thought of all the slightest detail. Give my love to your mother. I received a letter from you yesterday dated May 10. The Colonel has one for you which was sent to my care from Rome. Don't let him forget to give it to you.
God bless my Darling