Our Ex-Presidents," a ten-page typescript and working copy of this essay, written by the former President for "Youth's Companion" magazine and published there in its January, 2, 1908 issue, under the title "Our People and Their Ex-Presidents."
1907 · [Princeton, NJ?]
by Cleveland, Grover (1837-1908; 22nd and 24th President of the United States, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897)
[Princeton, NJ?], 1907. 4to (28 cm.). 10 pages [typed rectos only], approximately 2850 words, each leaf mounted along the left edge to a larger, heavier sheet, each page double-spaced, with 29 separate ink corrections, deletions, and additions by Cleveland in his characteristic hand (44 words added, 19 deleted, 20 typos of poor strikes corrected); in addition, there are numerous editorial marking on each page, "by Grover Cleveland" is written in pencil in another hand underneath the title on the first page, and "corrected by Cleveland" is written in pencil in yet another hand at the upper corner of the first page. The longest correction or addition occurs in the final paragraph, where Cleveland strikes through four words, replacing them with twelve. Following publication the "Youth's Companion," the essay appeared in newspapers (e.g., "The Daily Republican," Monongahela Pennsylvania, 25 February 1908) under the title "Our People and Our Ex-Presidents." We found one other unsigned essay by Cleveland at auction, also a 10-page typescript with holograph corrections, "Woman's Mission and Woman's Clubs," sold at Christie's in 2002 ($8000). Very good condition throughout. (9870). An essay on the relationship between the American people and their ex-presidents, by the only man who was ex-president twice. It addresses the expectations and demands the people place on their former presidents, the personal financial effects these may have, and the failure of the country to provide any support for them. Noting thankfully his own personally secure estate, he based this one and cites specific examples of financial distress among earlier presidents. That combined with his own observations gave him concern for future ex-presidents. "If in concluding this discussion a personal word is necessary or permissible in view of the fact that I am the only man now living who could at this time profit by the ideas I have advocated, I hope my sincerity will not be questioned when I say that I have dealt with the subject without the least thought of personal interest or desire for personal advantage. I am not in need of aid from the public treasury. I hope and believe that I have provided for myself and those dependent upon me a comfortable maintenance, within the limits of accustomed prudence and economy, and that those to whom I owe the highest earthly duty will not want when I am gone." (Inventory #: 63141)