White House Sketches
President and Mrs. Cleveland’s Goodwill Tour
October 12, 1887
Every president recognizes the need to get out of Washington during his or her term in office and meet the voters. President Grover Cleveland was a Democrat in a largely Republican nation in 1887 when he embarked, with his popular and beautiful wife Frances, on a “grand tour” with an election just a year away. The Presidential Special rolled through the Midwest and South in October and November of 1887. The tour allowed Americans in small and large towns to see the president and first lady and celebrate their visit with civic pomp and pride. The trip was a public relations success. Although Cleveland lost the 1888 election to Republican Benjamin Harrison, the voters returned him to the White House in 1892.