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1884 Presidential Election of Grover Cleveland: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of the election of 1884 in which Grover Cleveland won the first of his two non-consecutive presidential terms, in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"The contest. A fight for political supremacy. The results yet in doubt." November 5, 1884. Sacramento Daily Record-Union (Sacramento, CA), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

The future of the tariff system weighed on voters’ minds as they cast ballots in the presidential election of 1884. Incumbent President Chester A. Arthur bowed out of a bid for re-election, leading to a contest between New York Gov. Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine, a former U.S. Senator from Maine. Accusations of voter fraud in New York from both parties meant that final results were not certified until mid-November; however, Cleveland ultimately proved victorious and began the first of his two non-consecutive terms. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


July 8, 1884 The Democratic National Convention begins in Chicago.
July 11, 1884 Grover Cleveland named nominee; Thomas Hendricks to be his running mate.
November 1884 Votes are cast; claims of fraud delay declaration of winner. Cleveland eventually announced winner.