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President Cleveland and Rumors of a Cancerous Growth: Topics in Chronicling America

In July 1893, President Cleveland boards the yacht Oneida, amongst rumors of cancer. This guide provides access to materials related to the “President Cleveland's cancer” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Now its cancer. Startling statements regarding Cleveland's health." August 30, 1893. Daily Public Ledger (Maysville, KY), Image 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

During the summer of 1893, President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) took a four day yachting trip with a close friend. The four day absence of a president was unusual, and the press quickly began investigating, turning up rumors of a cancerous growth and secret operation. 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 1893 President Cleveland boards the yacht Oneida, amongst rumors of cancer, with surgical team sworn to secrecy.
August 1893 Reports of an at-sea surgery on the President persist, with newspapers both confirming and denying allegations about the nature of his illness.