The Scandals: Cleveland--"Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa?"
Grover Cleveland was elected Governor on a reform platform, alienating especially Tammany Hall, the Democratic machine in New York City, which was firmly in charge of spoils in Manhattan and the boroughs. His image was one of public rectitude and honesty in office. But on July 21, the Buffalo Telegraph, Cleveland's hometown newspaper, published a story that Cleveland, a bachelor, ten years ago had had an illegitimate child by a widow named Maria Halpin. When confronted with the scandal, Cleveland immediately instructed his supporters to "Above all, tell the truth." Cleveland admitted to paying child support in 1874 to Mrs. Halpin, who asserted he had fathered her son. And while some Americans were willing to draw a distinction between Cleveland's private immorality and Blaine's alleged abuse of public office, the charge was damaging, fueled by rumors of even more scandalous behavior.