About Quizzes

Health Issue

Early in his second term, it was discovered that President Cleveland was afficted with oral cancer and needed surgery immediately. The country was in the throes of the Panic of 1893; it was feared that announcing the president’s condition might add to the chaos. Only family members and a few close advisors were alerted; the cabinet was not informed. Congress adjourned on June 30th. Using the pretext of leaving for a fishing vacation at his cottage on Cape Cod, Cleveland boarded the Oneida, a yacht belonging to a friend. Surgery was performed as the yacht sailed out of the East River in New York City and on to Long Island Sound. A portion of his upper left jaw was removed and he was fitted with a rubber prosthesis. The surgery was performed inside the president’s mouth; no evidence was visible on the outside. Cleveland underwent a follow-up operation and recuperated at his summer retreat. On August 7, the president addressed the reassembled Congress without incident. Word that he had faced a serious health problem eventually leaked to the newspapers, but the White House never commented on the incident.