Financial conditions forced him to remove Grover from school into a two-year mercantile apprenticeship in Fayetteville.
The experience was valuable and brief, and the living conditions quite austere.
Later that year, Cleveland's brother William was hired as a teacher at the New York Institute for the Blind in New York City, and William obtained a place for Cleveland as an assistant teacher.
Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "[I]n Grover Cleveland, the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities.
He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have.
The matter became a campaign issue for the GOP in his first presidential campaign.
In 1881 the Republicans nominated a slate of particularly disreputable machine politicians; the Democrats saw the opportunity to gain the votes of disaffected Republicans by nominating a more honest candidate.
Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was an American politician and lawyer who was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only President in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office (1885––97).
He won the popular vote for three presidential elections – in 1884, 1888, and 1892 – and was one of two Democrats (with Woodrow Wilson) to be elected president during the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933.
Up to that point, Cleveland's political career had been honorable and unexceptional.
As biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "Probably no man in the country, on March 4, 1881, had less thought than this limited, simple, sturdy attorney of Buffalo that four years later he would be standing in Washington and taking the oath as President of the United States." It was during this period that Cleveland began a relationship with a widow, Maria Crofts Halpin, and later assumed responsibility for supporting her and a child born at the time.
He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense.
But he possessed them to a degree other men do not." His father's maternal grandfather, Richard Falley Jr., fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was the son of an immigrant from Guernsey.
Grover returned to Clinton and his schooling at the completion of the apprentice contract.