Did Cleveland father a child out of wedlock?
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Cleveland allegedly fathered a child out of wedlock with a Maria Halpin, when Cleveland was sheriff of Erie County. Maria named the child Oscar Folsom Cleveland—after Cleveland and his law partner and future father-in-law. Cleveland allegedly had the unstable Halpin placed in a mental institute and paid for the child’s expenses at an orphanage. The issue nearly doomed Cleveland’s presidential chances in 1884. Some ardent Republicans would chant at rallies: “Ma! Ma! Where’s my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha.”