Last week, our guessing game was President Cleveland's sister, Rose, so now let's learn a little something about her.
When Grover Cleveland came to the White House, he was a bachelor and so his sister, Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, came with him to act as the official hostess until his marriage to Frances Folsom. Frances Cleveland, a young White House bride, was loved by the public and so Rose's contributions are often overlooked.
Rose Cleveland was a serious academic and found her duties tiresome and actually conjugated Greek verbs in her head during receptions, but she did her duty for her brother. The National First Ladies Library biography gives us an interesting view of Rose Cleveland that includes the possibility of homosexuality:
Rose Elizabeth "Libbie" Cleveland was born 13 June, 1846; she was educated at the Houghton Seminary and taught literature in Lafayette, Indiana and later at Hamilton College.
In 1889, just months after her brother's first term of the presidency ended, the 44 year old Rose Cleveland began a romantic friendship with Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy 30-year-old widow, whom she met while on vacation in Florida. After returning to their respective homes, the two women exchanged what can only be described as a series of increasingly erotic letters. "I tremble at the thought of you," Cleveland wrote. "I dare not think of your arms." Simpson, in return, addressed Cleveland as "my Clevy, my Viking, my Everything." When Simpson enclosed a photo of herself in a letter, Cleveland replied that "the look of it [is] all making me wild." After a few years, however, Simpson chose to follow a more conventional path. In 1892, she became engaged to an Episcopal bishop twice her age. The decision, Cleveland wrote, hurt her deeply. Nevertheless, she wished the couple well on the occasion of their 1893 wedding - on White House stationery. He died in 1901, and after Evangeline had observed the traditional one-year of mourning, she abruptly left for Europe and was joined by Rose, the two women living together in Italy.
They settled there permanently in 1910. Evangeline Whipple lived for 12 years beyond Rose Cleveland, who died on 26 November, 1918. The two women are buried alongside each other in Italy.
Hope you enjoyed this information about Rose's life.