CHAPTER VIII. THE OVERTURN OF 1884
Of less popular interest than many of the political questions, but of more lasting importance, was the rapid reduction of the public land supply. The purpose of the Homestead law of 1862 had been to supply land at low rates and in small amounts to bona fide settlers, but the beneficent design of the nation had been somewhat nullified by the constant evasion of the spirit of the laws. Squatters had occupied land without reference to legal forms; cattlemen had fenced in large tracts for their own use and forcibly resisted attempts to oust them; by hook and by crook individuals and companies had got large areas into their possession and held them for speculative returns. Western public opinion looked upon many such violations with equanimity until the supply of land began to grow small. Then came the demand for the opening of the Indian reservations, which comprised 250,000 square miles in 1885. The Dawes act of 1887 provided for individual ownership of small amounts of land by the Indians instead of tribal ownership in large reservations. By this means a considerable amount of good land was made available for settlement by whites. The dwindling supply of western land also called attention to certain delinquencies on the part of the railway companies. Many of them had been granted enormous amounts of land on certain conditions, such as that specified parts of the roads be constructed within a given time. This agreement, with others, was frequently broken, and question arose as to whether the companies should be forced to forfeit their claims. Cleveland turned to the problem with energy and forced the return of some millions of acres. Nevertheless, the fact that it was becoming necessary to be less prodigal with the public land indicated that the supply was no longer inexhaustible, and led the President in his last annual message to urge that the remaining supply be husbanded with great care. Congress was not alert to the demands of the time, however, and no effective steps were taken for many years.
H.C. Thomas, The Return of the Democratic Party to Power in 1884 (1919), is most complete and scholarly on the subject; Sparks, Curtis, Dewey, and Stanwood continue useful; H.T. Peck, Twenty Years of the Republic, 1885-1905 (1907), is illuminating and interesting; H.J. Ford, Cleveland Era (1919), is brief; the files of The Nation and Harper's Weekly are essential, while those of the New YorkSun, Evening Post and Tribune add a few points. The Mulligan letters are reprinted in Harper's Weekly (1884, 643-646).
On the administration, consult the general texts and the special volumes mentioned in chapter V; G.F. Parker, Recollections of Grover Cleveland (1909); and Political Science Quarterly (June, 1918), "Official Characteristics of President Cleveland," give something on the personal side; J.L. Whittle, Grover Cleveland (1896), is by an English admirer; Cleveland's own side of one of his controversies is in Grover Cleveland, Presidential Problems (1904); on Blaine, Edward Stanwood, James G. Blaine (1905). The Annual Cyclopaedia has useful biographical articles.
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 A reference to the Dorsey dinner at which Arthur told how Indiana was carried.
 His marriage to Miss Frances Folsom, which occurred in 1886, occasioned lively interest.
 Other members were: Daniel Manning, N.Y., Secretary of the Treasury; William C. Endicott, Mass., Secretary of War; A.H. Garland, Ark., Attorney-General; William F. Vilas, Wis., Postmaster-General.
 President Cleveland also frequently used his veto power to prevent the passage of appropriations for federal buildings which he deemed unnecessary.