Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 19, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 88, entitled "An act granting a pension to Sally A. Randall."

Antipas Taber enlisted in the War of 1812 and was discharged in the year 1814. There is no claim made that he received any injury in the Army or that his death, which happened long after his discharge, was in the slightest degree related to his military service. It does not appear that he ever made any application for a pension or was ever upon the pension rolls. He died at Trinidad, in the island of Cuba, April 11, 1831, leaving as his widow the beneficiary mentioned in this bill. About twenty-two years after his death, and in February, 1853, she married Albert Randall, and twenty years thereafter, in October, 1873, Randall died, leaving her again a widow.

It is alleged in the report of the committee in the House to which this bill was referred that Mrs. Randall is a worthy woman, 75 years of age, in needy circumstances, with health much impaired, and that the petition for her relief was signed by prominent citizens of Norwich, Conn., where she now resides.

All this certainly commends her case to the kindness and benevolence of the citizens mentioned, and the State of Connecticut ought not to allow her to be in needy circumstances.

It seems to me, however, that it would establish a bad precedent to provide for her from the Federal Treasury. From the statement of her present age she must have been born during the time of her first husband's enlistment. She knew nothing of his military service except as the same may have been detailed to her. Her first widowhood had no connection with any incident or condition of health traceable to such service, and her second husband, with whom she lived for twenty years, never entered the military service of the Government.

I do not see how the relief proposed can be granted in this case without an unjustifiable departure from the rules under which applications for pension should be determined.


Grover Cleveland, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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