Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 19, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 3579, entitled "An act granting a pension to Ellen Shea."

This beneficiary is an old lady and a widow. Her son, Michael Shea, enlisted in January, 1862. The records show that he was sick on one or two occasions during his service. He is also reported as a deserter and absent without leave and in arrest and confinement fully as often as he was sick. He was discharged January 20, 1865.

No application for a pension has been made on his behalf. The mother filed a claim for pension in July, 1884, alleging that her son contracted a fever in the service which resulted in insanity, which was the cause of his death on the 10th day of March, 1884.

He was killed by a snow slide in the State of Colorado. The only hint that his death was in any way connected with the service is the suggestion that not having the proper use of his mind he wandered away and was killed.

His mother now lives in Chicago and, I suppose, lived there at the time of her son's death. There is very little evidence offered of any unsoundness of mind, and his death occurring at Woodstock, Colo., it is hardly to be supposed that he wandered that far. And as tending to show that unsoundness of mind had nothing to do with his death it may be mentioned that an attorney having the mother's application for pension in charge withdrew from the case in October, 1884, for the reason that, having made inquiries at the place where the soldier was killed, he found that his death was caused by a snow slide, and that he was informed that a number of other persons lost their lives at the same time.


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

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