Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 28, 1888

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 1237, entitled "An act granting a pension to Anna Mertz."

The beneficiary named in this bill is the widow of Charles A. Mertz, who served in the Army as captain from April, 1862, to June, 1863, when he resigned on account of impaired health. It is stated in the committee's report that after his return from the Army he worked occasionally at his trade, though subject to attacks of very severe diarrhea, accompanied with acute catarrhal pains in the head and face, which he constantly attributed to his army service.

It is alleged that he had several times taken morphine, under medical advice, to allay pain caused by these attacks. He did not apply for a pension.

On the 1st day of December, 1884, more than twenty-one years after his discharge from the Army, he died from an overdose of morphine self-administered, for the purpose, it is claimed, of alleviating his suffering.

I do not think that in this case the death of the soldier was so related to his military service as to entitle his widow to a pension.


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

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