Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

September 01, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9363, entitled "An act granting a pension to Edwin J. Godfrey."

The beneficiary named in this bill enlisted on the 27th day of May, 1861, in a New Hampshire regiment, and less than three months there-after was discharged on a surgeon's certificate of his disability occasioned by "disease of heart existing prior to enlistment."

In 1881, twenty years after discharge, the beneficiary applied to the pension Bureau for a pension, and alleged that his disease of the heart was the result of fatigue and overhearing at Bull Run, Virginia, July 21, 1861.

If the heart disease of which the discharged soldier complained in 1861, and which the claimant of a pension in 1881 alleged still continued, could have been caused by fatigue and overhearing in the only battle of his brief service, it seems to me that its manifestations and symptoms a month afterwards could not have been mistaken for such as belonged to a much longer continuance of the disease.

I am fully satisfied that the surgeon was not mistaken who made the certificate upon which the beneficiary was discharged, and that his military service is not properly chargeable with any disability he may have incurred.


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

Simple Search of Our Archives