Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 28, 1888

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 835, entitled "An act for the relief of Elisha Griswold."

The beneficiary named in this bill, which awards him a pension, enlisted in January, 1864, and was discharged February 12, 1866.

His claim for pension, as developed in the report of the Senate Committee on Pensions, is based upon the allegation that in January, 1866, he fell from a swing which had been put up in the building occupied as a barrack and struck on his head and shoulder.

The committee report in favor of the bill upon the grounds that the soldier was injured "while engaged in recreation" and that "such recreation is a necessary part of a soldier's life."

The beneficiary filed an application in January, 1880, and in support of such application he filed on the 16th day of July, 1886, an affidavit in which he testifies that at the time of the injury he was in prison at San Antonio, Tex., upon charges the character of which he could not ascertain, and that the swing from which he fell was erected by himself and others for pastime and exercise.

It will be seen that the injury complained of is alleged to have been sustained less than a month before his discharge. There is, however, no record of any disability.

His claim based upon this injury was, in my opinion, properly rejected as having no connection with his military service, and I think the facts in his case as herein detailed do not justify the award of a pension to him by special enactment.

On the 23d day of March, 1888, after the introduction of the bill herewith returned, the beneficiary, apparently having abandoned the claim upon which the bill is predicated, filed another application for a pension in the Pension Bureau, alleging that he contracted diarrhea and malarial poisoning in the service. This application is still pending.


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

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