Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

September 13, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 6371, entitled "An act granting a pension to Jesse M. Stilwell."

On the 6th day of May, 1885, twenty years after this beneficiary was discharged from the Army, he filed an application in the Pension Bureau for a pension, alleging that in December, 1863, one year and eight months before his discharge, a comrade assaulted him with a stick while he was sitting in front of his tent preparing for bed and injured his back. He alleged that the assault was unprovoked and unexpected.

The claim was rejected upon the facts stated, upon the ground that any injury incurred was not the result of military duty.

Unless the Government is to be held as an insurer against injuries suffered by anyone in the military service, no matter how incurred, and also as guarantor of the good and peaceable behavior toward each other of the soldiers at all times and under all circumstances, this is not a proper case for the allowance of a pension.


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

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