Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 22, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 8281, entitled "An act for the relief of Lieutenant James G. W. Hardy."

It is proposed by this bill to award a pension to the beneficiary above named.

In the month of January, 1864, he was on recruiting service in the State of Indiana. On the 15th day of that month he was traveling between Indianapolis and Lafayette in a railroad car, and he alleges that he raised a window of the car to obtain air, and placed his arm on the window sill, when it was struck by something from the outside and one of the bones of his arm broken.

In February, 1865, he resigned on account of disability caused by the accident above mentioned, the medical certificate then stating that he had a fracture of the right humerus of ten months' standing which had not been properly adjusted.

He made an application for a pension to the Pension Bureau, which was rejected.

Although it is stated in a general way that he was traveling on business connected with his recruiting service at the time of his injury, he has given no information as to the precise purpose of his journey; and it is conceded that he was guilty of such negligence that he had no right of action against the railroad company.

It also appears by the medical certificate upon which his resignation was permitted that the fracture, not necessarily serious, was never properly treated. It seems, too, that he remained in the service ten months after the injury.

I am unable to discover why a pension should be granted in this case, unless the Government is to be held as an insurer of the safety of every person in the military service in all circumstances and at all times and places.


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

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