Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 31, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 3363, entitled "An act granting a pension to Jennette Dow."

The husband of the claimant enlisted August 7, 1862; received a gunshot wound in his left knee in September, 1863, and was mustered out with his company June 10, 1865. He was pensioned for his wound in 1878 at the rate of $4 per month, dating from the time of his discharge, which amount was increased to $8 per mouth from June 4, 1880. The pensioned soldier died December 17, 1882, and in 1883 his widow, the claimant, filed an application for pension, alleging that her husband's death resulted from his wound. Her claim was rejected in 1885 upon the ground that death was not caused by the wound.

The physician who was present at the time of the death certifies that the same resulted from apoplexy in twelve hours after the deceased was attacked.

It also appears from the statement of this physician that the deceased was employed for years after his discharge from the Army as a railroad conductor, and that at the time of his death he had with difficulty reached his home. He then describes as following the attack the usual manifestations of apoplexy, and adds that he regards the case as one of "hemiplegia, the outgrowth primarily of nerve injury, aggravated by the life's calling, and eventuating in apoplexy as stated."

Evidence is filed in the Pension Bureau showing that after his discharge he was more or less troubled with his wound, though one witness testifies that he railroaded with him for fifteen years after his injury. I find no medical testimony referred to which with any distinctness charges death to the wound, and it would be hardly credible if such evidence was found.

I am sure that in no case except in an application for pension would an attempt be made in the circumstances here developed to attribute death from apoplexy to a wound in the knee received nineteen years before the apoplectic attack.


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

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