Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

August 04, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 5389, entitled "An act granting a pension to Ann Kinney."

This beneficiary applied for a pension in 1877 as the widow of Edward Kinney, alleging that he died September 5, 1875, from the effects of a wound received in the Army. He enlisted November 4, 1861, and was discharged July 28, 1862, on account of a gunshot wound in his left elbow, for which wound he was pensioned in the year 1865.

A physician testifies that the pensioned soldier's death was, in his opinion, brought on indirectly by the intemperate use of intoxicating liquors, and that he died from congestion of the brain.

The marshal of the city where he resided states that on the day of the soldier's death he was called to remove him from a house in which he was making a disturbance, and that finding him intoxicated he arrested him and took him to the lockup and placed him in a cell. In a short time, not exceeding an hour, thereafter he was found dead. He further states that he was addicted to periodical sprees.

Another statement is made that the soldier was an intemperate man, and died very suddenly in the city lockup, where he had been taken by an officer while on a drunken spree.

This is not a pleasant recital, and as against the widow I should be glad to avoid its effect. But the most favorable phase of the case does not aid her, since her claim rests upon the allegation that her husband was subject to epileptic fits and died from congestion of the brain while in one of these fits. Even upon this showing the connection between the fits and the wound in the elbow is not made apparent.


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

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