Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 03, 1887

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 6443, entitled "An act granting a pension to Alexander Falconer."

This claimant filed his application for pension in 1879, alleging that in 1837, being then an enlisted man in the United States Army, he received a gunshot wound in his right leg below the knee at the battle of Okeechobee Lake, Florida.

The records disclose the fact that this soldier enlisted in 1834, and was almost continuously in the service and attached to the same company until 1846.

It further appears that he is reported sick during the month in which the battle was fought. The list of casualties does not contain his name among the wounded.

He reenlisted in 1846 and again in 1847, and was finally discharged in 1848. These latter enlistments were for service in the Mexican War.

His claim for pension was denied in 1885 on the ground that no disability existed in a pensionable degree from the alleged gunshot wound in his leg.

It is perfectly clear that the only pretexts for giving this claimant a pension are military service, old age, and poverty.

Inasmuch as be was a soldier in the Mexican War, his case is undoubtedly provided for by a general law approved within the last few days.

Under this bill the amount to be paid him is fixed, while if the bill herewith returned were approved the sum to be paid him would depend upon the determination of the Pension Bureau as to the extent of his disability as the result of his wound. As that Bureau has quite lately determined that there was no disability, it is evident that this old soldier can better rely upon the general law referred to.


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

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