Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 22, 1897

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without my approval House bill No. 2189, entitled "An act granting a pension to Mrs. Mary A. Freeman."

A former husband of the beneficiary, named Andrew V. Pritchard, did service in the Mexican War, and on July 22, 1847, died of disease contracted in such service. Thereupon the beneficiary named in this bill was pensioned as his widow. She continued to receive this pension until 1852, when she married John Freeman, through which she of course lost her pensionable status. Two minor children of the soldier were, however, placed on the pension roll in her stead, and their pension was paid to them until the youngest became 16 years of age, in 1863.

John Freeman died in December, 1871, the beneficiary having been his wife for almost twenty years. It is now proposed to restore her to the pension roll as the widow of her former husband, the Mexican soldier, who died nearly fifty years ago, and notwithstanding the fact that less than five years after his death she relinquished her right to a pension and surrendered her widowhood to become the wife of another husband, with whom she lived for many years.

I am not willing, even by inaction, to be charged with acquiescence in what appears to be such an entire departure from the principle, as well as sentiment, connected with reasonable pension legislation.


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

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