Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

April 24, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 5247, entitled "An act granting a pension to William H. Brimmer."

The beneficiary named in this bill enlisted September 5, 1864, as a wagon master, and was discharged on the 30th day of May, 1865. There is no record of any disability during his short service.

In February, 1888, nearly twenty-three years after his discharge, he filed an application for a pension, alleging that in the fall of 1864 he was made to carry sacks of corn, which produced a weakness of the walls of the abdomen, resulting in rupture. In an affidavit filed upon said application the claimant testifies that he said nothing about his injury or disability to anyone while in the service and can furnish no evidence except his own statement.

The first and only medical evidence presented touching this claim is that of Dr. Reynolds, who examined him in 1880 or 1881, who then came to the conclusion that the claimant was suffering from an incomplete hernia, which a few months thereafter developed in the right groin. From this examination and testimony no hint is furnished that the injury was due to military service, nor any intimation that it might be.

In February, 1888, a medical examination was made under direction of the pension Bureau, when it was found that the claimant had the general appearance of being healthy and well nourished, but that he had a small uncomplicated inguinal hernia on the right side, which was easily retained.

I can not believe upon the facts presented that an injury of the character alleged could have been sustained in the service and still permitted the performance of all the duties of wagon master for months thereafter, remaining undeveloped for so many years, and that there should now be such a lack of testimony connecting it with any incident of military service.

I believe the rejection of this claim was right and just upon its merits


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

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