Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 24, 1886

To the Senate of the United States:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 1630, entitled "An act granting a pension to James C. Chandler."

It appears from the report of the committee to whom this bill was referred and from an examination of the official records that the proposed beneficiary first enlisted on the 27th day of August, 1861, and about nine months thereafter, on the 1st day of June, 1862, was discharged on account of disability arising from chronic bronchitis.

Notwithstanding the chronic character of his alleged disability, he enlisted again on the 3d day of January, 1864, seventeen months after such discharge.

No statement is presented of the bounty received by him upon either enlistment.

He was finally mustered out on the 19th day of September, 1865.

He first applied for a pension under the general law in May, 1869, alleging that in April, 1862, he was run over by a wagon and injured in his ankle. This accident occurred during his first enlistment; but instead of the injury having been then regarded a disability, he was discharged from such enlistment less than two months thereafter on account of chronic bronchitis.

It appears from the committee's report that his application was rejected and that another was afterwards made, alleging that the claimant had been afflicted with typhoid fever contracted in May, 1862, resulting in "rheumatism and disease of the back in region of kidneys."

This application was also rejected, on the ground that any disability that might have arisen from the cause alleged "had not existed in a pensionable degree since the date of filing the claim therefor," which was February 10, 1885.

There still remained an appeal to Congress, and probably there were not wanting those who found their interests in advising such an appeal and who had at hand Congressional precedents which promised a favorable result. That the parties interested did not miscalculate the chances of success is demonstrated by the bill now before me, which, in direct opposition to the action of the Pension Bureau, grants a pension to a man who, though discharged from enlistment for a certain alleged disability, made two applications for a pension based upon two distinct causes, both claimed to exist within two months prior to such discharge, and both different from the one upon which he accepted the same, and notwithstanding the fact that the proposed beneficiary, after all these disabilities had occurred, passed an examination as to his physical fitness for reenlistment, actually did reenlist, and served till finally mustered out at the close of the war.

If any money is to be given this man from the public Treasury, it should not be done under the guise of a pension.


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

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