Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 24, 1886

To the Senate of the United States:

I hereby return without approval Senate bill No. 857, entitled "An act granting a pension to Dudley B. Branch."

This claim is based upon the allegation, as appears by the committee's report, that the person named in the bill has a hernia, and that on the 9th day of June, 1862, while in the military service and in the line of duty," in getting over a fence he fell heavily, striking a stone or hard substance, and received the hernia in his left side."

In December, 1875, thirteen and a half years thereafter, he filed an application for a pension, which was rejected by the Pension Bureau on the ground that there was no record of the alleged hernia, and the claimant was unable to furnish satisfactory evidence of its origin in the service.

The fact is stated in the committee's report that late in the year 1863 this soldier was transferred to the Invalid Corps, and the records show that he was thus transferred for a disability entirely different from that upon which he now bases his claim. He was mustered out in September, 1864, at the end of his term of service.

I am convinced that the rejection of this claim by the Pension Bureau was correct, and think its action should not be reversed.

I suppose an injury of the description claimed, if caused by violence directly applied, is quite palpable, its effect usually immediate, and its existence easily proved. The long time which elapsed between the injury and the claimant's application for a pension may be fairly considered as bearing upon the merits of such application, while the fact that the claimant was transferred to the Invalid Corps more than a year after he alleges the injury occurred, for an entirely different disability, can not be overlooked. In the committee's report the statement is found that the beneficiary named in the bill was in two different hospitals during the year 1863, and yet it is not claimed that the history of his hospital treatment furnishes any proof of the injury upon which his claim is now based.


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

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