Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 05, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 3304, entitled "An act to restore the name of Abner Morehead to the pension roll."

The person mentioned in this bill was pensioned in November, 1867, upon the claim made by him that in 1863, from hardship and exposure incident to camp life and field duty, he contracted a fever which settled in his eyes, almost wholly destroying his sight. Afterwards his pension was increased to $15 a month, dating from December, 1867, and arrears at the rate of $8 a mouth from February, 1864. In 1876 the case was put in the hands of a special agent of the Pension Bureau for examination, and upon his report, showing that the claimant's disease of the eyes existed prior to enlistment, his name was dropped from the rolls.

An application for restoration was made in 1879, and a thorough examination was made by a special examiner in 1885, who reported that the testimony taken conclusively established the fact that the claimant had disease of the eyes prior to the time of enlistment, the result of a disorder which he specifically mentions, and that he was treated for the same more than a year subsequently to 1860. He adds:

There is no merit whatever in this case, and it is evident that he obtained a large sum as pension to which he must have known he was not entitled.

The results of these examinations, instituted for the express purpose of developing the facts, and with nothing apparent to impeach them, should, I think, control as against the statements of neighbors and comrades based upon mere general observation, and not necessarily covering the period which is important to the controversy.


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

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