Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 06, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 4797, entitled "An act granting a pension to Robert H. Stapleton."

This claimant filed an application for pension in the Pension Bureau in 1883, alleging that while acting as lieutenant-colonel of a New Mexico regiment, on February 21, 1862, the tongue of a caisson struck him, injuring his left side. A medical examination made in 1882 showed a fracture of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh ribs of the left side.

If these fractures were the result of the injury alleged, they were immediately apparent, and the delay of twenty-one years in presenting the claim for pension certainly needs explanation.

Claims of this description, by a wise provision of law, must, to be valid; be prosecuted to a successful issue prior to the 4th day of July, 1874.

The rank which this claimant held presupposes such intelligence as admits of no excuse on the ground of ignorance of the law for his failure to present his application within the time fixed by law.

The evidence of disability from the cause alleged is weak, to say the most of it, and I can not think that such a wholesome provision of law as that above referred to, which limits the time for the adjustment of such claims, should be modified upon the facts presented in this case.


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

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