Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 23, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I hereby return without approval House bill No. 7257, entitled "An act granting a pension to James H. Darling."

This man enlisted in November, 1861, and was reported as having deserted March 5, 1862. The charge of desertion was, however, removed, and it is stated that he went to his home in Ohio at the date stated, by proper authority, where he remained sick till December, 1862, when he was discharged for disability caused" by a disease of the kidneys known as Bright's disease," from which, the physician making the certificate thought, "there was no reasonable prospect of his recovery."

The claimant filed his application for pension, alleging that in January, 1862, he contracted rheumatism. The claim was investigated by a special examiner and rejected on the ground that the evidence produced failed to show the alleged disability was contracted in the service and in the line of duty.

A medical examination made in 1877 showed that the claimant was "a well-nourished man, 65 years old; height, 5 feet 8 inches; weight, 165 pounds." No disability was discovered, "but a general stiffness of joints, especially of legs, which he says is much aggravated in stormy, cold weather."

Another examination in 1882 found this victim of war disability with "the appearance of a hale, hearty old man--no disease that was discoverable by examination (without chemical test), except some lameness from rheumatism." His weight upon this examination is stated to be 186 pounds.

It is evident to me that this man ought not to be pensioned.


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

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