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Veto Message

October 15, 1888

To the Senate:

I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 3208, entitled "An act granting a pension to William S. Bradshaw."

The beneficiary mentioned in this bill was mustered into the military service as first lieutenant on the 28th day of October, 1861.

About eight months afterwards, and in June, 1862, he resigned from the service, his resignation being based upon a surgeon' s certificate which he procured, and which is as follows:

William S. Bradshaw having applied for a certificate to accompany his resignation, I do hereby certify that I have carefully examined this officer and find that his disease is of a chronic pleuritic character, contracted (previous to his entering the service) four years since from an injury received in shoeing a fractious horse, in consequence of which he was laid up for a number of weeks with a severe attack of pleuritis; that he has never been able to endure severe labor since; that since entering the service active drilling or marching has invariably developed severe pleuritic pains about his chest and underneath his sternum, rendering him totally unfit for duty.

It is entirely evident that the statements contained in this certificate are of such a nature that they must have almost entirely been communicated to the surgeon by the officer himself. It will be observed that there is an absolute lack of any intimation that his disabilities were attributable in their origin to army service, and he surely can not ask us to believe that a man with the intelligence fitting him to be a commissioned officer in the Army, and having this certificate in his possession, did not know what it contained.

It furnished the reason for his honorable discharge in the dark days of his country's need and operated as an exemption from further military service.

And yet in September, 1883, more than twenty-one years after his discharge, he applied to the Pension Bureau for a pension, alleging lameness of breast and back, contracted in the service.

After an examination of all the facts I can not believe that this is a case in which a pension should be granted.


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

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