Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

April 24, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 4550, entitled "An act granting a pension to Chloe Quiggle, widow of Phillip Quiggle."

The husband of the beneficiary named enlisted February 11, 1865, and was discharged September 27, 1865. The records show that he was reported August 31, 1865, as "absent, confined in post prison at Chattanooga since August 18, 1865."

He filed a claim for pension June 25, 1880, alleging that after a march from Chattanooga to a point 1 1/2 miles distant and back he upon his return drank some water, which produced diarrhea, since which time he had been troubled also with disease of kidneys and rheumatism.

He died in September, 1882, and the claim then pending on his behalf was completed by his widow. After a special examination the claim for diarrhea was, on the 21st day of April, 1887, allowed from September 28, 1865, to January 1, 1870, when it was shown that any disability from this cause ceased. The claim for disease of kidneys and rheumatism was rejected upon the ground that no such disabilities were shown to be due to military service.

The widow filed a claim on her own behalf August 27, 1883, alleging the death of the soldier from the results of prostration by heat while marching near Nashville, Tenn., and also from disease of kidneys, rheumatism, and chronic diarrhea.

It is reported to me that the evidence taken during a special examination of this case established that before and after enlistment the soldier was addicted to the excessive use of intoxicating liquors.

One physician stated to the examiner that shortly after the soldier's discharge he found him suffering from disease of kidneys and from rheumatism and diarrhea, but that he concluded the disease of the kidneys had been coming on for a year; that it could not have been caused by a sunstroke a few weeks previously, and that the diseases were of longer standing than that.

Another physician who attended the soldier during his last illness testified that he did not know that he suffered from any disease until the summer of 1882; that he found him suffering from retention of urine, and that the difficulty rapidly developed into an acute attack of Bright's disease; that no indications of rheumatism were found, but that the disease progressed steadily and was a well-marked case of Bright's disease of the kidneys. He also testified that the origin of the disease was no doubt recent, though possibly it might have existed in a low form for some years.

A medical examination in May, 1882, developed no disease of the kidneys.

It seems to me that all the reliable testimony in the case tends to show beyond a doubt that the soldier's death was not due to any incident of his military service. I do not find that the medical testimony given by his neighbors makes a suggestion that it was, and upon all the facts I am of the opinion that the pension which has been already allowed was a liberal disposition of the case.

The beneficiary named in this bill is aged, and it would certainly be a gratification to grant her relief; but the question is whether we do well to establish a precedent for the allowance of claims of this character in the distribution of pension funds.


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

Simple Search of Our Archives