Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 26, 1889

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill 11466, entitled "An act granting a pension to Mary A. Selbach."

This bill does not give the name of any soldier to whom the beneficiary was related or in what capacity the pension provided for is to be paid to her, but it appears from the report of the committee accompanying the bill that she is the widow of Gustavus Selbach, a volunteer in the Ninth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers.

This soldier drew a pension from January, 1882, to January 16, 1886, when he died. He claimed disability for disease of the ears and a resulting deafness of his left ear. There appears to be no evidence in his record of any disability or medical treatment while in the service, and the medical examination upon his application for pension shows no rating for any disability other than that alleged by him and for which he was pensioned--disease of the ears and resulting deafness.

It is conceded that the soldier died January 16, 1886, of pneumonia.

The widow filed a claim for pension in May, 1887.

The testimony of physicians upon her claim covered seven years prior to his death, thus dating back to the year 1879, and they speak of the disease of the ear and of the kidneys, which, in their opinion, undermined his health, so that "he succumbed to an attack of pneumonia, which to a person of ordinary good health would not have been considered serious."

It can hardly be supposed that the trouble with his ears caused the soldier to fall a victim to pneumonia; and so far as the kidney disease tended in that direction, it is to be observed that it apparently did not make its appearance until fourteen years after the soldier's discharge.


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

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