Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

August 10, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 490, entitled "An act granting a pension to George W. Pitner."

It appears from the records that the beneficiary named in this bill entered the military service in June, 1863, and was discharged in March, 1866. He was treated while in the Army in the months of December, 1864, and January, 1865, for conjunctivitis.

He filed a claim for pension in 1886, alleging that he had a sunstroke in 1865, and that while at work in a basement in the year 1881 he fell into a well which was open near him and received serious injuries, resulting in the amputation of his right foot and also disability of his left foot. He attributes his fall to vertigo, consequent upon or related to the sunstroke he suffered in the Army.

The claim was rejected on the ground that the evidence taken failed to connect the disabilities for which a pension was claimed with army service.

Whatever may be said of the incurrence of sunstroke in the Army, though he fixes it as after the date of his only medical treatment during his service, and whatever may be said of the continuance of vertigo consequent upon the sunstroke for sixteen years, I find no proof that at the time he fell he was afflicted with vertigo, unless it be his own statement and whatever disability naturally arose from sunstroke does not appear by him to have been deemed sufficient to induce him to apply for a pension previous to his fall.

In any event there seems to be no satisfactory evidence that anything which occurred in his army service was the cause of his fall and consequent injury.


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

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