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Veto Message to the Senate

January 19, 1899

To the Senate of the United States:

I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 708, entitled "An act for the relief of Albert E. Redstone."

My objections to the bill are:

First. It assumes that the beneficiary, Albert E. Redstone, sustained a loss by the incorporation of his preemption claim within the limits of the Sierra Forest Reserve. This reserve was established by executive proclamation of February 14, 1893 (27 Stats., 1059), issued under section 24 of the act of March 8, 1891 (26 Stats., 1103), and contains the following saving clause for the protection of existing claims under the public land laws:

* * * Excepting from the force and effect of this proclamation all lands which may have been, prior to the date hereof, embraced in any legal entry or covered by any lawful filing duly of record in the proper United States Land Office, or upon which any valid settlement has been made pursuant to law, and the statutory period within which to make entry or filing of record has not expired; * * *

Mr. Redstone did not sustain any loss by the creation of this reserve, because his rights, if he had any at that time, were fully recognized and protected by this provision in the proclamation.

Second. Mr. Redstone's preemption declaratory statement was filed April 6, 1889, and alleged settlement upon the same day. The land covered thereby had not been proclaimed for sale, and under sections 2265 and 2267 of the Revised Statutes, Mr. Redstone had thirty-three months from the date of his settlement within which to make proof and payment for the land, but in fact he never attempted to make such proof or payment. His preemption claim had therefore expired by operation of law long before the creation of this reserve. After his filing had thus expired Mr. Redstone was cited by the Land Department to show cause why his claim should not be declared at an end, and his filing formally canceled upon the public records, but he made no response or defense, and the filing was accordingly canceled.

Third. The Commissioner of the General Land Office reports that an investigation, made under the supervision of his office, shows that Mr. Redstone had actually abandoned the land covered by his preemption claim before the reserve was established.

Fourth. The Commissioner of the General Land Office reports that an examination, made under the supervision of his office, shows that the improvements placed upon this land during the life of this preemption claim and thereafter abandoned were less than $200 in value, while the amount appropriated in this bill is $1,800.


William McKinley, Veto Message to the Senate Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/268330

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