Pension to Van Etten, Mary A.
The following data is extracted from Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Grover Cleveland.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, June 23, 1886.
To the House of Representatives:
I herewith return without approval House bill No. 6170, entitled "An act granting a pension to Mary A. Van Etten."
In her declaration for a pension, filed July 28, 1885, this claimant alleges that her husband was drowned upon attempting to cross Braddocks Bay, near his residence, in the State of New York, on the 16th day of July, 1875.
It is claimed that in an effort to drive across that bay in a buggy with his young son the buggy was overturned and both were drowned. The application for pension was based upon the theory that during his military service the deceased soldier contracted rheumatism, which so interfered with his ability to save himself by swimming that his death may be fairly traced to a disability incurred in the service.
He does not appear to have been treated while in the Army for rheumatism, though some evidence is presented of his complaining of rheumatic symptoms.
He was mustered out in 1863, and though he lived twelve years thereafter it does not appear that he ever applied for a pension; and though he was drowned in 1875, his widow apparently did not connect his military service with his death until ten years thereafter.
It seems to me that there is such an entire absence of direct and tangible evidence that the death of this soldier resulted from any incident of his service that the granting of a pension upon such a theory is not justified.
Source: Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Grover Cleveland