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polls or elsewhere, disgraces the name American Independent voting and an educational test for voters are what is wanted. The man who cannot both read and write either the English or some other language, should not be allowed to vote. A few words concerning the crime of business men neglecting to vote would be an important suppiement to page 52.

The subject of civil service reform is still one of the greatest issues of the day. The Christian Register (Boston) truly says: “ We are yet on the threshold of this the most important reformation in American political history.Other newspapers have testified to the same effect, extracts from a few of which appear on page 256.

There is much work yet to be done. But the outlook is hopeful. If civil service reformers are. as vigilant in the future as they have been in the past, ultimate victory is assured. A people who have the intelligence to discover their mistakes and the courage to correct them, are capable of self-government; otherwise they are not.

NEW YORK, May, 1891.

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION. The chief object of this work is to defend the principles of the national Civil Service Law. It is not a criticism of the law, nor does it treat to any great extent of civil service economy as stich, except in so far as the subject is expounded incidentally, but with ability and, in the aggregate, successfully, by many American statesmen, extracts from whose works embellish and enrich its pages. These extracts constitute a great part of the civil service history and literature of the country, particularly its early history and literature, and therefore constitute much of the value of this volume. This is well, and is besides opportune, for the subject of civil service reform is one of the greatest issues of the day, and too much light cannot be shed upon it. A work that even aids in elucidating such an important subject ought to be acceptable; indeed it seems to be one of the needs of the times.

The fact that one chapter of the work is mostly devoted to corruption at elections and remedial election laws, only adds to its value, for the subject is collateral and of great importance, of as great importance perhaps as civil service reform itselt.

Whatever may be said of the original parts of the volume, the compiled parts are certainly both useful and instructive reading, and ought to aid in elevating and purifying American politics.

The importance of a sound civil service policy was never better illustrated perhaps than by the New York Times of May 10, 1864. Speaking of Mr. Sumner's civil service bill, it said the subject was second in importance only to the crushing of the then rebellion. The

Times was then under the editorial direction of Mr. Henry J. Ray. mond, a statesman and oue of the best known editors of his day.

I am indebted to Mr. George William Curtis, the President of the National Civil Service Reform League, for valuable suggestions and encouragement to persevere in my researches, and also to the Astor Library for the use of many books. Other obligations are acknowledged here and there throughout the volume.

NEW YORK, July, 1888.




The importance of the Subject. The Cause of and Remedy for

Aristocracies.- No danger in Life Tenures when based on

Merit.--George William Curtis's Opinion of them.-Insolence

of Office.-Great Depravity of the Roman Aristocracy (note) - 61



Its practicability only Apparent.—Jackson versus Jackson.--Prob-

able causes of his Radical Change.—Marcy's famous Speech

and humorous Letter to Buchanan.-Lincoln versus Lincoln.-

His overweening Ambition.—The Spoils Doctrine undemocratic

and ruinous.-Appalling Corruption at Washington after the

Civil War.-The Civil Service Law a Rock to build upon - 71



The Merit System both Preached and Practiced by the six first

Presidents.—Powerful blows at the Patronage System.—A pro-

found Disquisition on its Evils by William Paley of England. -

Justice Wilson on Patronage and Official Appointments - - 91



A remedy for its Mistakes and Abuses.—The Power discussed in

the first Congress (1789).—The Decision then made criticised

by Benton, Webster, and others.—The 4-Years' Term Law - 112



Its Utility.-The Civil Service Systems of England, Canada, British

India, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, and China - - 177

APPENDIX-Letters to the Albany Evening Journal ; words of

warning from Story and Washington ; extracts from Bishop

Pitter's Centennial Address; Civil Service Statute - · 195

SECOND APPENDIX-Power of Removal.-Ancient Egyptian

Civil Service.—“The voracious desire of Office," &c. . . 233

INDEX . . . . 249 PUBLIC OPINION . . 256


THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW was passed January 16, 1883. The bill was drawn by Dorman B. Eaton of New York, as Chairman of the Committee on Legislation of the New York Civil Service Reform Association.* The law was preceded by two other laws, namely, Sections 164 and 1753 of the United States Revised Statutes (printed on page 23). Sec. 164 was passed March 3, 1853; Sec. 1753 March 3, 1871. The latter was originated by Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois.

The civil service law bill was preceded by three other bills, all of which failed to pass Congress. The first was introduced, in 1864, by Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, whose only recorded words are (Cong. Globe, 1864, p. 1985): “ The object of the bill is to provide a competitive system of examination in the civil service of the United States.” The bill, a good foundation on which to build, may be found in Sumner's Works (viii, 452). The bill, owing perhaps to the pressure of other business, never came up for discussion by the Senate. The second bill, which was wider in its scope than Mr. Sumner's, was introduced, in 1865, by Representative Thomas Allen Jenckes of Rhode Island, and again, with improvements, in 1866. Mr. Jenckes advocated his bill ably, argumentatively, viii

* For an account of Senator Pendleton's connection with the hill, see pages 216, 217.


and earnestly during several sessions of Congress.* The third bill was introduced, in 1869, by Senator Schurz of Missouri. It gave the President the option of selecting from among the men who passed the Board, or of ordering men of his own selection before it, and required five and eight year terms of office. The object of the five-year term was to prevent such appointments from being made during the year of the inauguration of the President. The idea waș, as explained by Mr. Schurz, that appointments, as a rule, should not be made until the administration was well settled down to business. Senator Schurz's bill required a year of probationary service, Representative Jenckes's six months. Both required competitive examinations. Other civil service bills have been introduced at different times by Senators Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, George F. Edmunds of Vermont, and B. Gratz Brown of Missouri, and Representatives John A. Kasson of Iowa, Albert S. Willis of Kentucky, and Thomas M. Bayne of Pennsylvania.

It is noteworthy in this connection that Representative Samuel Brenton of Indiana, on August 11, 1852, offered an amendment to a resolution proposing to increase the pay of civil service clerks in Washington, the concluding part of which is as follows (Congressional Globe, vol. xxiv, pt. 3, p. 2189): “No removals shall be made except for incompetency, or cause shown to the satisfaction of the President of the United States. And in the selection of said clerks, they shall, as far as

* The New York Independent, in criticising the first edition of this work, says: “The only correction we have to suggest to the historical part of the book is that Thomas A. Jenckes deserves more credit for the first steps to which he forced a reluctant Congress than is accorded to him.” The criticism is well taken. Mr. Jenckes's works are his best monument, however. Words are empty things in comparison.

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