The Civil Service and the Patronage/Preface
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|Chapter I. Establishment of the National Civil Service. 1789-1801.→|
This work is the outgrowth of a statistical study of removals from office begun in the Seminary of American History and Institutions at Harvard University. The results of this preliminary study were published in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1899. The interest thus aroused led to a broader investigation, which has been continued for about five years. From materials accumulated not strictly pertinent to the subject of this volume, an article on “Lincoln and the Patronage” was contributed to the American Historical Review for October, 1902.
The subject which this book attempts to treat defies concise definition; and as the boundaries have perhaps not been drawn so as to satisfy all who will be led by its title to refer to it, a few words are necessary to guide those who use it. The leading words of the title limit each other; it is a history of the civil service from the standpoint of the patronage, and of the patronage with regard solely to the public offices. The aim has been to give fully the development of policy and practice as to the relation of these two elements of our public life, from the foundation of the government to the present day. In addition, it has been thought wise to outline the distinguishing policy of each successive administration, though in some instances this has been done very briefly; in the case of a few very important administrations the subject has been treated still more broadly, so as to include practice as well as policy. The work of Miss Salmon on the Appointing Power of the President has left me free to leave out constitutional questions, except when they become questions of politics; and the problem of civil service reform has been treated historically, and not from the standpoint of expediency.
I have had access to the collections of the Harvard College Library and the libraries of Boston, of Brown University, the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Library of Congress, and the departmental libraries at Washington; and I desire to express my thanks to the officials of these institutions for their uniform interest and assistance. Thanks are particularly due to the owners of private collections of manuscripts and newspapers, whose courtesy in opening them for research evinces the general interest felt in historical studies. Most of all, I wish to record my appreciation of the kindness of Professor Albert Bushnell Hart and Professor Edward Channing, to whose inspiration and guidance the inception and development of this monograph are chiefly to be attributed.
May 30, 1904.