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voted for it did so on account of the tremendous popular pressure for its enactment which the assassination of President Garfield by a demented office-seeker two years earlier excited. These Congressmen would have been glad to see the act die of inanition, as the one signed by Grant in 1873 had died, through the refusal of Congress to make an appropriation in 1874 for its continuance. Few men in either party would have gone out of their way to advocate a continuance of the measure, much less to demand a rigid enforcement of its enactments; numbers of them were ready to fight it on every possible occasion and with all the weapons in the hands of party organization.
But these difficulties that would have overwhelmed a less aggressive man only stimulated the zest of Mr. Roosevelt, and he entered upon the duties of his office with an energy that startled both houses of Congress and made Civil Service reform the topic of fierce discussion all over the land. Every evasion of the law that came to the notice of the Commission was prosecuted with a vigor that had a wholesome effect on the heads of bureaus and departments, and gave a security to Government employés they had
never before known. “The widest publicity was given to wrong-doing,” says Mr. Roosevelt. . “Often, even where we were unable to win the actual fight in which we were engaged, the fact of our having made it, and the further fact that we were ready to repeat it on provocation, has put a complete stop to the repetition of the offense. As a consequence, while there have been plenty of violations and evasions of the law, yet their proportion was really very small, taking into account the extent of the service. In the aggregate it is doubtful if one per cent. of all the employés have been dismissed for political reasons. In other words, where, under the spoils system, a hundred men would have been turned out, under the Civil Service law, as administered under our supervision, ninety-nine men were
In his fight for the extension of the merit system Mr. Roosevelt displayed a generalship that demonstrated his ability to lead among the very best men of the country. He was no sooner installed in Washington than he sought the support of such men as Congressman (afterward Senator) Lodge of Massachusetts, Messrs. Reed, of Maine, and McKinley (afterward President)
of Ohio, among the Republicans, and Messrs. Wilson, of West Virginia, and Sayers, of Texas, among the Democrats. Among others whom Mr. Roosevelt mentions as having been active champions of the law in the lower house were Messrs. Hopkins and Butterworth of Illinois, Mr. Greenhalge of Massachusetts, Mr. Henderson of Iowa, Messrs. Payne, Tracy and Coombs of New York. Among its chief opponents were Messrs. Spinola of New York, Enloe of Tennessee, Stockdale of Mississippi, Grosvenor of Ohio, and Bowers of California. In the Senate Hoar of Massachusetts, Allison of Iowa, Hawley of Connecticut, Wolcott of Colorado, Perkins of California, Cockrell of Missouri, and Butler of South Carolina always supported the Commission against unjust attack. Senator Gorman was the chief leader of the assaults upon the Commission, Senators Harris, Plumb, Stewart and Ingalls being his allies.
Mr. Roosevelt was so active and impartial in his enforcement of the law that when President Cleveland, in 1893, succeeded President Harrison, he asked Mr. Roosevelt to remain in office, and so for two years more, under a Democratic President, he carried on the work of prosecuting
offenders against the Civil Service law. In his six years' service he added twenty thousand posts to the lists under the scope of the merit system, or more than were placed on that roll in an equal length of time before or since.
Mr. Roosevelt had thus proved that Civil Service, honestly administered, was of practical value. Indeed, he goes so far as to say there is in American life no other cause so fruitful of harm to the body politic as the spoils system. He does not believe that competitive examinations in all cases result in securing the best men. Indeed, such examinations, shrewdly manipulated, may easily defeat the end aimed at. But if there is an honest desire on the part of the authorities to secure good results there is no doubt that the public service may be steadily raised to a higher state of efficiency.
Mr. Roosevelt resigned as Civil Service Commissioner May 5, 1895, and was appointed Police Commissioner of New York city May 24 following.
PURIFYING CITY POLITICS.
ROOSEVELT APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF POLICE BOARD OF THE CITY
OF NEW YORK-"I WILL ENFORCE THE LAW'' - MERIT SYSTEM GOVERNS IN POLICE FORCE SUNDAY CLOSING LAW MADE OPERATIVE-ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION BY DYNAMITE.
The appointment of Mr. Roosevelt by Mayor Strong to the presidency of the Police Commission aroused a storm of protests from the corrupt politicians who had now come to fear and hate him with a bitterness born of repeated exposures and defeats at his hands. He had introduced into politics a new element, with which the men who controlled the machines were not at all familiar, and they resented it as a tiger resents the appearance of a higher vertebrate animal in the jungle where heretofore he has held undisputed sway. That a man might be honest in office, so far as his personal affairs were concerned, they could well believe. Indeed, it was necessary for the success of the machine that there should be such men in office. They were