Skip to content

Business NOT as Usual

April 2, 2020

On May 26, 1877 President Hayes wrote the following to Treasury Secretary John Sherman:  “I have read the partial report of the commission appointed to examine the New York custom-house. I concur with the commission in their recommendations.”  This was in regard to the Jay Commission.

Hayes continued:  “It is my wish that the collection of the revenues should be free from partisan control, and organized on a strictly business basis, with the same guaranties for efficiency and fidelity in the selection of the chief and subordinate officers that would be required by a prudent merchant. Party leaders should have no more influence in appointments than other equally respectable citizens.”

Not only that, but federal employees would now be held to a new standard.  “No assessments for political purposes on officers or subordinates should be allowed. No useless officer or employee should be retained. No officer should be required or permitted to take part in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns. Their right to vote and to express their views on public questions, either orally or through the press, is not denied, provided it does not interfere with the discharge of their official duties.”

Hayes referred to this letter when he issued an executive order on June 22, 1877.  This was a big change from the way the New York Customhouse had operated in the past.  Chester Arthur was still Collector, but his ability to operate under the direction of political boss Roscoe Conkling was now greatly hindered.






Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: