Harper’s Weekly – April 28, 1877

George William Curtis, the well-regarded editor of Harper’s Weekly, was the leading proponent of Civil Service Reform. President Ulysses Grant appointed him Chairman of a Commission to recommend changes. Grant included them in his December 1871 message to Congress but Congress didn’t act.

In 1877, Curtis was close to President Rutherford Hayes and expected he would move quickly on Civil Service Reform. Nast drew Andrew Jackson on a hog instead of a horse in anticipation of Civil Service Reform that never happened.

It wasn’t until January 1883 that Congress finally passed the Pendleton Act after a long contentious battle. Introduced by Ohio Senator James Pendleton and strongly backed by President Chester Arthur, it placed 13,000 Federal offices under Civil Service regulations.