By: Logan Harris
Helen Hunt Jackson
Congressman Henry Dawes, author of the act, once expressed his faith in the civilizing power of private property with the claim that to be civilized was to "wear civilized clothes cultivate the ground, live in houses, ride in Studebaker wagons, send children to school, drink whiskey and own property.An act to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes.Be it enacted, That in all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been, or shall hereafter be, located upon any reservation created for their use, either by treaty stipulation or by virtue of an act of Congress or executive order setting apart the same for their use, the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized, whenever in his opinion any reservation or any part thereof of such Indians is advantageous for agricultural and grazing purposes to cause said reservation, or any part thereof, to be surveyed, or resurveyed if necessary, and to allot the lands in said reservations in severalty to any Indian located thereon in quantities.
Public reaction to the assassination of President Garfield forced Congress to pass the Civil Service Reform Act. The law established a three-person, bi-partisan panel to develop exams to hire federal employees based on merit. The act initially covered 10% of federal employees, but became the basis for most of the Civil Service of today.Reformers had long been calling for an end to the "spoils system" in civil service appointments. However, the assassination of President Garfield provided the needed push to make the change. President Arthur, who himself had been a product of the spoils system, surprised his critics by becoming a vocal supporter of the reform. A bi-partisan, three-person commission was created to oversee the newly-established Civil Service System. Arthur appointed three individuals long identified with civil service reform to serve as its commissioners.The new law called for open competitive exams for all jobs classified as civil service jobs.