Orations and Addresses of George William Curtis

Orations and Addresses of George William Curtis

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Orations and Addresses of George William Curtis

Orations and Addresses of George William Curtis

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This volume contains the most important addresses and other writings on the Reform of the Civil Service by which, from 1869 to 1892, Mr. Curtis roused attention to the national peril resulting from the existing system of appointment to and tenure of office, showed the feasibility and method of reform, and quickened that public opinion to which he appealed as the motive force of the action requisite for bringing reform about.

They narrate the history of the origin and growth of the Spoils or Patronage system; they present a vivid picture of its multiplied and constantly increasing evils, and they set forth the arguments for its destruction with such variety of illustration and such cogency of statement as to make them irresistible by any open, unperverted intelligence.

They show, however, but a part of Mr. Curtis's strenuous and effective labors in this cause. The editorial columns of Harper's Weekly, during the last twenty-five years of his life, bear witness to the constancy of his service, to the abundance of his resources, to his skill, good temper, and good sense in the conduct of the campaign against the forces of official corruption, partisan zeal, and popular indifference.

Some repetition of argument and illustration may be found in the different pieces of this collection. But the intelligent reader will be surprised, in view of the nature of the subject, rather at the variety than at the sameness of its treatment in these pages.

For the sketch of the conditions of the Reform from 1873 to 1881, which precedes the first of Mr. Curtis's addresses as President of the Civil-Service Reform League, the reader is indebted to Mr. William Potts, the trusted friend and associate of Mr. Curtis, and the able and efficient Secretary of the League from its beginning to the present time.

The volume is an impressive record of Mr. Curtis's services to the country, and to the cause with which his name will be indissolubly associated; it is also an ample storehouse of material for use by those engaged in carrying forward the Reform to final and complete success.

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