Quotation by Rutherford Birchard Hayes

One of its [James A. Garfield's assassination] lessons, perhaps its most important lesson, is the folly, the wickedness, and the danger of the extreme and bitter partisanship which so largely prevails in our country. This partisan bitterness is greatly aggravated by that system of appointments and removals which deals with public offices as rewards for services rendered to political parties or to party leaders. Hence crowds of importunate place-hunters of whose dregs [the assassin] Guiteau is the type. The required reform [of the civil service] will be accomplished whenever the people imperatively demand it, not only of their Executive, but also of their legislative officers. With it, the class to which the assassin belongs will lose their occupation, and the temptation to try "to administer government by assassination" will be taken away.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 37, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Emile Kahn (October 1, 1881).
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