Chester A. Arthur

Executive Order

January 24, 1885

In the exercise of the power vested in the President by the Constitution, and by virtue of the seventeen hundred and fifty-third section of the Revised Statutes and of the civil-service act approved January 16, 1883, the following rules for the regulation and improvement of the executive civil service are hereby amended and promulgated, as follows:


There shall be three branches of the service classified under the civil-service act (not including laborers or workmen or officers required to be confirmed by the senate), as follows:

1. Those classified in the Departments at Washington shall be designated "The classified departmental service."

2. Those classified under any collector, naval officer, surveyor, or appraiser in any customs district shall be designated "The classified customs service."

3. Those classified under any postmaster at any post-office, including that at Washington, shall be designated "The classified postal service."

4. The classified customs service shall embrace the several customs districts where the officials are as many as fifty, now the following: New York City, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Francisco, Cal.; Baltimore, Md.; New Orleans, La.; Chicago, Ill.; Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Me.; Detroit, Mich.; Port Huron, Mich.

5. The classified postal service shall embrace the several post-offices where the officials are as many as fifty, now the following: Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore, Boston, Mass.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Jersey City, N.J.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Newark, N.J.; New Haven, Corm.; New Orleans, La.; New York City, N. Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Pittsburg, Pa.; Providence, R. I.; Rochester, N.Y.; St. Louis, Mo.; St. Paul, Minn.; San Francisco, Cal.; Washington, D.C.

6. Whenever within the meaning of said act the clerks and persons employed by the collector, naval officer, surveyor, and appraisers, or either of them, in any customs district shall be as many as fifty, any existing classification for the customs service shall apply thereto, and when the number of clerks and persons employed at any post-office shall be as many as fifty any existing classification of those in the postal service shall apply thereto; and thereafter the Commission will provide for examinations for filling the vacancies at said offices, and the rules will be applicable thereto.


I. The date of the reception of all regular applications for the classified departmental service shall be entered of record by the Commission, and of all other regular applications by the proper examining hoards of the district or office for which they are made; and applicants, when in excess of the number that can be examined at a single examination, shall, subject to the needs of apportionment, be notified to appear in their order on the respective records. But any applicants in the several States and Territories for appointment in the classified departmental service may be notified to appear for examination at any place at which an examination is to be held, whether in any State or Territory or in Washington, which shall be deemed most convenient for them.

2. The Commission is authorized, in aid of the apportionment among the States and Territories, to hold examinations at places convenient for applicants from different States and Territories, or for those examination districts which it may designate and which the President shall approve.

3. The Commission may by regulation provide for dropping from any record the applicants whose names have remained thereon for six months or more without having been reached in due course for notification to be examined.


1. Whenever any officer having the power of appointment or employment shall so request, there shall be certified to him by the Commission or the proper examining board four names for the vacancy specified, to be taken from those graded highest on the proper register of those in his branch of the service and remaining eligible, regard being had to any right of preference and to the apportionment of appointments to States and Territories; and from the said four a selection shall be made for the vacancy. But if a person is on both a general and a special register he need be certified from the former only, at the discretion of the Commission, until he has remained two months upon the latter.

2. These certifications for the service at Washington shall be made in such order as to apportion, as nearly as may be practicable, the original appointments thereto among the States and Territories and the District of Columbia upon the basis of population as ascertained at the last preceding census.

3. In case the request for any such certification or any law or regulation shall call for those of either sex, persons of that sex shall be certified; otherwise sex shall be disregarded in such certification.

4. No person upon any register shall be certified more than four times to the same officer in the customs or postal service or more than three times to any Department at Washington, unless upon request of the appointing officer; nor shall anyone remain eligible more than one year upon any register; but these restrictions shall not extend to examinations under clause 5 of Rule VII. No person while remaining eligible on any register shall be admitted to a new examination, and no person having failed upon any examination shall within six months thereafter be admitted to another examination without the consent of the Commission.

5. Any person appointed to or employed in any part of the classified service, after due certification for the same under these rules, who shall be dismissed or separated therefrom without fault or delinquency on his part, may be reappointed or reemployed in the same part or grade of such service in the same Department or office within one year next following such dismissal or separation, without further examination, on such certification as the Commission may provide.

Approved, January 24, 1885.


Chester A. Arthur, Executive Order Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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