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Executive Order

January 17, 1873



Whereas it has been brought to the notice of the President of the United States that many persons holding civil office by appointment from him or otherwise under the Constitution and laws of the United States, while holding such Federal positions, accept offices under the authority of the States and Territories in which they reside, or of municipal corporations under the charters and ordinances of such corporations, thereby assuming the duties of the State, Territorial, or municipal office at the same time that they are charged with the duties of the civil office held under Federal authority; and

Whereas it is believed that, with few exceptions, the holding of two such offices by the same person is incompatible with a due and faithful discharge of the duties of either office; that it frequently gives rise to great inconvenience, and often results in detriment to the public service, and, moreover, is not in harmony with the genius of the Government:

In view of the premises, therefore, the President has deemed it proper thus and hereby to give public notice that from and after the 4th day of March, A. D. 1873 (except as herein specified), persons holding any Federal civil office by appointment under the Constitution and laws of the United States will be expected, while holding such office, not to accept or hold any office under any State or Territorial government or under the charter or ordinances of any municipal corporation; and further, that the acceptance or continued holding of any Such State, Territorial, or municipal office, whether elective or by appointment, by any person holding civil office as aforesaid under the Government of the United States, other than judicial offices under the Constitution of the United States, will be deemed a vacation of the Federal office held by such person, and will be taken to be and will be treated as a resignation by such Federal officer of his commission or appointment in the service of the United States.

The offices of justices of the peace, of notaries public, and of commissioners to take the acknowledgment of deeds, of bail, or to administer oaths shall not be deemed within the purview of this order, and are excepted from its operation and may be held by Federal officers.

The appointment of deputy marshal of the United States may be conferred upon sheriffs or deputy sheriffs; and deputy postmasters the emoluments of whose office do not exceed $600 per annum are also excepted from the operations of this order, and may accept and hold appointments under State, Territorial, or municipal authority, provided the same be found not to interfere with the discharge of their duties as postmaster.

Heads of Departments and other officers of the Government who have the appointment of subordinate officers are required to take notice of this order, and to see to the enforcement of its provisions and terms within the sphere of their respective Departments or offices and as relates to the several persons holding appointments under them, respectively.

By order of the President:


Secretary of State.

Ulysses S. Grant, Executive Order Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203626

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