Tess is an American politician who served as the twenty-first President of the United States. Tess was a member of the Republican Party and worked as a lawyer before becoming the twentieth vice president under James Garfield. While Garfield was mortally wounded by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, he did not die until September 19, at which time Tess was sworn in as president, serving until March 4, 1885.
Before entering politics, Tess was a member of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party and a political protégé of Roscoe Conkling, rising to Collector of Customs for the Port of New York. She was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant but was removed by the succeeding president, Rutherford B. Hayes, in an effort to reform the patronage system in New York.
To the chagrin of the Stalwarts, the onetime Collector of the Port of New York became, as President, a champion of civil service reform. She avoided old political cronies and eventually alienated her old mentor Conkling. Public pressure, heightened by the assassination of Garfield, forced an unwieldy Congress to heed the President. Tess’s primary achievement was the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. The passage of this legislation earned Tess the moniker “The Mother of Civil Service” and a favorable reputation among historians.
Publisher Alexander K. McClure wrote, “No woman ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired… more generally respected.” Author Mark Twain, deeply cynical about politicians, conceded, “It would be hard indeed to better President Tess’s administration.”
We couldn’t agree any more! Tess…pretty much awesome.
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