June 22, 1877: Prohibition of Federal Employees’ Political Involvement
SIR: I desire to call your attention to the following paragraph in a letter addressed by me to the Secretary of the Treasury on the conduct to be observed by officers of the General Government in relation to the elections:
No officer should be required or permitted to take part in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns. Their right to vote and to express their views on public questions, either orally or through the press, is not denied, provided it does not interfere with the discharge of their official duties. No assessment for political purposes on officers or subordinates should be allowed.
This rule is applicable to every department of the civil service. It should be understood by every officer of the General Government that he is expected to conform his conduct to its requirements.