Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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EATON, Dorman Bridgman, lawyer, born in Hardwick, Caledonia County, Vermont, 27 June. 1823. He was graduated at the University of Vermont in 1848, and at Harvard Law School in 1850, where he took the first prize for a legal essay. He was in that year admitted to the New York bar, and became the partner of Judge William Kent. He was for several years chairman of the committee on political reform in the Union League club. Mr. Eaton traveled in Europe in 1866 and in 1870'3, giving particular attention to the status and probable development of the civil service of various countries. After his return President Grant appointed him a member of the civil service commission, and he held the place of chairman till the commission expired through the failure of congress to make an appropriation for its support. He visited Europe in 1875; and in 1877, at President Hayes's request, went to England to secure material for a historical report upon the British civil service.
He was the first of the commissioners appointed by President Arthur under the act of 1883 reestablishing the civil service commission, resigned on 28 July 1885, but was reappointed by President Cleveland, 5 November and resigned in April 1886. Mr. Eaton has been prominent in the civil service reform movement in the United States. The first society for promoting it was formed at his residence in 1878, and he has contributed largely on the subject to periodical literature. Mr. Eaton delivered the annual address before the Yale Law School in 1882. He drafted the law for creating a metropolitan board of health in 1866; that establishing the present New York police courts; and also the national civil service act of 1883. Mr. Eaton has received the degree of LL. D. from the University of Vermont, and he has published "The Independent Movement in New York" (New York, 1880); and "Civil Service in Great Britain" (1880) and edited Kent's "Commentaries," with Judge William Kent (1851'2), and "Chipman on Contracts Payable in Specific Articles" (1852).
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