Vice President Chester Arthur became after President Garfield was assassinated. He was a secretive man and not much is known about his childhood. He even burned his private papers before he died. During most of his long career in politics, he was a firm believer in the "spoils system," in which people who supported candidates were rewarded with government jobs, even if they were dishonest or weren't qualified. But when Arthur became president, he surprised everybody. He hired skilled and honest people, and signed the Pendleton Bill, which helped put an end to the spoils system. He also helped improve the U.S. Navy. Arthur's confidence, honesty, and good nature kept the nation on track after the terrible tragedy of Garfield's assassination.