Chester ARTHUR

Chester Arthur Facts | 21st US PRESIDENT

US President: 1881-1885
Political Party: Republican (1854-1886) Whig Party (Before 1854)
Birth: October 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont
Death: November 18, 1886 in New York City, New York
Education: Union College

Offices held:
21st President of the United States (1881 – 1885)
20th Vice President of the United States (1881)
10th Chairman of the New York State Republican Executive Committee (1879 – 1881)
21st Collector of the Port of New York (1871 – 1878)

Born in Fairfield, Vermont on October 5, 1829, Arthur studied law and had a successful practice in New York City. He was an ardent abolitionist who won several cases in favor of the “runaway slaves” he was defending. Before the Civil War, Arthur successfully won several important Civil Rights cases, one of which decided that slaves were free once they reached New York, and the other of which clarified that blacks had the same rights as others to ride street cars.

First Family
First Ladies: Ellen Herndon (m. 1859 – 1880)
Children: William Lewis Herndon Arthur, Chester Alan Arthur II, Ellen Hansbrough Herndon Arthur
Pictures of Ellen Arthur from the Library of Congress

Biography from
Biography from the U.S. Senate
Congressional Biography
Facts on File Biography

Pictures from the Library of Congress

Chester A Arthur Ancestral Home
Chester A Arthur birthplace controversy
Arthur ancestors and descendants
Ancestors of Chester A Arthur
Arthur and Heraldry

Facts about Chester Arthur

After spending the summer of 1886 in New London, Connecticut, he returned home, and became seriously ill and, on November 16, ordered nearly all of his papers, both personal and official, burned.

  • Chester Arthur began his legal career in New York City and as a young attorney won several high-profile civil rights cases.
  • In 1855, he successfully represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham, a black woman who had been denied a seat on a Manhattan streetcar due to her race.

Arthur became a member of the New York State Militia in the late 1850’s, although he never saw combat. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), he was quartermaster for the state of New York, responsible for organizing food and supplies for Union soldiers.

In the White House, Arthur became known for his sartorial style and taste for fine furnishings. Nicknamed the Gentleman Boss and Elegant Arthur, he reportedly owned 80 pairs of pants.

  • He was named for the doctor who delivered him – Chester Abell.
  • Chester was a member of the ultra exclusive Ristigouche Salmon Club.
  • He was once the president of the New York Arcade Railway Company.
  • His wife died of pneumonia the year before he became president.
  • He had no vice president for his entire four-year term.

Arthur’s unpopularity in life carried over into his assessment by historians, and his reputation after leaving office disappeared.

Chester Arthur Childhood

Chester Alan Arthur was the second son of Malvina Arthur and the Reverend William Arthur, a passionate Baptist abolitionist preacher, who emigrated from Ireland. Born in North Fairfield, Vermont, his family moved throughout New York and Vermont, as his father preached in various towns and villages. Throughout Arthur’s political career, it was a rumor, though never proven, that he had actually been born in Bedford, Quebec, Canada.

Chester A. Arthur attended school in Union Village, New York, and later enrolled at Union College in Schenectady, where he showed more interest in extracurricular activities and politics than his studies. After graduating in 1848, he taught school for a while.

Where is Chester Arthur buried?

Arthur was buried with his family members and ancestors in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York. Also, he was laid beside his wife in a sarcophagus on a large corner of the plot. In 1889, a monument was placed on Arthur’s burial plot by sculptor Ephraim Keyser of New York, consisting of a giant bronze female angel figure placing a bronze palm leaf on a granite sarcophagus.

How did Chester Arthur die?

On November 17, 1886, Arthur suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and never regained consciousness; he died the following day at the age of 57.”

Chester Allen Arthur was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885) when James Garfield was assassinated. Also, President Arthur was the 4th Vice-President to succeed to the presidency. Chester Arthur never won an election of any kind. All of his service came through political appointments.

Chester ARTHUR Biography

ARTHUR, Chester Alan, a Vice President and 21st President of the United States; born in Fairfield, Franklin County, Vt., October 5, 1829; attended the public schools and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in 1848; became principal of an academy in North Pownal, Vt., in 1851; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1854 and commenced practice in New York City; took an active part in the reorganization of the State militia; during the Civil War, served as acting quartermaster general of the State in 1861; commissioned inspector general, appointed quartermaster general with the rank of brigadier general, and served until 1862; resumed the practice of law in New York City;

Appointed by President Ulysses Grant as collector of the port of New York 1871-1878; resumed the practice of law in New York City; elected Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket with President James A. Garfield for the term beginning March 4, 1881; became President of the United States upon the death of President Garfield on September 19, 1881; took the oath of office on September 20, 1881, and served until March 3, 1885; returned to New York City where he died November 18, 1886; interment in the Rural Cemetery Albany, N.Y.


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