Chester Alan Arthur

Twenty-First President 1881-1885


Born: October 5, 1830 at Fairfield, Vermont.

Education: Graduated from Union College at Schenectady, New York.

Occupation: Lawyer, served with New York Militia in Civil War, held political posts in Army.

Religion: Episcopalian.

Family life: Married Ellen Herndon in 1859; they had two sons and a daughter. She died of pneumonia on January 12, 1880.

Political career: Active in New York Republican party. Nominated for vice-president in 1880 to please pro-Grant wing of Republican party. Became president upon Garfield's death. Supported civil service reform and lost support of party leaders; not renominated in 1884.

Highlights of his presidency: Recommended Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. Vetoed a Chinese Exclusion Bill, but he was overridden. Organized the Alaska territory.

Appearance: Dignified, tall, and handsome, with clean-shaven chin and side-whiskers, Chester A. Arthur "looked like a President."

Died: November 18, 1886 in New York, New York.

Buried: Rural Cemetery in what is no longer a rural part of Albany, New York.


  • Internet Public Library on Chester Alan Arthur
  • Groliers Biography
  • Inauguration




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