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Chester Alan Arthur

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Chester Alan Arthur

Born : 5 October 1829
City : Fairfield, Vermont, United States
Rank : ( 1236 )
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Chester Alan Arthur Biography

Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881–85); he succeeded James Garfield upon the latter's assassination. At the outset, Arthur struggled to overcome his reputation, stemming from his beginnings in politics as a politician from the New York City Republican political machine. He succeeded by embracing the cause of civil service reform. His advocacy for, and subsequent enforcement of, the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was the centerpiece of his administration.

Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, but he grew up in upstate New York and practiced law in New York City. He served as quartermaster general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Following the Civil War, he devoted more time to Republican politics and quickly rose in the political machine run by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling. Appointed by President Ulysses S.

Early life
Birth and family

Chester Alan Arthur was born October 5, 1829, in Fairfield, Vermont. His father, William Arthur, was born just outside the village of Cullybackey, County Antrim, Ireland. William Arthur emigrated to Dunham, Lower Canada, (in present-day Quebec) in 1818 or 1819, after graduating from Belfast College. Arthur's mother, Malvina Stone, was born in Vermont, the daughter of George Washington Stone and Judith Stevens. Malvina's family was primarily of English descent, and her grandfather, Uriah Stone, fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution

Education

Arthur spent some of his childhood years living in the towns of Perry and Greenwich, New York. One of his first teachers said Arthur was a boy "frank and open in manners and genial in disposition."During his time at school, he gained his first political inclinations and supported the Whig Party. He joined other young Whigs in support of Henry Clay, even participating in a brawl against students who supported James K. Polk.

Early career

When Arthur joined the firm, Culver and New York attorney John Jay (the grandson of the Founding Father of the same name) were pursuing a habeas corpus action against Jonathan Lemmon, a Virginia slaveholder who was passing through New York with his eight slaves. In Lemmon v. New York, Culver argued that, as New York law did not permit slavery, any slave arriving in New York was automatically freed.The argument was successful, and after several appeals was upheld by the New York Court of Appeals in 1860.

Civil War

In 1860, Arthur was appointed to the military staff of Governor Edwin D. Morgan as engineer-in-chief. The office was a patronage appointment of minor importance until the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, when New York and the other northern states were faced with raising and equipping armies of a size never before seen in American history.Arthur was given the rank of brigadier general and assigned to the quartermaster department.

Retirement, death, and memorials

Arthur left office in 1885 and returned to his New York City home. Two months before the end of his term, several New York Stalwarts approached him to request that he run for United States Senate, but he declined, preferring to return to his old law practice at Arthur, Knevals & Ransom. His health limited his activity with the firm, and Arthur served only of counsel. He took on few assignments with the firm and was often too ill to leave his house. He managed a few public appearances, until the end of 1885.

After summering in New London, Connecticut, in 1886, he returned quite ill and, on November 16, ordered nearly all of his papers, both personal and official, burned. The next morning, Arthur suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and never regained consciousness; he died the following day at the age of 57. On November 22, a private funeral was held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, attended by President Cleveland and ex-President Hayes, among other notables.Arthur was buried with his family members and ancestors in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York. 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.

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