Open main menu

The New Student's Reference Work/Arthur, Chester Alan

< The New Student's Reference Work


Chester A. Arthur

Arthur, Chester Alan, the twenty-first president of the United States, was born at Fairfield, Vermont, October 5, 1830.  His father was the Rev. W. Arthur, D. D., a Baptist minister and a native of the north of Ireland.  He was graduated at Union College, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1853.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he held the post of inspector-general, and during the war was quartermaster-general for the New York forces.  When he returned to the law, he was head of an eminent law firm.  He took a prominent share in politics on the Republican side.  In 1871 President Grant appointed him collector of customs at the port of New York.  He was elected vice-president of the United States when Garfield was made president.  The death of Garfield called Arthur to the chief magistracy, and he was installed as president on September 22, 1881, and held the office till March, 1885, when he was succeeded by Grover Cleveland.  During Arthur’s term of office two important measures were passed by congress: a bill dealing with the Mormon question and one for the exclusion of the Chinese.  His administration was recognized as clean and conservative, and he retired from office with the approbation of his party and the respect of the nation at large.  He died November 18, 1886.