Arthur, Chester Alan

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Arthur, Chester Alan

Chester A. Arthur. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Chester A. Arthur.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Chester Alan Arthur was born October 5, 1830, in Fairfield, Vermont. He achieved prominence as a politician and as president of the United States.

An 1848 graduate of Union College, Arthur was admitted to the New York City bar in 1851, and he established a legal practice in New York City that same year.

"Men may die, but the fabric of free institutions remains unshaken."
—Chester A. Arthur

With the onset of the Civil War, Arthur served as quartermaster general and inspector general of New York. After the war, from 1871 to 1878, he performed the duties of collector for the Port of New York. Although Arthur was a believer in the spoils system, a practice that rewards loyal political party members with jobs that require official appointment, he served his office as an honest administrator. President rutherford b. hayes was, however, an advocate of the civil service system, which provided that qualified people receive employment fairly based upon their qualifications, and removed Arthur from the office of collector.

Arthur returned to politics with his election as vice president of the United States in March of 1880. In September 1881, he assumed the duties of president, after the assassination of President james garfield.

As president, Arthur advocated the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Bill in 1883, adopting a view that was contrary to his previous support of the spoils system. He also signed laws allowing for the modernization of the United States Navy and supported the prosecution of the Star Route Trials, which exposed fraudulent activities in the United States Post Office Department. He also vetoed a Congressional bill, the Rivers and Harbours Bill of 1882, charging that the allotment of funds was too extravagant.

Arthur's presidential term ended in 1885; due to ill health, he did not seek renomination. He died November 18, 1886, in New York, New York.

References in classic literature ?
I pass not for length," bold Arthur replied; "my staff is long enough, as you will shortly find out.
There was a cold-bloodedness in the act which wrung a groan from Arthur.
But we have no fair ground for entertaining unfavourable auguries concerning Arthur Donnithorne, who this morning proves himself capable of a prudent resolution founded on conscience.
To avoid that, "said Arthur, "let us have the furniture fixed to the floor, and ourselves tied down to the furniture.
You have given orders that Arthur should be liberated, have you not, dad?
I am gratified,' said Arthur, ponderously--in happier moments Maud had admired his gift of language; he read a great deal: encyclopedias and papers and things--'I am gratified to find that you had time to bestow a glance on me.
But I do envy those clever chaps sometimes," Arthur remarked.
In five of the stories of The Mabinogion, King Arthur appears.
You were born a genius, Mr Nickleby,' said old Arthur.
Benson, in some surprise, removed the cheese, and did his best to effect a quiet and speedy clearance of the rest; but, unfortunately, there was a rumple in the carpet, caused by the hasty pushing back of his master's chair, at which he tripped and stumbled, causing a rather alarming concussion with the trayful of crockery in his hands, but no positive damage, save the fall and breaking of a sauce tureen; but, to my unspeakable shame and dismay, Arthur turned furiously around upon him, and swore at him with savage coarseness.
Then he would resolve to sit still and not say a word till Arthur began; but he was always beat at that game, and had presently to begin talking in despair, fearing lest Arthur might think he was vexed at something if he didn't, and dog-tired of sitting tongue-tied.
Had we known these facts at the time Arthur Rance met us at the Donjon Inn, his presence at the chateau might not have puzzled us, but they could not have failed to increase our interest in the man himself.