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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Arthur assented, and said once more with new expression, 'If you would be so good as to give me the address.'
With this spectacle before him, Arthur had risen to go, when from the inner Dock where the good ship Pancks was hove down when out in no cruising ground, the noise was heard of that steamer labouring towards him.
Geoffrey's chief hero is Arthur, and we may say that it is from this time that Arthur became a great hero of Romance.
Geoffrey begins his story long before the time of Arthur. He begins with the coming of Brutus, the ancient hero who conquered Albion and changed its name to Britain, and he continues to about two hundred years after the death of Arthur.
It was a very good world, quite one of the best, with Arthur beaming upon it like a sun.
It began to come home to her that she preferred the old Arthur, of the scowl and the gnawed lip.
"I pass not for length," bold Arthur replied; "my staff is long enough, as you will shortly find out.
So he cautiously made his way from tree to tree, as Robin had done, till he came to the little open space where Robin and Arthur were circling about each other with angry looks, like two dogs at bay.
In rejoinder to this sally, old Arthur again raised his hands, again chuckled, and again ejaculated 'What a man it is!' which done, he dragged the low chair a little nearer to Ralph's high stool, and looking upwards into his immovable face, said,
My own heart grew cold as ice, and I could hear the gasp of Arthur, as we recognized the features of Lucy Westenra.
He was silent for a minute, and thought to himself, "Lesson Number 2, Tom Brown;" and then said gently, "I'm very glad to see this, Arthur, and ashamed that I don't read the Bible more myself.
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.