Key Dates

1859 Arthur was appointed customs collector for the port of New York.

1881 Garfield is assassinated and Chester Arthur becomes President.

1882 Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act. The acts blocks Chinese immigration to the U.S. for ten years.

1883 Arthur signs the Pendleton Act. The act addresses civil reform.

1883 U.S. acquires the naval station at Pearl Harbor.

1886 Chester Arthur dies.

Chester A. Arthur
1881 - 1885
21st President

His father was an Irish immigrant from Dreen and his mother's family was of Ulster ancestry.

Chester was born in North Fairfield, Vermont on October 5, 1830. He was the first President born in Vermont.

He was one of two Presidents born in Vermont.

Arthur was an Episcopalian.

He had both a mustache and long sideburns.

Ellan Lewis Herdon and Chester Arthur were married on October 25, 1859 in New York City.

Chester Arthur was nicknamed "Elegant Arthur" for his fashion sense. He had quite a wardrobe: 80 pairs of pants.

Chester Arthur served in the Civil War.

President Arthur
Chester A. Arthur, 1882.
Bell, C. M. (Charles Milton), ca. 1849-1893, photographer.
Library of Congress

Chester A. Arthur never ran for President. (One of four Presidents not to run for office.)

Chester Arthur took office after the assassination of James Garfield. He was one of four Presidents to take office after an assassination. He was sworn in by a New York judge at 2:15 a.m. on Septerber 20.

Arthur received a series of letters from Julia Sand. Julia gave advice to Garfield about his presdentcy. He took her advice to heart even though he had never met her. He did later visit her home.

Arthur never had a Vice President.

Chester A. Arthur was a Republican.

This president spent his last years in office knowing he could very well die of Bright's disease before his term ended. He knew that the more active he was the greater his chance of succumbing to the disease and yet he even made a halfhearted attempt to gain his party's nomination for another term.

President Arthur survived his nearly 4 years in office and did not die until a year and a half later, in 1886.

Chester A. Arthur died on November 18, 1886 in New York, New York. He was 56 years and 44 days old. He is buried in rural Cemetery in Albany, N. Y.

Chester Arthur


Due to his short term, there were three Presidents in 1881. Hayes, Garfield, and Chester. This had also happened in 1841 with Van Buren, Harrison, and Tylor.


"I may be President of the United States, but my private life is nobody's damned business."



Quick Facts

21st President

Born: North Fairfield, Vt, Oct. 5, 1830.

Party: Republican

Died: New York, NY, Nov. 18, 1886, age 56



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
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  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012