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Chester A. Arthur was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885). He ascended to the presidency after the death of President James Garfield. Arthur ended the corruption in the postal service, which was also known as the “Star Route Scandal”. For more information on Chester A. Arthur read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Chester A. Arthur was born on October 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont, and was one of the ten children of William Arthur and Malvina Stone. As a young boy, he attended schools in Perry and Greenwich, New York, before enrolling at the Union College in 1845. In 1848, after graduating from Union College, he taught at Schaghticoke in Rensselaer County. He attended the State and National Law School in New York and was admitted to the bar in 1854. Arthur joined the firm of Erastus D. Culver where he won the case for Elizabeth Jennings. The Jennings case led to the desegregation of streetcars in the state.
- On October 25, 1859, he married Ellen Lewis Herndon with whom he had three children – William, Chester Alan, and Ellen.
- In 1858, Arthur joined the state militia and was later on appointed to the quartermaster department by the New York governor. During the outbreak of the Civil War, brigadier general Arthur was promoted to inspector general, and finally to quartermaster general until his service ended in January 1863.
- After his service, Arthur became more active in politics – specifically with Republican Party’s Senator Roscoe Conkling. In 1871, he was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as the Collector of the Port of New York until 1878. It was President Rutherford B. Hayes who removed Arthur from the post because of his tight connection with Senator Conkling and the issue of favoritism in federal appointments.
- During the elections of 1880, Arthur was nominated by the Republican Party as the Vice President of Presidential nominee James Garfield. After they won the election, their relationship became strained due to Arthur’s connection to Conkling, and Garfield’s will to end all appointments by the senator.
- On July 2, 1881, President James Garfield was shot twice by Charles J. Guiteau while in the railroad station in Washington. The suspect was a lawyer who was denied a consular post. One of the bullets remained unlocated in Garfield’s body, which caused an infection and later on, his death.
- On September 19, 1881, President Garfield died. The next day New York Supreme Court Judge John R. Brady administered Arthur’s oath of office in his home in Albany.
Chester Arthur’s Presidency
- On September 22, 1881, Chester A. Arthur took his oath as the President of the United States again, at the Office of the Vice President, U.S Capitol. He repeated his oath in Washington which was administered by the Chief Justice, after concerns of validity.
- Prior to his arrival, he refurbished the White House with $30,000 from the Congressional funds. At the start of his term, many believed that he would not continue Garfield’s reform regarding favoritism in appointments, as he was very close to Senator Conkling. However, the cause of Garfield’s assassination led him to push for the reforms.
Garfield’s cabinet members resigned one by one except for the Secretary of War, Robert Todd Lincoln, son of former President Abraham Lincoln who served until the end of Arthur’s term.
- In 1882, Arthur ended the inquiry into the Star Route scandal after nine men were indicted, and was able to put an end on the corruption in the postal service.
President Arthur was diagnosed with Bright’s disease early in 1882, but his terminal kidney disease was kept secret.
In April 1882, he vetoed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which aimed to ban Chinese immigrants and citizenship to residents for 20 years. Later that year, he signed the revised act with the almost the same resolutions, but the ban was limited to 10 years, and could be renewed after those 10 years should the need arise.
- In August of the same year, he signed the Immigration Act which levied tax on immigrants and prohibited the entry of people who were mentally ill, criminals, or disabled. In addition, Arthur vetoed the Rivers and Harbors Act but this was later overridden by Congress.
- The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 was signed into law, creating the Civil Service Commission, which assured the proper filing of federal government positions based on the system of merit.
- He signed the “Mongrel” Tariff Act in order to reduce tariffs and budget surplus brought by the overwhelming taxes collected during the Civil War.
In March 1883, Arthur signed his approval of the appropriation of funds for the improvement of the Navy vessels. Specifically, he supported the construction of steel vessels.
On February 21, 1885, the Washington Monument in Washington D.C was opened.
Arthur did not run for re-election due to his deteriorating health.
Post-Presidency & Death:
- Upon retirement, Arthur returned to practicing law and spent his remaining year in his home in New York City. A few days before his death, he nearly burned all his personal and official papers.
- On November 18, 1886, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
- Four days after his death, a private funeral was held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York and it was attended by President Grover Cleveland and former President Rutherford B. Hayes. His body was interred at the Albany Rural Cemetery next to his wife.
- In 1889, a monument was erected on Arthur’s burial plot and in 1898, a statue of him was dedicated in Madison Square.
Chester A. Arthur Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Chester A. Arthur Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Chester A. Arthur who was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885). He ascended to the presidency after the death of President James Garfield. Arthur ended the corruption in the postal service, which was also known as the “Star Route Scandal”.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Chester A. Arthur Facts
- The Dude President
- Government Post
- Cabinet Members
- The Jenning’s Case
- Signed and Vetoed
- From Grant to Hayes
- Chinese in America
- Cartoon Analysis
- The Arthur Administration
- All the Facts
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Link will appear as Chester A. Arthur Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 17, 2017
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