Chester A. Arthur. Chester A. Arthur was the twenty-first President of the United States of America. Chester A. Arthur was Vice President when James A. Garfield died. He succeeded James A. Garfield on September 19, 1881. Initially, he was chosen on the Republican ticket to get more support from voters. James A. Garfield was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio and Chester A. Arthur a few years earlier was Collector of the Port of New York and was born in Vermont.
Chester A. Arthur served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He became a brigadier general. Before the war he had worked as a teacher, school principal, studied law, and was admitted to the bar and worked as a lawyer. He married Ellen Herndon in 1859. During the war he worked to house and outfit the troops. He turned down opportunities to serve on the front line upon the request and recommendation of New York’s Governor. In 1863 he returned to his law practice.
While his law practice was doing well, he and his wife suffered the death of their first child. Their son, William, was three when he died. Chester and Ellen ended up having another boy and a girl and were seen as devoted parents. His law practice continued to do well and he rose in the ranks of New York’s political scene. Unfortunately, he also lost his wife when she died before becoming Vice President.
During his presidency he gained acclaim for his advocacy and enforcement of civil service reform. Congress attempted to balance the budget during Arthur’s presidency. There was a surplus from wartime taxes. Many attempted laws did not happen and little was accomplished to balance the budget. Congress and Arthur accomplished more in strengthening American naval power. Arthur and Congress also increased funding for Native American Indian education.
Chester A. Arthur died about a year and eight months after leaving the presidency suffering a cerebral hemorrhage following a long illness. He was seen as competent, polite, and honest. Being competent, polite, and honest brought him far in life. Be inspired by these accomplishments and his life and his civil service. Have a bright day!