U.S. Presidents / Chester A. Arthur

Chester Arthur

1829 - 1886

Chester A. Arthur

Experience has shown that the trade of the East is the key to national wealth and influence. The opening of China to the commerce of the whole world has benefited no section of it more than the States of our own Pacific Slope. Veto Message of Chinese Exclusion Act


Chester Arthur was the fifth child of a fervent abolitionist preacher who moved his family from one Baptist parish to the next throughout New York and Vermont. Attending Union College, Arthur showed far more interest in extracurricular activities and political demonstrations than in his studies. As a young man, Arthur worked for one of the most prominent law firms in New York City. He was involved in two cases focusing on African American rights. One involved fugitive slaves while the other centered on segregated streetcars.

Fast Facts

Fairfield, Vermont
Union College (graduated 1848)
"The Gentleman Boss"
October 25, 1859, to Ellen Lewis Herndon (1837–1880)
William Lewis Herndon (1860–1863), Chester Alan (1864–1937), Ellen Herndon (1871–1915)
Albany, New York
Justus Doenecke

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Chester A. Arthur.” Accessed July 16, 2024. https://millercenter.org/president/arthur.

Professor Emeritus of History

Justus Doenecke

Professor Doenecke is a professor emeritus of history at the New College of Florida.