Chester Alan Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States, serving from 1881 to 1885. He was born on October 5, 1829, in Fairfield, Vermont, and died on November 18, 1886, in New York City.

Arthur, a member of the Republican Party, rose to prominence as a lawyer and politician in New York. He served as the Collector of the Port of New York, a significant political appointment at the time, from 1871 to 1878, where he gained a reputation for his administrative abilities and efforts to reform the spoils system.

Arthur became Vice President under President James A. Garfield after winning the 1880 presidential election. However, he ascended to the presidency upon Garfield’s assassination in September 1881. Arthur’s presidency is often characterized by his efforts to reform the civil service system, despite initially being associated with the political machine of Roscoe Conkling, a powerful Republican senator from New York.

During his presidency, Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883, which established the United States Civil Service Commission and aimed to end the spoils system by requiring government jobs to be awarded based on merit rather than political patronage.

While his presidency is not widely remembered for significant accomplishments, Arthur’s tenure marked a turning point in American politics toward civil service reform and merit-based appointments. After leaving office in 1885, he returned to private life in New York City and died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1886, just a year after completing his presidential term.