Chester A. Arthur

President Chester A. Arthur

October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886

A relatively quiet cog in the post-civil war New York political machine, Chester A. Arthur was thrust into the U.S. Presidency when his predecessor, James Garfield, was assassinated in the first year of their administration. Arthur served out the single term in surprisingly successful fashion considering his general lack of public opinion prior to being nominated as Garfield’s  vice-president. Originally from Vermont, Arthur studied and practiced Law in New York before getting into politics. His rise through the New York Republican “Stalwarts” put him at odds with Garfield and the two were never close. In July of 1881, just months after inauguration, Garfield was shot. He would not die until September, thus creating a strained “who should be leading the country right now” kind of atmosphere for more than two months. Arthur officially became the 21st President on September 20th, 1881. His term in office focused – to the surprise of his fellow Stalwarts – on civil service reform, civil rights and naval reform. Health was an issue throughout his time in office and he eventually declined to seek renomination. Instead, he returned to New York City to practice law. That, too, seemed to take its toll as his chronic illness (a kidney disease) eventually caught up and he died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage about a year and a half after leaving office. Despite his brief stint as President, historians recall Arthur as an honest man of his word who exercised sound judgement during a period when scandal and corruption were all the rage.


Albany Rural Cemetery – Albany NY


Specific Location

Section 24, Lot 8; Enter from the cemetery’s south gate. Continue going north through a sort of roundabout. Look for the small signs pointing toward Arthur’s grave and turn right at the intersection of Linden Ave. and Southridge Rd. Then take your first left and Arthur’s memorable gravesite will be visible on your right.


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