Friday, September 10, 2010

Chester Alan Arthur

Did you know... that Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the USA, lived in Greenwich?

Statue of Arthur at Union College
Arthur was born in North Fairfield, Vermont ( in 1829. After heading various congregations in VT and NY, his father, the baptist minister Rev. William Arthur, moved the family to Greenwich (then Union Village) in 1839. Rev. Arthur remained pastor of the Bottskill Baptist Church until 1844. By that time, young Chet had graduated from Union Village Academy and was attending Union College in Schenectady, NY.

Arthur became president on September 20, 1881, the day after the death of President James A. Garfield. Garfield was shot three months prior, by Charles Guiteau at a train station in Washington, D.C. Arthur was not elected president in his own right. The nomination went to James G. Blaine (R-ME), who lost to Grover Cleveland (D-NY) in 1884.

Chester Alan Arthur died of natural causes on November 18, 1886 at the age of 57. He is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. (

NY State marker

Little is known of the future president's youthful days in our village. His sister Mary, who would serve as hostess during his presidency, was born here in 1841. The house the Arthur's lived in still stands, though it has been moved twice. The old parsonage now sits on Gray Avenue, just a few blocks from its original location. A NY State marker commemorates the site.

Books of Interest:
Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell- ISBN 9780805069518
Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur by Thomas C. Reeves- ISBN 0394460952
The Complete State of the Union Address of Chester A. Arthur- ISBN 9781406589665
Continental Liar From the State of Maine: James G. Blaine by Neil Rolde- ISBN 9780884482864
Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of James A. Garfield by Kenneth D. Ackerman- ISBN 9780786711512

Chester A. Arthur: Twenty-First President: 1881 - 1885 by Mike Venezia ISBN 9780516254012

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