ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—President Chester A. Arthur rests in the Albany Rural Cemetery along with his wife, son, and grandson. The New York National Guard held a wreath-laying ceremony for his 190th birthday Monday.
President Arthur became the 21st president, succeeding after President James Garfield was assassinated in 1880. He had not held elected office before being elected as Garfield’s vice-president earlier in that same year.
Arthur was a teacher in Vermont, a lawyer, a Republican politician, and a member of the New York Militia during the Civil War. He attended Union College in Schenectady.
In 1855 Arthur and the law firm he worked for represented Elizabeth Jennings, a black woman tossed off a New York City horsecar in July of 1854. At the time, only whites were allowed to ride. Jennings won a settlement of $225 in damages. The court ruled Black Americans could not be excluded from public transit so long as they were “sober, well-behaved, and free from disease.”
During the Civil War, Arthur became the Quartermaster General of New York and was tasked with equipping 70,000 soldiers.
President Arthur also led the “Stalwart” wing of the Republican Party, which got him the nomination to be James Garfield’s running mate in 1880.
Arthur served just three years as president, not choosing to run for office on his own due to a lingering illness. President Arthur died one year after leaving office in 1886.