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Arthur, Chester (Administration)

Chester Arthur became president upon the death of President James Garfield. The Arthur administration reformed the federal jobs system, rebuilt the U.S. Navy, and devised an immigration policy that essentially lasted into the 1940s.

Early Years and Conkling Machine

Chester Alan Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, in 1829, the fifth child of an itinerant Baptist minister. Graduating from Union College in 1848, he served as a teacher and then was admitted to the New York State Bar and practiced law in New York City. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, he became assistant quartermaster general for the state of New York. In July 1862, he became quartermaster general, serving approximately a year.

After the war, Arthur aligned himself with Roscoe Conkling, a U.S. representative ...

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