Tags: Presidential History | memorial | President Chester Arthur | monuments

In Memorial: Presidential Monuments Dedicated to Chester Arthur

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Dec 2015 10:40 PM

Chester Arthur was the 21st president of the U.S., and like many of his presidential predecessors, has been honored with a memorial dedicated in his name.

A bronze and granite statue in the former president's honor sits at Madison Ave. and East 26th Street in New York City. Sculpted by George Edwin Bissell, the architect of the Arthur statue was James Brown Lord. It was dedicated on June 13, 1899, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Commissioned by Friends of Chester Alan Arthur for $25,000, the statue depicts Arthur standing in front of an armchair wearing a frock coat. The ornamental base was designed by James Brown Lord. The monument stands over 15 feet tall in total.

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Arthur surprised many by moving past partisanship while in the White House, History.com noted. His main goals were to fix civil service issues in the country, and he started by signing the Pendleton Civil Service Act, which mandated that certain federal government jobs be given based on merit and not political corruption/connections. This act also protected workers from being fired for their political beliefs or support.

Arthur also attempted to lower tariffs and pushed for modernizing the U.S. Navy. He worked to fight fraud within government agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service. Unfortunately, during his term Arthur learned he had Bright’s disease, which eventually led to his death.

Arthur was born on Oct. 5, 1829, in Fairfield, Vermont, to William and Malvina Arthur. He attended the Union College in Schenectady, New York, and became a schoolteacher. He also studied law at the State and National Law School in New York. In 1859, Arthur married Ellen Herndon, and the couple had two children, Chester Arthur Jr. and Ellen Herndon. Ellen died just two years before Arthur was elected president.

Arthur moved to New York City to begin his legal career. He had several successfully won civil rights cases, one of which lead to the desegregation of public transportation in New York City. In the 1850s, Arthur joined the New York State Militia, although he never saw action.

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In 1871, Arthur was named the customs collector for the Port of New York by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, but was ousted by Rutherford Hayes during his attempt to reform the spoils system.

Arthur was nicknamed the “Gentleman Boss” and “Elegant Arthur,” because he reportedly owned 80 pairs of pants and had a fine taste in furnishings.

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Chester Arthur was the 21st president of the U.S., and like many of his presidential predecessors, has been honored with a memorial dedicated in his name.
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2015-40-02
Wednesday, 02 Dec 2015 10:40 PM
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