Skip to content

Chester Alan Arthur


Born at North Fairfield, Franklin County, Vermont. Graduate of Union College in 1848. Taught school and studied law 1846 to 1853. Admitted to the bar in 1854 and practiced law in New York City before and after the war. Married to Ellen Lewis Herdon October 25, 1859. They had three children. Served with New York state militia 1861 to 1863. He became state quartermaster general in 1862.

Arthur was a "stalwart" Republican supporting Grant at the 1880 Republican national convention. James A. Garfield received the party nomination. Arthur was selected as the candidate for Vice President to balance the ticket. He took office as Vice President March 4, 1881. Garfield was shot July 2, 1881, by Charles J. Guiteau who exclaimed, "I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts ... Arthur is President now." Garfield died September 19, 1881.

Arthur served as 21st President for the remainder of the term September 20, 1881, to March 3, 1885. He had no Vice President. He lost the party nomination in 1884 to James G. Blaine and Blaine lost the election to Cleveland. Arthur returned to the practice of law and died in New York City.

Arthur appears on a 76 mm presidential medal (Julian PR-22). Dies were by Charles E. Barber. Modern copies (USM 121) were sold by the mint.

He appears on an oval 60x76 mm Indian Peace Medal (Julian IP-45). Obverse die was by Charles Barber. Reverse die was by George Morgan. Modern copies (USM 630) were sold by the mint.

Arthur appears on Assay Commission medals for 1883 (AC-26), 1884 (AC-27) and 1885 (AC-28). Dies were by George Morgan.

The Chester Arthur presidential dollar coin was released on March 13, 2012. This was the first presidential dollar not intended for circulation. The obverse was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.


Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.