Chester Alan Arthur Monument
|Chester Alan Arthur monument in Madison Square (image from Historic Markers Database)|
|Closeup of the Chester Alan Arthur statue (image from Historic Markers Database)|
|Chester Alan Arthur (image from The White House)|
The Chester Alan Arthur monument in Madison Square was dedicated on June 13, 1899. Arthur (1830-1886) was the 21st President of the United States. The bronze monument was sculpted by George Edwin Bissell.
President Arthur (born October 5, 1829) was the son of northern Irish Baptist immigrant Reverend William Arthur and Malvina Stone. He was born in Fairfield, Vermont, and graduated from Union College in 1848. Afterward, Arthur studied law and became principal of a Vermont academy. In 1853, after passing the bar, Arthur moved to New York City and opened a law firm. As an abolitionist, Arthur took many civil rights cases, including one which helped integrate the city's passenger rail lines. He joined the newly-formed Republican Party, and during the Civil War was appointed inspector general and then quartermaster of New York troops. President Grant appointed him Customs Collector of the Port of New York in 1871; Arthur was charged with corruption for over-staffing the Customs House with party workers on behalf of Roscoe Conklin's Stalwart Republicans. President Hayes removed Arthur from office in 1878, and the Republicans nominated Arthur for Vice President under James A. Garfield in 1880.
Garfield was assassinated in 1881, and Arthur became President--the first to take the oath of office in New York City since George Washington. Contrary to his tenure as Customs Collector, as President, Arthur reformed the civil service with the Pendleton Act of 1883, which protected employees of the Government from removal for political reasons. He also enacted the first Federal immigration law, vetoing Congressional limits on Chinese immigrant laborers and excluding paupers, criminals, and "lunatics". Since 1882, President Arthur had known that he was suffering from fatal kidney disease, but remained in the running for Presidential nomination nonetheless. He was not renominated by the Party, and died in 1886, only a year after the end of his term in office. Publisher Alexander K. McClure wrote, "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired...more generally respected," .Inscription:
Chester Alan Arthur
of the United States of America
Erected 1899 by Friends of Chester Alan Arthur.
GEO. E. BISSELL / SCULPTOR 1898
THE HENRY-BONNARD BRONZE CO. / FOUNDERS. NEW YORK.
JAMES BROWN LORD / ARCHITECT
New York, NY 10010
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