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The Gentleman Boss: President Chester A. Arthur

Updated on December 18, 2015
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

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Chester A. Arthur for Teachers, Students, & All Who Love to Learn

Looking for great YouTube video clips, books, recipes and free worksheets and lapbooks for teaching and/or learning about President Chester A. Arthur? Here you will find my favorite picks we used while studying the individual Presidents of the United States. This is part of a series of lessons I posted on individual Presidents. You can find links to all the lessons at President's Day Unit Study .

Do You Think Chester A. Arthur Was a Good President?

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Just the Facts on Our 21st President

Presidential Term: 1881-1885

Political Party: Republican

Vice President: None

Secretary of War: Robert Todd Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln's son)

Birthplace: Vermont

Occupation: Lawyer

Yearly Salary as President: $50,000

Height: 6'2"

Wife: Ellen Herndon Arthur (died in 1880)

Vice President Chester A. Arthur became president after President James A. Garfield was assassinated. Journalist Alexander McClure wrote of Chester's service as president, "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired ... more generally respected, alike by political friend and foe."

Great Worksheets, Lapbooks, Trivia, & Recipes

We found these to be helpful when creating a notebook, lapbook, and cooking project on Chester A. Arthur.

Chester A. Arthur for Teachers offers links to free worksheets, book suggestions, general information and trivia, interactive computer games, and more related to President Arthur.

Chester A. Arthur's Favorite Meals provides a description of some of President Arthur's favorite dishes.

Presidential Statistics and Points of Interest includes an overview of Chester A. Arthur's life and some fun points of interest.

Our Favorite Children's Book on President Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur: Twenty-First President: 1881 - 1885 (Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents)
Chester A. Arthur: Twenty-First President: 1881 - 1885 (Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents)
This was our favorite picture book on President Arthur. It includes fun illustrations on every page and has just enough biographical information to keep it both engaging and educational. * Also look for "How To Draw The Life And Times Of Chester A. Arthur" (Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America) by Rachel Damon Criscione which combines simple drawing lessons with the main points of Arthur's life and times. Each page has a bit of biographical information and then step-by-step drawing instructions so that your child can draw the location, event, etc.

Timeline of Major Events During Arthur's Presidency

Timeline of Major Events

Vice President Chester A. Arthur sworn in as president after James A. Garfield dies
Gunfight at OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ

Outlaw Jesse James was killed
Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese immigrants
Edmunds Act outlawed polygamy
First World Series game (Cincinnati beats Chicago)
Thomas Edison invented electric Christmas tree lights

Buffalo Bill's first Wild West Show
Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act
Brooklyn Bridge completed
Civil Rights Act of 1875 declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court
The Supreme Count ruled that Native Americans are not American citizens

Susan B. Anthony pleads for women's suffrage
First U.S. roller coaster (Coney Island, NY)
Statue of Liberty was presented to America in Paris & cornerstone is laid in NY
Second Chinese Exclusion Act

Washington Monument dedicated
Indian Appropriations Act

Despite much opposition from congress, Arthur continued to pursue the civil service reform that James A. Garfield had begun. His primary success was the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.


During Arthur's presidency, congress sought measures to limit the influx of immigrants to the U.S. Their main target were the Chinese, who were blamed for keeping wages low. Arthur vetoed the first bill seeking to ban Chinese immigrants but later passed a bill to ban them for 10 years, even though Arthur did not not agree that the Chinese should be banned.


After the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War, the US Naval fleets fell into disrepair, so President Arthur approved the "Squadron of Evolution," constructing three new steel cruisers & an armed dispatch-steamer. He also approved funds to be spent on rebuilding four monitors.

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Due to his ailing health from Bright's Disease, Arthur did not seek reelection in 1884. He passed away two years later in 1886. At the time of his death, the New York World concluded of his presidency: "No duty was neglected in his administration, and no adventurous project alarmed the nation."

Our Favorite YouTube Video Clips on President Arthur

Looking for more lessons on Presidents or all of my unit studies and lessons?

  • President's Day Unit Study - I posted links to each of my lessons on individual Presidents here. In each lesson I included fun worksheets, children's books, YouTube clips, timelines, and recipe ideas. On this page I also included our favorite books and YouTube video clips that cover all of the Presidents of the United States.
  • Fun, FREE Hands-On Unit Studies - I have posted my links to over 35 hands-on unit studies (compromised of over 170 lessons) that focus primarily on science and social studies. In each lesson plan I have listed the activities that we did (and included photos), the books we read, YouTube video clips that we watched, and lapbook links that pair with the lesson.


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