Gavin ArthurFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGavin Arthur (born Chester Alan Arthur III; March 21, 1901 – April 28, 1972) was a San Francisco astrologer and sexologist and a grandson of American President Chester A. Arthur.He has been described as "an Ivy League dropout, an Irish Republican Army activist, an experimental-film actor, a commune leader, a gold prospector, a teacher at San Quentin, and a bisexual sexologist/astrologer. An early gay rights activist and a practical prototype for the hippies."
Early life and familyArthur was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1901 to Chester Alan Arthur II and his wife, Myra Townsend Fithian Andrews. He was their only child. Arthur's father's part-ownership of a mining and ranching company gave the family a comfortable living. Arthur attended Columbia University, but did not graduate. After leaving school he married Charlotte Wilson in 1922; they were divorced ten years later.
Activist and writerAfter leaving college, Arthur worked in the Irish Republican Movement, living in New York, France, and Ireland. He was once jailed in Boston in connection with the movement. While in Europe, Arthur and Charlotte had roles in the 1930 avant-garde film, Borderline, which also starred Paul Robeson and H.D. In the early 1930s he moved to Pismo Beach, California, and adopted the name "Gavin," by which he would be known for the rest of his life. While there, Arthur founded an art and literature commune and published a short-lived magazine, Dune Forum. In 1934, he joined the Utopian Society of America. The following year, he married Esther Murphy Strachey.Eschewing the Republican Party of his grandfather, Arthur served as secretary of the California Democratic Party in 1940 before resigning the following year, convinced that the party had betrayed his principles. At the outbreak of World War II, Arthur enlisted in the United States Navy.After the war, Arthur moved to New York and undertook to write a family history, which was never completed. Returning to California in 1949, Arthur taught classes at San Quentin State Prison for several years and attempted a living as a gold prospector. In 1952, he finished his bachelor's degree at San Francisco State College. Often low on funds, Arthur sold newspapers on the streets of San Francisco in the 1950s and 60s. At the same time, he began to gain fame as an astrologer. Arthur and his second wife, Esther, were divorced in 1961.
The Circle of SexIn 1962, Arthur published The Circle of Sex, a book that analyzed human sexuality through the lens of astrology. Rather than the linear scale developed by Alfred Kinsey, Arthur envisioned sexuality as a wheel with twelve orientations. The twelve types corresponded to the zodiac and Arthur illustrated each with an historical archetype (e.g., Don Juan, Sappho, Lady C). Arthur, bisexual himself, was said to have been intimate with Edward Carpenter and Neal Cassady. Arthur was also friend to many of the beat generation, including Allen Ginsberg and Alan Watts, and was active in the early gay liberation movement.Arthur married for the third time in 1965 to Ellen Jansen. He wrote an enlarged edition of The Circle of Sex the following year. He used astrology to determine the date to hold the Human Be-In in 1967. In 1968, he debated fellow astrologer Dane Rudhyar on the topic of the Age of Aquarius. In 1972, Arthur died at the Fort Miley Veterans Hospital in San Francisco. Having no children himself, he was the last living descendant of his grandfather, President Chester A. Arthur. His papers, including many family papers, were donated to the Library of Congress.
Chester "Gavin" Alan Arthur III married as his second wife Esther Knesborough, formerly wife of John Strachey and daughter of Patrick Francis Murphy.
Patrick Francis Murphy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Patrick Francis Murphy in 1917
Patrick Francis Murphy (1860 - November 24, 1931) was the owner of the Mark Cross Company in Manhattan, New York City, and was a legislator in Massachusetts.His daughter Esther was married to John Strachey and Chester Alan Arthur III, grandson of President Chester Alan Arthur.
Chester Alan Arthur II
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chester Alan Arthur II, also known as Alan Arthur, (July 25, 1864 – July 18, 1937) was a son of President Chester A. Arthur. He studied at Princeton University and Columbia University's Law School. After completing his studies, Arthur traveled throughout Europe for 10 years. In 1900 he married in Switzerland and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado to improve his health.
Chester Alan Arthur II Born July 25, 1864
New York, New York
Died July 18, 1937 (aged 72)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Cause of death Heart attack Nationality United States Education College of New Jersey, 1885 Occupation sportsman, art connoisseur Known for son of the President Chester A. Arthur I Spouse(s) Myra Townsend Fithian Andrews (m. 1900)
Rowena Dashwood Graves (m. 1934)
Children Chester Alan (Gavin) Arthur III Parent(s) Ellen Lewis Herndon
Chester A. Arthur I
BiographyEarly lifeChester "Alan" Arthur's parents
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837 – 1880), photograph taken between 1857 and 1870
Chester Alan Arthur (1829 – 1886), photograph taken 1859
Chester Alan Arthur II was the second son of Ellen Lewis Herndon and Chester A. Arthur. Ellen was the daughter of explorer William Lewis Herndon. He was born on July 25, 1864 in New York City. His elder brother William Lewis Herndon Arthur, was born in December 1860, named after Ellen's father, and died in July 1863 from convulsions or swelling of the brain. It was particularly difficult for Nell, her husband wrote, "Nell is broken hearted. I fear for her health." Feeling as if they had "taxed" William's brain with "intellectual demands", they pampered their second son, who "led a life that closely resembled that of European royalty." He wore nice clothes, learned to sail and ride, and was taught charm and vanity. His parents had somewhat of a laissez-faire attitude about his academics.
He had a younger sister, Ellen Herndon "Nell" Arthur, who was born in 1871.[nb 1]
The family had a home at 123 Lexington Avenue in New York. There, Ellen held musical recitals, dinners and other parties at home to support her husband's professional and political ambitions. Chester had offices at Fifth Avenue Hotel, which was then the "epicenter of New York Republican politics. Although it was near his family's home, he used the hotel as a second home. He also spent many evenings away from the family at Delmonico's. From March through April 1878, Arthur traveled with his mother and sister to Europe.
His parents' marriage was not particularly happy; Ellen Arthur had difficulty managing her husband's "late hours and high living". His mother died in 1880 of pneumonia, before President Arthur was inaugurated. Regarding his father's reaction to his wife's death, "It was said that something graver, softer, kindlier, was observable in the character of her husband, aft the falling of that heavy blow."
If was said of his father's attentiveness to his children, "although Arthur loved to showcase his two children" at New York and "White House social affairs, he much preferred fishing, feasting with his cronies, and administrative work to family life." His relationship with his children was considered "somewhat strained and aloof".
Author Annette Atkins theorizes that Chester Alan Arthur II may have developed a "rosebud gathering", or live for the moment attitude about life due to his mother's early death at the age of 42. Another contributing factor may have been the zealousness of his father's ambitions that kept him away from his family, which was very difficult for his mother, and presumably the children.
Prince of Washington
The presidential yacht during Chester A. Arthur's presidency that his son enjoyed.
President Arthur did not spend much time with his children, but he liked to "showcase his children" during lavish parties he held in Washington. Ellen did not particularly enjoy the attention, but Chester Arthur II "took to the social life" and enjoyed a life of leisure over one of professional ambition.[nb 2] He was called "the Prince of Washington" for the way he made the most of being the son of the President, such as attending receptions and using the presidential yacht. Arthur attended College of New Jersey (later named Princeton University) during his father's presidency and would take the train from the college town to Washington, D.C., and would party "into the wee hours". During his White House visits he would play the piano and the banjo.
Arthur was at his father's side at the family's 123 Lexington Avenue house when the former President died in 1886. Shortly before his father's death, Arthur burned his father's official papers that filled 3 garbage cans; He was dubbed the "presidential papers destroyer". Someone intervened to prevent the destruction of all of the papers.
Arthur and his sister remained close until her death in 1915. He had once expressed concern that when Ellen married, he would have lost all connections with any family. When Ellen became engaged, she told her brother that he was not losing her and that getting married hadn't altered the extent to which she loved him. When Myra became pregnant, Arthur told his sister first before anyone else.
Arthur attended College of New Jersey (later named Princeton University) and graduated in 1885. He studied law at Columbia Law School, in the hope of taking over his father's law firm in New York City but withdrew before he completed his studies.
After graduation, in 1887, he sailed to Europe and stayed there for nearly 13 years. His was able to travel every major European city and "enjoy a gentleman's life" due to his inheritance from his father. He was part of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales's, circle of friends. His son described him as "the perfect pattern of an Edwardian gentleman and of a Europeanized American." He was described as "tall, handsome and athletic."
He married wealthy divorcée Myra Townsend Fithian Andrews on May 10, 1900 at the English American Episcopal Church and at a civil ceremony in Vevey, Switzerland.While in Europe he enjoyed the company of "female admirers", the cuisine, and horses, particularly "driving horse-drawn carriages throughout the French countryside." By this time, he preferred to be called Alan. He campaigned for the position of Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1897, but was unsuccessful.
He returned to the United States in 1900 and had a home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and also had a residence in Europe.
Chester Alan and Myra Arthur's home, Edgeplain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In October 1900, Arthur and his bride went to Colorado for his health; he had asthma and bronchitis. The couple's son, Chester Alan Arthur III, was born March 21, 1901. Myra gave birth to a daughter, named Ellen for Arthur's mother and sister, but she did not survive.
They lived on income from investments, including Arthur's interest in the 250,000-acre cattle ranch, Trinchera Estate. In addition to raising cattle, the company mined gold, cut timber, and created a game park reserve for antelope, elk, and bison.
Arthur's health improved in the Colorado climate. He was president of Cheyenne Mountain Country Club between 1905 and 1908. He also provided funding for facilities at the club. Polo became a favored sport as the result of top polo players to the area. When Vice President Theodore Roosevelt visited Colorado Springs in 1901, he had dinner at the Arthurs' home, Edgeplain, and attended a polo match.
Arthur and Spencer Penrose built a Cheyenne Mountain clubhouse, based upon the "gourmet, culinary" Rabbit Club in Philadelphia in 1914.
Arthur's carriage is one of the exhibits at the Carriage Museum at The Broadmoor resort.
Arthur was a member of New York's Member Union, Knickerbocker, Brook and Racquet and Tennis Clubs. In Paris, he was a member of the Travelers' Club. He was a member of the Denver Club, El Paso Club and Colorado Springs Country Club.
Divorce and remarriage
Myra and Chester Arthur II divorced in 1927 or 1929. During the couple's marriage, Arthur had been a womanizer who enjoyed drinking and partying. Myra realized her husband had been having an affair in 1909, said that she would grant him his freedom but would fight to keep their son. The couple reconciled, but had a rocky marriage until they divorced.
Arthur married Rowena Dashwood Graves in 1934. She was 39 and he was 70 years of age when they married.
Arthur died on July 18, 1937 in Colorado Springs. He was the last surviving child of Chester A. Arthur. An obituary in the Miami Times said that Arthur was an "internationally known sportsman, art connoisseur and son of the late President Chester Arthur." Rowena died in 1969.
He never lived the life his father had envisioned for him as an attorney. He may never have held a job. Instead his interests were polo, art and social gatherings. Among his friends were artists James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. He "thoroughly enjoyed a lifetime romp with wine, women and song."
His son Chester "Gavin" Alan Arthur III married as his second wife Esther Knesborough, formerly wife of John Strachey and daughter of Patrick Francis Murphy.
- Ellen came to live at the White House and was looked after by President Arthur's sister, Mary McElroy. McElroy was also hostess at White House events.
NOW OFF TO THE WHITE HOUSE WE GO....
NOW BACK TO GAVIN... from library of congrease...
Chester A. ArthurFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"Chester Alan Arthur" redirects here. For his son, see Chester Alan Arthur II.
Chester A. Arthur 21st President of the United States In office
September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885
Vice President None Preceded by James A. Garfield Succeeded by Grover Cleveland 20th Vice President of the United States In office
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
President James A. Garfield Preceded by William A. Wheeler Succeeded by Thomas A. Hendricks 10th Chairman of the New York State Republican Executive Committee In office
September 11, 1879 – October 11, 1881
Preceded by John F. Smyth Succeeded by B. Platt Carpenter 21st Collector of the Port of New York In office
December 1, 1871 – July 11, 1878
Appointed by Ulysses S. Grant Preceded by Thomas Murphy Succeeded by Edwin Atkins Merritt Engineer-in-Chief of the New York Militia In office
January 1, 1861 – January 1, 1863
Preceded by George F. Nesbitt Succeeded by Isaac Vanderpoel Inspector General of the New York Militia In office
April 14, 1862 – July 12, 1862
Preceded by Marsena R. Patrick Succeeded by Cuyler Van Vechten Quartermaster General of the New York Militia In office
July 27, 1862 – January 1, 1863
Preceded by Cuyler Van Vechten Succeeded by Sebastian Visscher Talcott Personal details Born October 5, 1829
Fairfield, Vermont, U.S.
Died November 18, 1886 (aged 57)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Resting place Albany Rural Cemetery
Menands, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican (1854–86) Other political
Whig (Before 1854) Spouse(s) Ellen Herndon (m. 1859; d. 1880) Children 3, including Chester II Education Profession
- Civil servant
Religion Episcopal Signature Military service Allegiance Service/branch New York Militia Years of service 1857–1863 Rank Brigadier general Unit Second Brigade, New York Militia
Staff of Governor Edwin D. Morgan
Battles/wars American Civil WarChester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 21stPresident of the United States (1881–85); he succeeded James A. Garfield upon the latter's assassination. At the outset, Arthur struggled to overcome a slightly negative reputation, which stemmed from his early career in politics as part of New York's Republican political machine. He succeeded by embracing the cause of civil service reform. His advocacy for, and subsequent enforcement of, the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was the centerpiece of his administration.Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, grew up in upstate New York, and practiced law in New York City. He served as quartermaster general in the New York Militia during the American Civil War. Following the war, he devoted more time to Republican politics and quickly rose in the political machine run by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling. Appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to the lucrative and politically powerful post of Collector of the Port of New York in 1871, Arthur was an important supporter of Conkling and the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party. In 1878, the new president, Rutherford B. Hayes, fired Arthur as part of a plan to reform the federal patronage system in New York. When Garfield won the Republican nomination for president in 1880, Arthur, an eastern Stalwart, was nominated for vice president to balance the ticket.After just half a year as vice president, Arthur found himself in the executive mansion due to the assassination of his predecessor. To the surprise of reformers, Arthur took up the cause of reform, though it had once led to his expulsion from office. He signed the Pendleton Act into law and strongly enforced its provisions. He gained praise for his veto of a Rivers and Harbors Act that would have appropriated federal funds in a manner he thought excessive. He presided over the rebirth of the United States Navy, but was criticized for failing to alleviate the federal budget surplus, which had been accumulating since the end of the Civil War.Suffering from poor health, Arthur made only a limited effort to secure the Republican Party's nomination in 1884; he retired at the close of his term. Journalist Alexander McClure later wrote, "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." Although his failing health and political temperament combined to make his administration less active than a modern presidency, he earned praise among contemporaries for his solid performance in office. The New York World summed up Arthur's presidency at his death in 1886: "No duty was neglected in his administration, and no adventurous project alarmed the nation." Mark Twain wrote of him, "[I]t would be hard indeed to better President Arthur's administration." Over the 20th and 21st centuries, however, Arthur's reputation mostly faded among the public.
Birth and familyChester Alan Arthur was born October 5, 1829, in Fairfield, Vermont.[a] Arthur's mother, Malvina Stone, was born in Vermont, the daughter of George Washington Stone and Judith Stevens. Malvina's family was primarily of English and Welsh descent, and her grandfather, Uriah Stone, fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. His father, William Arthur, was born in Dreen, Cullybackey, County Antrim, Ireland; he graduated from college in Belfast and emigrated to Canada in 1819 or 1820. Arthur's mother met his father while William Arthur was teaching at a school in Dunham, Quebec, just over the border from her native Vermont. The two married in Dunham on April 12, 1821, soon after meeting. After their first child, Regina, was born, the Arthurs moved to Vermont. They quickly moved from Burlington to Jericho, and finally to Waterville, as William received positions teaching at different schools. William Arthur also spent a brief time studying law, but while still in Waterville, he departed from both his legal studies and his Presbyterian upbringing to join the Free Will Baptists; he spent the rest of his life as a minister in that sect. William Arthur became an outspoken abolitionist, which often made him unpopular with members of his congregations and contributed to the family's frequent moves. In 1828, the family moved again, to Fairfield, where Chester Alan Arthur was born the following year; he was the fifth of nine children. He was named "Chester" after Chester Abell, the physician and family friend who assisted in his birth, and "Alan" for his paternal grandfather.[b] The family remained in Fairfield until 1832, when William Arthur's profession took them on the road again, to churches in several towns in Vermont and upstate New York. The family finally settled in the Schenectady, New York area.The family's frequent moves later spawned accusations that Chester Arthur was not a native-born citizen of the United States. When Arthur was nominated for vice president in 1880, a New York attorney and political opponent, Arthur P. Hinman, initially speculated that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old. Had that been true, opponents might have argued that Arthur was constitutionally ineligible for the vice presidency under the United States Constitution's natural-born-citizen clause.[c][d] When Hinman's original story did not take root, he spread a new rumor that Arthur was born in Canada. This claim, too, failed to gain credence.[e]
EducationArthur spent some of his childhood years living in the New York towns of York, Perry, Greenwich, Lansingburgh, Schenectady, and Hoosick. One of his first teachers said Arthur was a boy "frank and open in manners and genial in disposition." During his time at school, he gained his first political inclinations and supported the Whig Party. He joined other young Whigs in support of Henry Clay, even participating in a brawl against students who supported James K. Polk. Arthur also supported the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish republican organization founded in America; he showed this support by wearing a green coat. Arthur enrolled at Union College, in Schenectady, New York, in 1845, where he studied the traditional classical curriculum. As a senior, he was president of the debate society and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During his winter breaks, Arthur served as a teacher at a school in Schaghticoke.After graduating, Arthur returned to Schaghticoke and became a full-time teacher, and soon began to pursue an education in law. While studying law, he continued teaching, moving closer to home by taking a job at a school in North Pownal, Vermont. Coincidentally, future president James A. Garfield taught penmanship at the same school three years later, but the two did not cross paths during their teaching careers. In 1852, Arthur moved again, to Cohoes, New York, to become the principal of a school at which his sister, Malvina, was a teacher. In 1853, after studying at State and National Law School in Ballston Spa, New York, and then saving enough money to relocate, Arthur moved to New York City to read law at the law office of Erastus D. Culver, an abolitionist lawyer and family friend. When Arthur was admitted to the bar in 1854, he joined Culver's firm, which was subsequently renamed Culver, Parker, and Arthur.
New York lawyerWhen Arthur joined the firm, Culver and New York attorney John Jay (the grandson of the Founding Father of the same name) were pursuing a habeas corpus action against Jonathan Lemmon, a Virginia slaveholder who was passing through New York with his eight slaves. In Lemmon v. New York, Culver argued that, as New York law did not permit slavery, any slave arriving in New York was automatically freed. The argument was successful, and after several appeals was upheld by the New York Court of Appeals in 1860. Campaign biographers would later give Arthur much of the credit for the victory; in fact his role was minor, although he was certainly an active participant in the case. In another civil rights case in 1854, Arthur was the lead attorney representing Elizabeth Jennings Graham after she was denied a seat on a streetcar because she was black. He won the case, and the verdict led to the desegregation of the New York City streetcar lines.In 1856, Arthur courted Ellen Herndon, the daughter of William Lewis Herndon, a Virginia naval officer. The two were soon engaged to be married. Later that year, he started a new law partnership with a friend, Henry D. Gardiner, and traveled with him to Kansas to consider purchasing land and setting up a law practice there. At that time, the state was the scene of a brutal struggle between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, and Arthur lined up firmly with the latter. The rough frontier life did not agree with the genteel New Yorkers; after three or four months the two young lawyers returned to New York City, where Arthur comforted his fiancée after her father was lost at sea in the wreck of the SS Central America. In 1859, they were married at Calvary Episcopal Church in Manhattan.After his marriage, Arthur devoted his efforts to building his law practice, but also found time to engage in Republican party politics. In addition, he indulged his military interest by becoming Judge Advocate General for the Second Brigade of the New York Militia.
Civil WarIn 1861, Arthur was appointed to the military staff of Governor Edwin D. Morgan as engineer-in-chief. The office was a patronage appointment of minor importance until the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, when New York and the other northern states were faced with raising and equipping armies of a size never before seen in American history. Arthur was commissioned as a brigadier general and assigned to the state militia's quartermaster department. He was so efficient at housing and outfitting the troops that poured into New York City that he was promoted to inspector general of the state militia in April 1862, and then to quartermaster general that July. He had an opportunity to serve at the front when the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment elected him colonel early in the war, but at Governor Morgan's request, he turned it down to remain at his post in New York. He also turned down command of four New York City regiments organized as the Metropolitan Brigade, again at Morgan's request. The closest Arthur came to the front was when he traveled south to inspect New York troops near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in May 1862, shortly after forces under Major General Irvin McDowell seized the town during the Peninsula Campaign. That summer, he and other representatives of northern governors met with Secretary of State William H. Seward in New York to coordinate the raising of additional troops, and spent the next few months enlisting New York's quota of 120,000 men. Arthur received plaudits for his work, but his post was a political appointment, and he was relieved of his militia duties in January 1863 when Governor Horatio Seymour, a Democrat, took office.When Reuben Fenton won the 1864 election for governor, Arthur requested reappointment; Fenton and Arthur were from different factions of the Republican Party, and Fenton had already committed to appointing another candidate, so Arthur did not return to military service.On April 5, 1882, Arthur was elected to the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) as a Third Class Companion, the honorary membership category for militia officers and civilians who made significant contributions to the war effort. He was assigned MOLLUS insignia number 2430. In addition, Grand Army of the Republic posts in Ogdensburg, Wisconsin and Medford, Oregon were named in his honor.Arthur returned to being a lawyer, and with the help of additional contacts made in the military, he and the firm of Arthur & Gardiner flourished. Even as his professional life improved, however, Arthur and his wife experienced a personal tragedy as their only child, William, died suddenly that year at the age of three. The couple took their son's death hard, and when they had another son, Chester Alan Jr., in 1864, they lavished attention on him. They also had a daughter, Ellen, in 1871. Both children survived to adulthood.Arthur's political prospects improved along with his law practice when his patron, ex-Governor Morgan, was elected to the United States Senate. He was hired by Thomas Murphy, a Republican politician, but also a friend of William M. Tweed, the boss of the Tammany Hall Democratic organization. Murphy was also a hatter who sold goods to the Union Army, and Arthur represented him in Washington. The two became associates within New York Republican party circles, eventually rising in the ranks of the conservative branch of the party dominated by Thurlow Weed. In the presidential election of 1864, Arthur and Murphy raised funds from Republicans in New York and attended Abraham Lincoln's inauguration in 1865.
New York politician
Conkling's machineThe end of the Civil War meant new opportunities for the men in Morgan's Republican machine, including Arthur.Morgan leaned toward the conservative wing of the New York Republican party, as did the men who worked with him in the organization, including Weed, Seward (who continued in office under President Andrew Johnson), and Roscoe Conkling (an eloquent Utica Congressman and rising star in the party). Arthur rarely articulated his own political ideas during his time as a part of the machine; as was common at the time, loyalty and hard work on the machine's behalf was more important than actual political positions.At the time, U.S. Custom Houses were managed by political appointees who served as Collector, Naval Officer and Surveyor. In 1866, Arthur unsuccessfully attempted to secure the position of Naval Officer at the New York Custom House, a lucrative job subordinate only to the Collector. He continued his law practice (now a solo practice after Gardiner's death) and his role in politics, becoming a member of the prestigious Century Club in 1867. Conkling, elected in 1867 to the United States Senate, noticed Arthur and facilitated his rise in the party, and Arthur became chairman of the New York City Republican executive committee in 1868. His ascent in the party hierarchy kept him busy most nights, and his wife resented his continual absence from the family home on party business.Conkling succeeded to leadership of the conservative wing of New York's Republicans by 1868 as Morgan concentrated more time and effort on national politics, including serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee. The Conkling machine was solidly behind General Ulysses S. Grant's candidacy for president, and Arthur raised funds for Grant's election in 1868. The opposing Democratic machine in New York City, known as Tammany Hall, worked for Grant's opponent, former New York Governor Horatio Seymour; while Grant was victorious in the national vote, Seymour narrowly carried the state of New York. Arthur began to devote more of his time to politics and less to law, and in 1869 he became counsel to the New York City tax commission, appointed when Republicans controlled the state legislature. He remained at the job until 1870 at a salary of $10,000 a year.[f] Arthur resigned after Democrats controlled by William M. Tweed of Tammany Hall won a legislative majority, which meant they could name their own appointee. In 1871 Grant offered to name Arthur as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, replacing Alfred Pleasonton; Arthur declined the appointment.Shortly thereafter, President Grant gave Conkling control over New York patronage, including the Customs House at the Port of New York. Having become friendly with Murphy over their shared love of horses during summer vacations on the Jersey Shore, Grant appointed him to the Collector's position. Murphy's reputation as a war profiteer and his association with Tammany Hall made him unacceptable to many of his own party, but Conkling convinced the Senate to confirm him. The Collector was responsible for hiring hundreds of workers to collect the tariffs due at the United States' busiest port. Typically, these jobs were dispensed to adherents of the political machine responsible for appointing the Collector. Employees were required to make political contributions (known as "assessments") back to the machine, which made the job a highly coveted political plum. Murphy's unpopularity only increased as he replaced workers loyal to Senator Reuben Fenton's faction of the Republican party with those loyal to Conkling's.Eventually, the pressure to replace Murphy grew too great, and Grant asked for his resignation in 1871. Grant offered the position to John Augustus Griswold and William Orton, each of whom declined and recommended Arthur. Grant then nominated Arthur, with the New York Times commenting, "his name very seldom rises to the surface of metropolitan life and yet moving like a mighty undercurrent this man during the last 10 years has done more to mold the course of the Republican Party in this state than any other one man in the country."The Senate confirmed Arthur's appointment; as Collector he controlled nearly a thousand jobs and received compensation as great as any federal officeholder. Arthur's salary was initially $6,500, but senior customs employees were compensated additionally by the "moiety" system, which awarded them a percentage of the cargoes seized and fines levied on importers who attempted to evade the tariff. In total, his income came to more than $50,000—more than the president's salary, and more than enough for him to enjoy fashionable clothes and a lavish lifestyle.[g] Among those who dealt with the Custom House, Arthur was one of the era's more popular collectors. He got along with his subordinates and, since Murphy had already filled the staff with Conkling's adherents, he had few occasions to fire anyone. He was also popular within the Republican party as he efficiently collected campaign assessments from the staff and placed party leaders' friends in jobs as positions became available. Arthur had a better reputation than Murphy, but reformers still criticized the patronage structure and the moiety system as corrupt. A rising tide of reform within the party caused Arthur to rename the financial extractions from employees as "voluntary contributions" in 1872, but the concept remained, and the party reaped the benefit of controlling government jobs. In that year, reform-minded Republicans formed the Liberal Republican party and voted against Grant, but he was re-elected in spite of their opposition. Nevertheless, the movement for civil service reform continued to chip away at Conkling's patronage machine; in 1874 Custom House employees were found to have improperly assessed fines against an importing company as a way to increase their own incomes, and Congress reacted, repealing the moiety system and putting the staff, including Arthur, on regular salaries. As a result, his income dropped to $12,000 a year—more than his nominal boss, the Secretary of the Treasury, but far less than what he had previously received.
Clash with HayesArthur's four-year term as Collector expired on December 10, 1875, and Conkling, then among the most powerful politicians in Washington, arranged his protégé's reappointment by President Grant. By 1876, Conkling was considering a run for the presidency himself, but the selection of reformer Rutherford B. Hayes by the 1876 Republican National Convention preempted the machine boss. Arthur and the machine gathered campaign funds with their usual zeal, but Conkling limited his own campaign activities to a few speeches. Hayes's opponent, New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden, carried New York and won the popular vote nationwide, but after the resolution of several months of disputes over twenty electoral votes (from the states of Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, and South Carolina), he lost the presidency.Hayes entered office with a pledge to reform the patronage system; in 1877, he and Treasury Secretary John Sherman made Conkling's machine the primary target. Sherman ordered a commission led by John Jay to investigate the New York Custom House. Jay, with whom Arthur had collaborated in the Lemmon case two decades earlier, suggested that the Custom House was overstaffed with political appointments, and that 20% of the employees were expendable. Sherman was less enthusiastic about the reforms than Hayes and Jay, but he approved the commission's report and ordered Arthur to make the personnel reductions. Arthur appointed a committee of Custom House workers to determine where the cuts were to be made and, after a written protest, carried them out.Notwithstanding his cooperation, the Jay Commission issued a second report critical of Arthur and other Custom House employees, and subsequent reports urging a complete reorganization.Hayes further struck at the heart of the spoils system by issuing an executive order that forbade assessments, and barred federal office holders from "...tak[ing] part in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns." Arthur and his subordinates, Naval Officer Alonzo B. Cornell and Surveyor George H. Sharpe, refused to obey the president's order; Sherman encouraged Arthur to resign, offering him appointment by Hayes to the consulship in Paris in exchange, but Arthur refused. In September 1877, Hayes demanded the three men's resignations, which they refused to give. Hayes then submitted the appointment of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., L. Bradford Prince, and Edwin Merritt (all supporters of Conkling's rival William M. Evarts) to the Senate for confirmation as their replacements. The Senate's Commerce Committee, chaired by Conkling, unanimously rejected all the nominees; the full Senate rejected Roosevelt and Prince by a vote of 31–25, and confirmed Merritt only because Sharpe's term had expired.Arthur's job was only spared until July 1878, when Hayes took advantage of a Congressional recess to fire him and Cornell, replacing them with the recess appointment of Merritt and Silas W. Burt.[h] Hayes again offered Arthur the position of consul general in Paris as a face-saving consolation; Arthur again declined, as Hayes knew he probably would. Conkling opposed the confirmation of Merritt and Burt when the Senate reconvened in February 1879, but Merritt was approved by a vote of 31–25, as was Burt by 31–19, giving Hayes his most significant civil service reform victory. Arthur immediately took advantage of the resulting free time to work for the election of Edward Cooper as New York City's next mayor. In September 1879 Arthur became Chairman of the New York State Republican Executive Committee, a post in which he served until October 1881. In the state elections of 1879, he and Conkling worked to ensure that the Republican nominees for state offices would be men of Conkling's faction, who had become known as Stalwarts. They were successful, but narrowly, as Cornell was nominated for governor by a vote of 234–216. Arthur and Conkling campaigned vigorously for the Stalwart ticket and, owing partly to a splintering of the Democratic vote, were victorious. Arthur and the machine had rebuked Hayes and their intra-party rivals, but Arthur had only a few days to enjoy his triumph when, on January 12, 1880, his wife died suddenly while he was in Albany organizing the political agenda for the coming year. Arthur felt devastated, and perhaps guilty, and never remarried.
Election of 1880Main article: United States presidential election, 1880Conkling and his fellow Stalwarts, including Arthur, wished to follow up their 1879 success at the 1880 Republican National Convention by securing the nomination for their ally, ex-President Grant. Their opponents in the Republican party, known as Half-Breeds, concentrated their efforts on James G. Blaine, a Senator from Maine who was more amenable to civil service reform. Neither candidate commanded a majority of delegates and, deadlocked after thirty-six ballots, the convention turned to a dark horse, James A. Garfield, an Ohio Congressman and Civil War General who was neither Stalwart nor Half-Breed.Garfield and his supporters knew they would face a difficult election without the support of the New York Stalwarts and decided to offer one of them the vice presidential nomination. Levi P. Morton, the first choice of Garfield's supporters, consulted with Conkling, who advised him to decline, which he did. They next approached Arthur, and Conkling advised him to also reject the nomination, believing the Republicans would lose. Arthur thought otherwise and accepted. According to a purported eyewitness account by journalist William C. Hudson, Conkling and Arthur argued, with Arthur telling Conkling, "The office of the Vice-President is a greater honor than I ever dreamed of attaining."[i] Conkling eventually relented, and campaigned for the ticket.As expected, the election was close. The Democratic nominee, General Winfield Scott Hancock, was popular and, having avoided taking definitive positions on most issues of the day, he had not offended any pivotal constituencies. As Republicans had done since the end of the Civil War, Garfield and Arthur initially focused their campaign on the "bloody shirt"—the idea that returning Democrats to office would undo the victory of the Civil War and reward secessionists. With the war fifteen years in the past and Union generals at the head of both tickets, the tactic was less effective than the Republicans hoped. Realizing this, they adjusted their approach to claim that Democrats would lower the country's protective tariff, which would allow cheaper manufactured goods to be imported from Europe, and thereby put thousands out of work. This argument struck home in the swing states of New York and Indiana, where many were employed in manufacturing. Hancock did not help his own cause when, in an attempt to remain neutral on the tariff, he said that "[t]he tariff question is a local question," which only made him appear uninformed about an important issue. Candidates for high office did not personally campaign in those days, but as state Republican chairman, Arthur played a part in the campaign in his usual fashion: overseeing the effort in New York and raising money. The funds were crucial in the close election, and winning his home state of New York was critical. The Republicans carried New York by 20,000 votes and, in an election with the largest turnout of qualified voters ever recorded—78.4%—they won the nationwide popular vote by just 7,018 votes. The electoral college result was more decisive—214 to 155—and Garfield and Arthur were elected.
Vice presidencyMain article: Inauguration of Chester A. ArthurAfter the election, Arthur worked in vain to persuade Garfield to fill certain positions with his fellow New York Stalwarts—especially that of the Secretary of the Treasury; the Stalwart machine received a further rebuke when Garfield appointed Blaine, Conkling's arch-enemy, as Secretary of State. The running mates, never close, detached as Garfield continued to freeze out the Stalwarts from his patronage. Arthur's status in the administration diminished when, a month before inauguration day, he gave a speech before reporters suggesting the election in Indiana, a swing state, had been won by Republicans through illegal machinations. Garfield ultimately appointed a Stalwart, Thomas Lemuel James, to be Postmaster General, but the cabinet fight and Arthur's ill-considered speech left the President and Vice President clearly estranged when they took office on March 4, 1881.The Senate in the 47th United States Congress was divided among 37 Republicans, 37 Democrats, one independent (David Davis) who caucused with the Democrats, one Readjuster (William Mahone), and four vacancies. Immediately, the Democrats attempted to organize the Senate, knowing that the vacancies would soon be filled by Republicans. As vice president, Arthur cast tie-breaking votes in favor of the Republicans when Mahone opted to join their caucus. Even so, the Senate remained deadlocked for two months over Garfield's nominations because of Conkling's opposition to some of them. Just before going into recess in May 1881, the situation became more complicated when Conkling and the other Senator from New York, Thomas C. Platt, resigned in protest of Garfield's continuing opposition to their faction.With the Senate in recess, Arthur had no duties in Washington and returned to New York City. Once there, he traveled with Conkling to Albany, where the former Senator hoped for a quick re-election to the Senate, and with it, a defeat for the Garfield administration.[j] The Republican majority in the state legislature was divided on the question, to Conkling and Platt's surprise, and an intense campaign in the state house ensued.[k]While in Albany on July 2, Arthur learned that Garfield had been shot. The assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, was a deranged office-seeker who believed that Garfield's successor would appoint him to a patronage job. He proclaimed to onlookers: "I am a Stalwart, and Arthur will be President!" Guiteau was found to be mentally unstable, and despite his claims to be a Stalwart supporter of Arthur, they had only a tenuous connection that dated from the 1880 campaign.More troubling was the lack of legal guidance on presidential succession: as Garfield lingered near death, no one was sure who, if anyone, could exercise presidential authority. Also, after Conkling's resignation, the Senate had adjourned without electing a president pro tempore, who would normally follow Arthur in the succession.Arthur was reluctant to be seen acting as president while Garfield lived, and for the next two months there was a void of authority in the executive office, with Garfield too weak to carry out his duties, and Arthur reluctant to assume them. Through the summer, Arthur refused to travel to Washington and was at his Lexington Avenue home when, on the night of September 19, he learned that Garfield had died. Judge John R. Brady of the New York Supreme Court administered the oath of office in Arthur's home at 2:15 a.m. on September 20. Later that day he took a train to Long Branch to pay his respects to Garfield and to leave a card of sympathy for his wife, afterwards returning to New York City. On the 21st, he returned to Long Branch to take part in Garfield's funeral, and then joined the funeral train to Washington. Before leaving New York, he ensured the presidential line of succession by preparing and mailing to the White House a proclamation calling for a Senate special session. This step ensured that the Senate had legal authority to convene immediately and choose a Senate president pro tempore, who would be able to assume the presidency if Arthur died. Once in Washington he destroyed the mailed proclamation and issued a formal call for a special session.
Presidency 1881–85Main article: Presidency of Chester A. Arthur
Taking officeArthur arrived in Washington, D.C. on September 21. On September 22 he re-took the oath of office, this time before Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite. Arthur took this step to ensure procedural compliance; there had been a lingering question about whether a state court judge (Brady) could administer a federal oath of office.[l] He initially took up residence at the home of Senator John P. Jones, while White House remodeling he ordered was carried out, including the addition of an elaborate fifty-foot glass screen made by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which remained in a White House corridor until it was dismantled in 1902.Arthur's sister, Mary Arthur McElroy, served as White House hostess for her widowed brother; Arthur became Washington's most eligible bachelor and his social life became the subject of rumors, though romantically, he remained singularly devoted to the memory of his late wife. His son, Chester Jr., was then a freshman at Princeton University and his daughter, Nell, stayed in New York with a governess until 1882; when she arrived, Arthur shielded her from the intrusive press as much as he could.Arthur quickly came into conflict with Garfield's cabinet, most of whom represented his opposition within the party. He asked the cabinet members to remain until December, when Congress would reconvene, but Treasury Secretary William Windom submitted his resignation in October to enter a Senate race in his home state of Minnesota. Arthur then selected Charles J. Folger, his friend and fellow New York Stalwart as Windom's replacement.[m] Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh was next to resign, believing that, as a reformer, he had no place in an Arthur cabinet. Despite Arthur's personal appeal to remain, MacVeagh resigned in December 1881 and Arthur replaced him with Benjamin H. Brewster, a Philadelphia lawyer and machine politician reputed to have reformist leanings. Blaine, nemesis of the Stalwart faction, remained Secretary of State until Congress reconvened, then departed immediately. Conkling expected Arthur to appoint him in Blaine's place, but the President chose Frederick T. Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, a Stalwart recommended by ex-President Grant. Frelinghuysen advised Arthur not to fill any future vacancies with Stalwarts, but when Postmaster General James resigned in January 1882, Arthur selected Timothy O. Howe, a Wisconsin Stalwart. Navy Secretary William H. Hunt was next to resign, in April 1882, and Arthur attempted a more balanced approach by appointing William E. Chandler to the post, on Blaine's recommendation. Finally, when Interior Secretary Samuel J. Kirkwood resigned that same month, Arthur appointed Henry M. Teller, a Colorado Stalwart to the office. Of the Cabinet members Arthur had inherited from Garfield, only Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln remained for the entirety of Arthur's term.
Civil service reformIn the 1870s, a scandal was exposed, in which contractors for star postal routes were greatly overpaid for their services with the connivance of government officials (including Second Assistant Postal Secretary Thomas J. Brady and former Senator Stephen Wallace Dorsey). Reformers feared Arthur, as a former supporter of the spoils system, would not commit to continuing the investigation into the scandal. But Arthur's Attorney General, Brewster, did in fact continue the investigations begun by MacVeigh, and hired notable Democratic lawyers William W. Ker and Richard T. Merrick to strengthen the prosecution team and forestall the skeptics. Although Arthur had worked closely with Dorsey before his presidency, once in office he supported the investigation and forced the resignation of officials suspected in the scandal.An 1882 trial of the ringleaders resulted in convictions for two minor conspirators and a hung jury for the rest. After a juror came forward with allegations that the defendants attempted to bribe him, the judge set aside the guilty verdicts and granted a new trial. Before the second trial began, Arthur removed five federal office holders who were sympathetic with the defense, including a former Senator. The second trial began in December 1882 and lasted until July 1883 and, again, did not result in a guilty verdict. Failure to obtain a conviction tarnished the administration's image, but Arthur did succeed in putting a stop to the fraud.Garfield's assassination by a deranged office seeker amplified the public demand for civil service reform. Both Democratic and Republican leaders realized that they could attract the votes of reformers by turning against the spoils system and, by 1882, a bipartisan effort began in favor of reform. In 1880, Democratic Senator George H. Pendleton of Ohio introduced legislation that required selection of civil servants based on merit as determined by an examination. In his first annual presidential address to Congress in 1881, Arthur requested civil service reform legislation and Pendleton again introduced his bill, but Congress did not pass it. Republicans lost seats in the 1882 congressional elections, in which Democrats campaigned on the reform issue. As a result, the lame-duck session of Congress was more amenable to civil service reform; the Senate approved Pendleton's bill 38–5 and the House soon concurred by a vote of 155–47. Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act into law on January 16, 1883. In just two years' time, an unrepentant Stalwart had become the president who ushered in long-awaited civil service reform.At first, the act applied only to 10% of federal jobs and, without proper implementation by the president, it could have gone no further. Even after he signed the act into law, its proponents doubted Arthur's commitment to reform. To their surprise, he acted quickly to appoint the members of the Civil Service Commission that the law created, naming reformers Dorman Bridgman Eaton, John Milton Gregory, and Leroy D. Thoman as commissioners. The chief examiner, Silas W. Burt, was a long-time reformer who had been Arthur's opponent when the two men worked at the New York Customs House. The commission issued its first rules in May 1883; by 1884, half of all postal officials and three-quarters of the Customs Service jobs were to be awarded by merit. That year, Arthur expressed satisfaction with the new system, praising its effectiveness "in securing competent and faithful public servants and in protecting the appointing officers of the Government from the pressure of personal importunity and from the labor of examining the claims and pretensions of rival candidates for public employment."
Surplus and the tariffWith high revenue held over from wartime taxes, the federal government had collected more than it spent since 1866; by 1882 the surplus reached $145 million. Opinions varied on how to balance the budget; the Democrats wished to lower tariffs, in order to reduce revenues and the cost of imported goods, while Republicans believed that high tariffs ensured high wages in manufacturing and mining. They preferred the government spend more on internal improvements and reduce excise taxes. Arthur agreed with his party, and in 1882 called for the abolition of excise taxes on everything except liquor, as well as a simplification of the complex tariff structure. In May of that year, Representative William D. Kelley of Pennsylvania introduced a bill to establish a tariff commission; the bill passed and Arthur signed it into law but appointed mostly protectionists to the committee. Republicans were pleased with the committee's make-up but were surprised when, in December 1882, they submitted a report to Congress calling for tariff cuts averaging between 20 and 25%. The commission's recommendations were ignored, however, as the House Ways and Means Committee, dominated by protectionists, provided a 10% reduction. After conference with the Senate, the bill that emerged only reduced tariffs by an average of 1.47%. The bill passed both houses narrowly on March 3, 1883, the last full day of the 47th Congress; Arthur signed the measure into law, with no effect on the surplus.Congress attempted to balance the budget from the other side of the ledger, with increased spending on the 1882 Rivers and Harbors Act in the unprecedented amount of $19 million. While Arthur was not opposed to internal improvements, the scale of the bill disturbed him, as did its narrow focus on "particular localities," rather than projects that benefited a larger part of the nation. On August 1, 1882, Arthur vetoed the bill to widespread popular acclaim; in his veto message, his principal objection was that it appropriated funds for purposes "not for the common defense or general welfare, and which do not promote commerce among the States." Congress overrode his veto the next day and the new law reduced the surplus by $19 million. Republicans considered the law a success at the time, but later concluded that it contributed to their loss of seats in the elections of 1882.
Foreign affairs and immigrationDuring the Garfield administration, Secretary of State James G. Blaine attempted to invigorate United States diplomacy in Latin America, urging reciprocal trade agreements and offering to mediate disputes among the Latin American nations.Blaine, venturing a greater involvement in affairs south of the Rio Grande, proposed a Pan-American conference in 1882 to discuss trade and an end to the War of the Pacific being fought by Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Blaine did not remain in office long enough to see the effort through, and when Frederick T. Frelinghuysen replaced him at the end of 1881, the conference efforts lapsed. Frelinghuysen also discontinued Blaine's peace efforts in the War of the Pacific, fearing that the United States might be drawn into the conflict. Arthur and Frelinghuysen continued Blaine's efforts to encourage trade among the nations of the Western Hemisphere; a treaty with Mexico providing for reciprocal tariff reductions was signed in 1882 and approved by the Senate in 1884. Legislation required to bring the treaty into force failed in the House, however, rendering it a dead letter. Similar efforts at reciprocal trade treaties with Santo Domingo and Spain's American colonies were defeated by February 1885, and an existing reciprocity treaty with the Kingdom of Hawaii was allowed to lapse.The 47th Congress spent a great deal of time on immigration, and at times was in accord with Arthur. In July 1882 Congress easily passed a bill regulating steamships that carried immigrants to the United States. To their surprise, Arthur vetoed it and requested revisions, which they made and Arthur then approved. He also signed in August of that year the Immigration Act of 1882, which levied a 50-cent tax on immigrants to the United States, and excluded from entry the mentally ill, the intellectually disabled, criminals, or any other person potentially dependent upon public assistance.A more contentious debate materialized over the status of Chinese immigrants; in January 1868, the Senate had ratified the Burlingame Treaty with China, allowing an unrestricted flow of Chinese into the country. As the economy soured after the Panic of 1873, Chinese immigrants were blamed for depressing workmen's wages; in reaction Congress in 1879 attempted to abrogate the 1868 treaty by passing the Chinese Exclusion Act, but President Hayes vetoed it. Three years later, after China had agreed to treaty revisions, Congress tried again to exclude Chinese immigrants; Senator John F. Miller of California introduced another Chinese Exclusion Act that denied Chinese immigrants United States citizenship and banned their immigration for a twenty-year period. The bill passed the Senate and House by overwhelming margins, but this as well was vetoed by Arthur, who concluded the 20-year ban to be a breach of the renegotiated treaty of 1880. That treaty allowed only a "reasonable" suspension of immigration. Eastern newspapers praised the veto, while it was condemned in the Western states. Congress was unable to override the veto, but passed a new bill reducing the immigration ban to ten years. Although he still objected to this denial of citizenship to Chinese immigrants, Arthur acceded to the compromise measure, signing the Chinese Exclusion Act into law on May 6, 1882.[n]
In the years following the Civil War, American naval power declined precipitously, shrinking from nearly 700 vessels to just 52, most of which were obsolete. The nation's military focus over the fifteen years before Garfield and Arthur's election had been on the Indian wars in the West, rather than the high seas, but as the region was increasingly pacified, many in Congress grew concerned at the poor state of the Navy. Garfield's Secretary of the Navy, William H. Hunt, advocated reform of the Navy and his successor, William E. Chandler, appointed an advisory board to prepare a report on modernization. Based on the suggestions in the report, Congress appropriated funds for the construction of three steel protected cruisers (Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago) and an armed dispatch-steamer (Dolphin), collectively known as the ABCD Ships or the Squadron of Evolution. Congress also approved funds to rebuild four monitors (Puritan, Amphitrite, Monadnock, and Terror), which had lain uncompleted since 1877. The contracts to build the ABCD ships were all awarded to the low bidder, John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania, even though Roach once employed Secretary Chandler as a lobbyist. Democrats turned against the "New Navy" projects and, when they won control of the 48th Congress, refused to appropriate funds for seven more steel warships. Even without the additional ships, the state of the Navy improved when, after several construction delays, the last of the new ships entered service in 1889.
Civil rightsLike his Republican predecessors, Arthur struggled with the question of how his party was to challenge the Democrats in the South and how, if at all, to protect the civil rights of black southerners. Since the end of Reconstruction, conservative white Democrats (or "Bourbon Democrats") had regained power in the South, and the Republican party dwindled rapidly as their primary supporters in the region, blacks, were disenfranchised. One crack in the solidly Democratic South emerged with the growth of a new party, the Readjusters, in Virginia. Having won an election in that state on a platform of more education funding (for black and white schools alike) and abolition of the poll tax and the whipping post, many northern Republicans saw the Readjusters as a more viable ally in the South than the moribund southern Republican party. Arthur agreed, and directed the federal patronage in Virginia through the Readjusters rather than the Republicans. He followed the same pattern in other Southern states, forging coalitions with independents and Greenback Party members. Some black Republicans felt betrayed by the pragmatic gambit, but others (including Frederick Douglass and ex-Senator Blanche K. Bruce) endorsed the administration's actions, as the Southern independents had more liberal racial policies than the Democrats. Arthur's coalition policy was only successful in Virginia, however, and by 1885 the Readjuster movement began to collapse with the election of a Democratic president.Other federal action on behalf of blacks was equally ineffective: when the Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), Arthur expressed his disagreement with the decision in a message to Congress, but was unable to persuade Congress to pass any new legislation in its place. Arthur did, however, effectively intervene to overturn a court-martial ruling against a black West Point cadet, Johnson Whittaker, after the Judge Advocate General of the Army, David G. Swaim, found the prosecution's case against Whittaker to be illegal and based on racial bias. The administration faced a different challenge in the West, where the LDS Church was under government pressure to stop the practice of polygamy in Utah Territory. Garfield had believed polygamy was criminal behavior and was morally detrimental to family values, and Arthur's views were, for once, in line with his predecessor's. In 1882, he signed the Edmunds Act into law; the legislation made polygamy a federal crime, barring polygamists both from public office and the right to vote.
Native American policyThe Arthur administration was challenged by changing relations with western Native American tribes. The American Indian Wars were winding down, and public sentiment was shifting toward more favorable treatment of Native Americans. Arthur urged Congress to increase funding for Native American education, which it did in 1884, although not to the extent he wished. He also favored a move to the allotment system, under which individual Native Americans, rather than tribes, would own land. Arthur was unable to convince Congress to adopt the idea during his administration but, in 1887, the Dawes Act changed the law to favor such a system. The allotment system was favored by liberal reformers at the time, but eventually proved detrimental to Native Americans as most of their land was resold at low prices to white speculators. During Arthur's presidency, settlers and cattle ranchers continued to encroach on Native American territory. Arthur initially resisted their efforts, but after Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller, an opponent of allotment, assured him that the lands were not protected, Arthur opened up the Crow Creek Reservation in the Dakota Territory to settlers by executive order in 1885. Arthur's successor, Grover Cleveland, finding that title belonged to the Native Americans, revoked Arthur's order a few months later.
Health, travel, and 1884 electionShortly after becoming president, Arthur was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney ailment now referred to as nephritis. He attempted to keep his condition private, but by 1883 rumors of his illness began to circulate; he had become thinner and more aged in appearance, and struggled to keep the pace of the presidency. To rejuvenate his health outside the confines of Washington, Arthur and some political friends traveled to Florida in April 1883. The vacation had the opposite effect, and Arthur suffered from intense pain before returning to Washington. Later that year, on the advice of Missouri Senator George Graham Vest, he visited Yellowstone National Park. Reporters accompanied the presidential party, helping to publicize the new National Park system. The Yellowstone trip was more beneficial to Arthur's health than his Florida excursion, and he returned to Washington refreshed after two months of travel.As the 1884 presidential election approached, James G. Blaine was considered the favorite for the Republican nomination, but Arthur, too, contemplated a run for a full term as president. In the months leading up to the 1884 Republican National Convention, however, Arthur began to realize that neither faction of the Republican party was prepared to give him their full support: the Half-Breeds were again solidly behind Blaine, while Stalwarts were undecided; some backed Arthur, with others considering Senator John A. Logan of Illinois. Reform-minded Republicans, friendlier to Arthur after he endorsed civil service reform, were still not certain enough of his reform credentials to back him over Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont, who had long favored their cause. Business leaders supported him, as did Southern Republicans who owed their jobs to his control of the patronage, but by the time they began to rally around him, Arthur had decided against a serious campaign for the nomination. He kept up a token effort, believing that to drop out would cast doubt on his actions in office and raise questions about his health, but by the time the convention began in June, his defeat was assured. Blaine led on the first ballot, and by the fourth ballot he had a majority. Arthur telegraphed his congratulations to Blaine and accepted his defeat with equanimity. He played no role in the 1884 campaign, which Blaine would later blame for his loss that November to the Democratic nominee, Grover Cleveland.
Administration and cabinet
The Arthur Cabinet Office Name Term President Chester A. Arthur 1881–85 Vice President None 1881–85 Secretary of State James G. Blaine 1881 Frederick T. Frelinghuysen 1881–85 Secretary of Treasury William Windom 1881 Charles J. Folger 1881–84 Walter Q. Gresham 1884 Hugh McCulloch 1884–85 Secretary of War Robert T. Lincoln 1881–85 Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh 1881 Benjamin H. Brewster 1881–85 Postmaster General Thomas L. James 1881 Timothy O. Howe 1881–83 Walter Q. Gresham 1883–84 Frank Hatton 1884–85 Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt 1881–82 William E. Chandler 1882–85 Secretary of the Interior Samuel J. Kirkwood 1881–82 Henry M. Teller 1882–85
Judicial appointmentsMain article: Chester A. Arthur judicial appointmentsArthur made appointments to fill two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court. The first vacancy arose in July 1881 with the death of Associate Justice Nathan Clifford, a Democrat who had been a member of the Court since before the Civil War. Arthur nominated Horace Gray, a distinguished jurist from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to replace him, and the nomination was easily confirmed. The second vacancy occurred when Associate Justice Ward Hunt retired in January 1882. Arthur first nominated his old political boss, Roscoe Conkling; he doubted that Conkling would accept, but felt obligated to offer a high office to his former patron. The Senate confirmed the nomination but, as expected, Conkling declined it, the last time a confirmed nominee declined an appointment.Senator George Edmunds was Arthur's next choice, but he declined to be considered. Instead, Arthur nominated Samuel Blatchford, who had been a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for the prior four years. Blatchford accepted, and his nomination was approved by the Senate within two weeks. Blatchford served on the Court until his death in 1893.
Retirement, death, and memorialsArthur left office in 1885 and returned to his New York City home. Two months before the end of his term, several New York Stalwarts approached him to request that he run for United States Senate, but he declined, preferring to return to his old law practice at Arthur, Knevals & Ransom. His health limited his activity with the firm, and Arthur served only of counsel. He took on few assignments with the firm and was often too ill to leave his house. He managed a few public appearances, until the end of 1885.After spending the summer of 1886 in New London, Connecticut, he returned home, and became seriously ill and, on November 16, ordered nearly all of his papers, both personal and official, burned.[o] The next morning, Arthur suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and never regained consciousness; he died the following day, November 18, at the age of 57. On November 22, a private funeral was held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, attended by President Cleveland and ex-President Hayes, among other notables. Arthur was buried with his family members and ancestors in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York. He was laid beside his wife in a sarcophagus on a large corner of the plot. In 1889, a monument was placed on Arthur's burial plot by sculptor Ephraim Keyser of New York, consisting of a giant bronze female angel figure placing a bronze palm leaf on a granite sarcophagus.In 1898, the Arthur memorial statue—a fifteen-foot, bronze figure of Arthur standing on a Barre Granite pedestal—was created by sculptor George Edwin Bissell and installed at Madison Square, in New York City. The statue was dedicated in 1899 and unveiled by Arthur's sister, Mary Arthur McElroy. At the dedication, Secretary of War Elihu Root described Arthur as, "...wise in statesmanship and firm and effective in administration," while acknowledging that Arthur was isolated in office and unloved by his own party.Arthur's unpopularity in life carried over into his assessment by historians, and his reputation after leaving office disappeared. By 1935, historian George F. Howe said that Arthur had achieved "an obscurity in strange contrast to his significant part in American history." By 1975, however, Thomas C. Reeves would write that Arthur's "appointments, if unspectacular, were unusually sound; the corruption and scandal that dominated business and politics of the period did not tarnish his administration." As 2004 biographer Zachary Karabell wrote, although Arthur was "physically stretched and emotionally strained, he strove to do what was right for the country." Indeed, Howe had earlier surmised, "Arthur adopted [a code] for his own political behavior but subject to three restraints: he remained to everyone a man of his word; he kept scrupulously free from corrupt graft; he maintained a personal dignity, affable and genial though he might be. These restraints ... distinguished him sharply from the stereotype politician."
Arthur family papers,
THE DUNITES: BUILDING A UTOPIA IN THE OCEANO DUNES, BY SARAH LINN
|Moy Mell, seen here in 1934, was a mecca for intellectual, spiritual and social reformers. | Photo: Virgil Hodges, courtesy of Bennett-Loomis Archives.|
Ever since her childhood in southern San Luis Obispo County, Linda Austin has always felt an affinity for the Oceano Dunes. "There is just a force there that draws people in," said the Oceano Depot Association president, who remembers camping out in the dunes and sliding down the sand on an old feather mattress. "There's some kind of magic. I don't know how to explain it. It's just there."The same undeniable attraction brought the Dunites to the Oceano Dunes. During its heyday in the 1920s and '30s, this bohemian community sandwiched between Pismo Beach and Point Sal was home to the likes of artist Elwood Decker, poet Hugo Seelig and revolutionary-turned-publisher Gavin Arthur, grandson of U.S. President Chester Alan Arthur -- attracting such high-profile visitors as avant-garde musician John Cage, authors John Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair and photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston."They were ... a group of individuals, 'individuals' being the operative word, who wanted/needed to live outside the normal parameters of social living," explained Jan Scott, collections curator for the South County Historical Society. "I don't think they chose the county as much as the county chose them."Dunite historian Norm Hammond first discovered Oceano during a cross-country motorcycle trip in 1960. "I saw this place and thought, 'You know what? I want to live here,'" recalled Hammond, who returned to the Central Coast eight years later.His introduction to the Dunites came in the form of Luther Whiteman's 1947 book "The Face of the Clam," a fictionalized account of dune life similar to Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flats." Then, in 1974, he came face to face with one of the community's last surviving residents."One day I'm hiking around in the dunes and I see a pillar of smoke coming out of this willow thicket," Hammond said. Crawling through the carefully interwoven branches on his hands and knees, he emerged to discover astrologist Bouke "Bert" Schievink at home."He looked at me, acknowledged my presence and turned back to what he was doing.... So I just left," the historian recalled. "Some months after that ... there was a big article in the (news)paper that the last of the Dunites had died.... That got me thinking."As Hammond details in his 2004 book "Oceano: Atlantic City of the West," the Chumash people were the first to populate the Oceano Dunes some 10,000 years ago. Although Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo surveyed the dunes in 1542, it wasn't until 1769, when Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola led an overland expedition through the Central Coast, that Europeans laid a claim to the region.The town of Oceano was created roughly a century later, the agricultural area's growth aided by the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s. Turn-of-the-century developers jumped at the chance to turn Oceano into a coastal playground.Unfortunately for the investors who purchased plots in the planned communities of Oceano Beach, Halcyon Beach and La Grande Beach -- advertised as "the future Atlantic City of the Pacific" -- shifting sands made accessing that land difficult and discerning property lines nigh impossible. By 1915, signs of dune development had all but disappeared.Meanwhile, a new kind of community was coming into being in the dunes -- a ramshackle cluster of cabins populated by artists, hermits, mystics, nature lovers and Lemurians. (The latter believed the long-lost continent of Lemuria would one day resurface from the depths of the Pacific.)According to Hammond's 1992 book "The Dunites," Spanish-American War veteran, adventurer and poet Edward St. Claire was among the earliest Dunites -- also known as "Sandduners" or "Duners" -- along with such colorful characters such as Slim the Aussie, "Strongman" Paul Henning and George Blais, a reformed alcoholic who preached nudism, vegetarianism and sleeping under the stars. Subsisting primarily on fish and large, plentiful Pismo clams, they saw the dunes as a place of solitude and spiritual enlightenment.According to Scott, the Dunites fell into two main groups: "the artists who wanted the freedom to live as and be who they chose to be, creating as they went, and the castoffs of the Depression, who had little or no choice about where to live. The beach was it."Perhaps the highest-profile Dunite was Gavin Arthur, born Chester Alan Arthur III. At times an actor, author, astrologer and sexologist, "He had a very rich and varied life," said Atascadero resident John Reid, who's working on a biography of Arthur, "Gavin Arthur: Counter-Culture's Renaissance Man."Rejecting his aristocratic roots, Arthur moved to Ireland in the early 1920s to aid the Irish Republican Army in its battle for independence. "He connected with Ella Young and she became one of the most influential people in his life," Reid explained, renewing that relationship when the Irish poet emigrated to the United States.Young later became known as the godmother of Moy Mell, the utopian commune Arthur built in the dunes in the early 1930s. The name means "Pastures of Honey" in ancient Gaelic.Like nearby Halcyon, a cooperative Theosophist colony established in 1903, Moy Mell was a mecca for intellectual, spiritual and social reformers, attracting such distinguished visitors as Indian mystic Meher Baba and Italian-American perfumer Princess Norina Matchabelli. Eccentric Dunites such as Arther Allman, a wood carver, writer and illustrator whose dwelling resembled a South Seas island hut, were another powerful draw."It was Gavin's dream to combine all these aspects, these different points of view" in a magazine, Hammond explained, which he dubbed "Dune Forum." It was assembled at Moy Mell and printed in San Francisco.Contributors included composer Henry Cowell, poet Robinson Jeffers and writer-physician Havelock Ellis, as well as Seelig and other Dunites. Arthur and his associate editors, including Hollywood screenwriter Dunham Thorp, also wrote pieces. (Thorp's daughter, Ella Thorp Ellis, later wrote about her experiences among the Dunites in her 2011 memoir "Dune Child.")"He saw this as a western version of the New Yorker," Reid said of Arthur, noting that the publisher's mother was among the magazine's strongest supporters. "Every time they published an issue, she would provide a case of champagne from Carpenteria," Reid said.In the end, Dune Forum's steep subscription price -- 35 cents an issue -- proved its downfall, Hammond said. Six months after it started, the magazine published its final issue in May 1934.The Oceano Dunes saw a brief building boom in 1938 when the Norwegian freighter Elg ran aground just off shore of the dunes. In their efforts to break free, the crew tossed more than 146,000 board feet of lumber overboard, which Arthur and his fellow Dunites used to fix up their cabins.World War II changed the landscape even further. Since the Oceano Dunes were considered a strategic landing site for the Japanese, Arthur offered the use of Moy Mell to the U.S. Coast Guard.By the early 1950s, the Dunites -- which at one point had numbered about 35 people -- had dwindled to just a few. With Schievink's death in August 1974, followed by the burning of his cabin weeks later, "the sun set on what little was left of the Dunite era," Hammond wrote in "The Dunites."Today, all that remains of the Dunites is art, books, photographs and everyday artifacts such as clamming forks and cooking pots. The only surviving Dunite structure is Arthur's former home, known colloquially as Gavin's Cabin, which was moved to town in 1946.The 12 by 30-foot wooden structure served as a rental property for about 15 years before owner Harlis Wall asked Hammond, then a firefighter, to burn it down. "I said, 'No.... I can't do that because it's a historical structure,'" Hammond recalled, so Wallis agreed to spare the cabin.Finally, in September 2010, the cabin was moved four blocks to the Oceano Train Depot, already home to a 1940s boxcar and a turn-of-the-century caboose. Now Austin, Hammond and the Oceano Depot Association are raising funds to restore the cabin to its previous condition."We're preserving for the future all this history," explained Austin, who organized the first-ever Dunite Days, held at the Oceano Train Depot in early June, as a fundraiser. "It's such a fascinating era ..."Hammond said the legacy of the Dunites "symbolizes man's eternal quest for an utopian life style, something that's better than what we know. Here was a democratic society ... in a setting that's hard to beat.""I think that harmonizes with a lot of people," he added. "Certainly with me, it does."
Rejecting his aristocratic roots, Arthur moved to Ireland in the early 1920s to aid the Irish Republican Army in its battle for independence. "He connected with Ella Young and she became one of the most influential people in his life," Reid explained, renewing that relationship when the Irish poet emigrated to the United States.
Ella Young in 1930.
|Born||26 December 1867|
County Antrim, Ireland
|Died||23 July 1956 (aged 88)|
Oceano, California, United States
|Occupation||Poet, folklorist, teacher|
|Literary movement||Irish Literary Revival|
|Notable works||Celtic Wonder Tales; The Wonder-Smith and His Son; The Tangle-Coated Horse|
Early life and work in Ireland
Immigration to the United States
Celtic Wonder Tales, The Wonder-Smith and His Son, and The Tangle-Coated Horse were republished in 1991 by Floris Books and Anthroposophic Press.
- Poems (1906)
- The Coming of Lugh (1909)
- Celtic Wonder Tales (1910)
- The Rose of Heaven (1920)
- The Weird of Fionavar (1922)
- The Wonder-Smith and His Son (1927)
- The Tangle-Coated Horse and Other Tales (1929)
- To the Little Princess (1930)
- The Unicorn with Silver Shoes (1932)
- Marzilian (1938)
- Flowering Dusk (1945)
- Seed of the Pomegranate (1949)
- Smoke Myrrh (1950)
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29 August 1844
Hove, Sussex, England
|Died||28 June 1929 (aged 84)|
|Occupation||poet, anthologist, early gay activist and socialist philosopher|
Moving to the North of England
Life with George Merrill
|The Religious Influence of Art||1870|
|Narcissus and other Poems||1873|
|Moses: A Drama in Five Acts||1875|
|Modern Money Lending||1885|
|Chants of Labour||1888|
|Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure||1889|
|From Adam's Peak to Elephanta: Sketches in Ceylon and India||1892|
|A Visit to Ghani: From Adam's Peak to Elephanta||1892|
|Homogenic Love and Its Place in a Free Society||1894|
|Sex Love and Its Place in a Free Society||1894|
|Marriage in Free Society||1894|
|Love's Coming of Age||1896|
|An Unknown People||1897|
|Angels' Wings: A Series of Essays on Art and its Relation to Life||1898|
|The Art of Creation||1904|
|Prisons, Police, and Punishment||1905|
|Days with Walt Whitman: With Some Notes on His Life and Work||1906|
|Iolaus: Anthology of Friendship||1902|
|Sketches from Life in Town and Country||1908|
|The Intermediate Sex: A Study of Some Transitional Types of Men and Women||1912|
|The Drama of Love and Death: A Study of Human Evolution and Transfiguration||1912|
|George Merrill, A True History||1913|
|Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk: A Study in Social Evolution||1914|
|The Healing of Nations||1915|
|My Days and Dreams, Being Autobiographical Notes||1916|
|Towards Industrial Freedom||1917|
|Pagan and Christian creeds||1920|
|Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure, and Other Essays||1921|
|The story of Eros and Psyche||1923|
|Some Friends of Walt Whitman: A Study in Sex-Psychology||1924|
|The Psychology of the Poet Shelley||1925|