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Chester Alan Arthur Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st president of the United States who gained the presidency when President James A Garfield was assassinated Arthur rose above loyalty to his political party to enact the first comprehensive US civil service legislation The act signaled a new era of reform in national politics but lost Arthur the support of his party and after completing Garfields term he was forced to retire from public lifeArthur was born in 1829 in Fairfield Vermont he was the oldest son of William Arthur an Irish-born Baptist minister and schoolteacher and Malvina Stone Arthur The family lived in several towns in Vermont and northern New York before they moved to Saratoga County New York in 1839 Young Arthur attended an academy at Union Village New York After Arthur graduated from Union College in Schenectady New York in 1848 he studied law and taught in a local school In 1852 he was appointed principal of an academy near Albany New York and a year later he moved to New York City to work in the law office of Erastus D Culver a friend of his father In 1854 Arthur passed the bar exam and received his license to practice law He quickly gained a reputation as a supporter of civil rights for blacks and in 1855 won a case that guaranteed the rights of blacks to ride any streetcar in New York City In 1856 he opened his own law practice In 1860 Arthur campaigned in New York City for presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln He also worked for the reelection of Edwin D Morgan as governor of New York and when Morgan won he appointed Arthur engineer in chief of his military staff an honorary postArthur took on considerable responsibility however at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 President Lincoln placed Governor Morgan in command of the New York volunteers for the Union Army and the state was
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