Presidential History Blog

When Chester Alan Arthur was named as Republican VP candidate in 1880, no one was more surprised than he was.

CAA: A Brief Run-up.

Very brief, in fact. Chet Arthur had never been elected to anything before. The New York attorney was a behind-the-scenes politician only well known within his own state, allied strongly with NY Senator Roscoe Conkling, whose best claim to fame was his close relationship with President Grant.

chester a arthur Chester Alan Arthur

The only other thing notable about Chet Arthur (other than his whiskers) was that he was summarily dismissed by President Rutherford B. Hayes as Collector of the Port of New York in a mega “clean-up” campaign. Arthur was never accused of misdoings or malfeasance, but massive corruption had been committed on his watch. He was thus tainted, and a head had to roll.

Meanwhile…

In the late 1870s, a growing rift had developed between factions of…

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