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Presidential Administrations, Chester A. Arthur: Topics in Chronicling America

As the 21st U.S. President, Chester Arthur enacted the 1st general Federal Immigration Law. This guide provides access to material related to the "Arthur's Presidential Administration" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Portrait of President Chester A. Arthur. October 18, 1920. The Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram (Richmond, IN), Image 8. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

A veteran of New York City’s political machine and a pronounced Stalwart Republican, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as President of the United States on September 19, 1881, following President Garfield’s assassination. During the beginning of his presidency, Arthur enacted the first general federal immigration law, the Chinese Exclusion Act. He also surprised his Stalwart allies by supporting civil service reform with the Pendleton Act. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


September 19, 1881 Chester A. Arthur is sworn in after the death of President Garfield.
May 6, 1882 President Arthur signs the Chinese Exclusion Act.
January 16, 1883 Arthur signs the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.
March 3, 1883 Arthur signs the Tariff Act of 1883.
June 1884 Arthur loses the Republican party nomination to James G. Blaine.
October 1884 International Meridian Conference.
November 18, 1886 Arthur dies in New York City.