Thursday, June 19, 2014

The American Presidents: Chester A. Arthur

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book."


Chester A. Arthur (1829 – 1886) was the 21st President of the United States; he succeeded James Garfield upon the latter's assassination.  Before being elected president, he was a lawyer in New York.   In 1854, he was the lead attorney representing Elizabeth Jennings Graham after she was denied a seat on a streetcar because she was African American. He won the case, and the verdict led to the desegregation of the New York City streetcar lines.  This was over 100 years before Rosa Parks!  As president, he signed laws which severely limited immigration to the United States, serious calling into question the whole "give us your tired, you poor, your huddled masses" thing.  He signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese people from entering America, and the Immigration Act of 1882, which excluded from entry people who were mentally ill or disabled.

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