Rev. William Arthur lived with his family to Lansingburgh from roughly about 1846 to 1849 (or perhaps early 1847 to December 1848?), serving at the First Baptist Church and editing The Antiquarian and General Review, Volume 3 of which, issues March 1847 through February 1848, were printed at the office of the Lansingburgh Gazette. Most notable among that family, future United States President Chester Alan Arthur. Details regarding Chester A. Arthur’s early life can be difficult to specify due to the loss of many documents pertaining to it; that being the case, a number of items below pertaining to Rev. William Arthur without mention of Chester A. Arthur are included.

Rev. William Arthur’s Lansingburgh: Arthur home, Lansingburgh Gazette, and First Baptist Church marked in red. Bevan’s 1872 map was used here; buildings could have been different in the 1840s.


CHESTER ALAN ARTHUR, who served as this nation’s Chief Executive from September 20, 1881 to March 4, 1885, is our most obscure President. In large part this was by design, for Arthur, a clever and at times unscrupulous machine politician, ordered the great bulk of his private papers burned the day before his death, and sent his son to oversee their destruction.
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 291. https://vermonthistory.org/journal/misc/MysteryOfChester.pdf (Citing Interview with Chester A. Arthur III, July 26, 1969.)

[Chester A. Arthur III] is the 69-year-old grandson of the President. Mr. Charles Pinkerton of Mt. Kisco, New York, the 99-year-old son-in-law of President Arthur, told the author [Thomas C. Reeves] in an interview of June 6, 1970 that shortly after the turn of the century he talked with an officer of the New York Custom-house who had destroyed a quantity of Arthur papers in 1886 at the personal request of the dying President. See also Arthur H. Masten to Elihu Root, November 21. 1912, Chester A. Arthur papers, Library of Congress.
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 291 n 1.


in 1827, the Arthurs moved to Waterville, Vermont. The fourth Arthur daughter, Ann Eliza, was born there on January 1, 1828.
By 1827 Arthur had become a Free-Will Baptist, and was licensed to preach for that sect. He underwent a formal clerical examination by the regular Baptists in late April of 1828, and became a full-time Baptist preacher and missionary within that denomination.
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 294.

ORDAINED,

At Waterville, on the 3th inst., as an Evangelist, the Rev. WILLIAM ARTHUR. Sermon by the Rev. ALVAH SABIN, of Georgia; consecrating prayer by the Rev. Mr. COLE; charge by the Rev. JOEL P. HAYFORD; right hand of fellowship by the Rev. Mr. ROBINSON.
Burlington Weekly Free Press [VT]. May 30, 1828: 3 col 3.

In May, 1828 the Arthurs moved from Waterville to Fairfield, Vermont
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 295.

A TEMPERANCE SOCIETY was organized in Fairfield, on the 1st inst. auxiliary to the Franklin County Society, consisting of thirty-four members. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
Rev. William Arthur, President,
John Sherman,
Asahel Farnsworth, V. Presidents.
Salmon Hull, Secretary.
Rev. William Arthur, Cor. Secretary.The cause of reform in the use of distilled spirits, is rapidly progressing in this place; many are in favor of entire abstinence who have not yet felt it their duty to enroll their names as members of any society: but we hope the time is not far distant, when they will fully and decidedly lend their influence in favor of the common cause.
The Repertory [Saint Albans, VT]. February 11, 1830: 3 col 2.

MARRIED,

In Fairfield, on the 17th inst. by the Rev. Wm. Arthur, Mr. Henry Carlisle, Merchant, to Miss Armida Soule.
Repertory [Saint Albans, VT]. August 25, 1831: 3 col 4.

In 1832 the Arthurs moved to Williston, Vermont
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 295.

MARRIED, […]

In Hinesburg on the 21st ult. by the Rev. S. [sic] Arthur, Mr. James Lovely to Miss Marion Lampson.
Middlebury Free Press [VT]. November 7, 1832: 3 col 5.

MARRIED, […]

In Hinesburgh, on the 9th inst., by Rev. William Arthur, Mr. Joseph B. Sandborn, to Miss Mary T. Brownell.
Middlebury Free Press [VT]. April 24, 1833: 3 col 4.

MARRIED, […]

In Williston, on the 2st ult. by Rev. William Arthur, Mr. Alonzo Noble, merchant of Milton, to Miss Rhoda Murray, of Williston.
Burlington Weekly Free Press [VT]. November 1, 1833: 3 col 4.

in early 1833 they were in Hinesburg, Vermont. The second son, and seventh child, William Jr., was born there on May 28, 1834. From this point the Arthurs traveled southward into New York State
Reeves, Thomas C. “The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur’s Birthplace.” Vermont History 38(4). Autumn 1970. 295.

MARRIED,

Married in Williston on Sunday evening last by the Rev. Mr. Arthur, Doct. Anselm Bray to Mrs. Lucia M. Mitchell both of Williston.
Burlington Weekly Free Press [VT]. May 2, 1834: 3 col 1.

Brother William Arthur, formerly of this State, and recently of Perry Village, Gen. Co. New-York, has removed from the latter place to York, Livingston Co. New-York; and requests his correspondents to direct accordingly.
Vermont Telegraph [Brandon, VT]. December 6, 1837: 3 col 2.

EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE.

New York City, May 11, 1843. […]
we passed on, during the day, thro’ Granville, Hebron, and Salem, to
Union Village, in Greenwich.

Here I called on William Arthur, Baptist preacher, between whom and myself there was formerly strong attachment. I wished to know is present views and feelings, in regard to what is passing in the world of mind. He spoke with great freedom and frankness. He manifested so much cordiality and charitable feeling that I was led to ask him if he thought an audience could be obtained for me to address that evening. He said yet, at once. And what place should be occupied? Why the Baptist House, without the least hesitation. He believed in free discussion, in the broadest sense. Notice was readily spread in the village, the house was lighted, and a considerable number came in. I spoke spontaneously, as I usually do, without any previous arrangement of thought for the occasion. The notice had been given out for a lecture on Reform. I endeavored to be practical, and to point out several errors in existing institutions arrangements and proceedings which claim to have for their object the redemption of mankind from sin and suffering; and in their stead suggested the adoption of practical love and good will. […]
Vermont Telegraph [Brandon, VT]. May 24, 1843: 2 col 2.

A Card.

A donation party will be given to the Rev. Mr. WILLIAM ARTHUR, the pastor of the Baptist Church in this city, at his residence in the Bowery, on Wednesday the eighth day of January next, in the afternoon and evening. All those who feel friendly disposed, are most respectfully invited to lend their aid as well as their presence, in the furtherance of the said party. Dated at Schenectady, the 24th day of December, 1844. By order of the Trustees.
Schenectady Reflector. January 3, 1845: 3 col 3.

The honorary degree of A. M. [was conferred on] Rev. William Arthur, Schenectady.
“Union College.” Schenectady Cabinet: or, Freedom’s Sentinel. July 29, 1845: 3 col 2.

Report of the Committee on Lectures.

The lecture season of this institution will be continued as follows: […]
Tuesday March 3, Rev. Wm. Arthur, of this city, subject Origins and signification of proper names.
“Young Men’s Association.” Schenectady Cabinet: or, Freedom’s Sentinel. January 27, 1846: 3 col 3.

THE ANTIQUARIAN. This is an interesting periodical, conducted by the Rev. Wm. Arthur, of Schenectady. It seems to be a compend of what is useful and instructive in ecclesiastical and historical antiquities; and would serve as a valuable book of reference to the student in these branches of research. We have the March and April numbers. The Antiquarian is published at $1 per annum, and may be mailed any distance for 2 1/2c.
Troy Daily Whig. April 10, 1846: 2 col 4.

MARRIED,

At Schenectady, on the 2d inst., by Rev. Wm. Arthur, Mr. AMZA FULLER to Miss CATHARINE E., daughter of John C. Hermance, esq.
Daily Albany Argus. April 14, 1846: 2 col 5.

MARRIAGES.

At Schenectady, on the 3d inst., by the Rev. Wm. Arthur, Mr. LANSING BAILEY, of Utica, to Miss LOUISA M., daughter of Eli Jones, of the former place.
Utica Daily Gazette. June 13, 1846: 2 col 5.

THE ANTIQUARIAN AND GENERAL REVIEW, edited by Rev. Wm. Arthur, A. M., Schenectady.
We have received the June and July numbers of this interesting compendium of incidents and useful facts culled from the history of the past. The Antiquarian is really valuable for the purposes of reference. The Agents for this city are Young & Hartt, of whom subscribers may obtain three numbers.
Troy Daily Whig. July 15, 1846: 2 col 5.

☞ Rev. Mr. Arthur, of Schenectady, is expected to preach in the Baptist Church to-morrow.
Lansingburgh Democrat. August 29, 1846: 2 col 2.

Powers Opera House Lansingburgh N. Y. (Formerly the First Baptist Church)

THE ANTIQUARIAN. We have received several numbers of this periodical, including the issue for the present month, from the Editor, Rev. Wm. Arthur of Schenectady. The Antiquarian will be found useful as a book of reference in ecclesiastical and general history, and contains a considerable amount of information on various subjects of research and curiosity.
Troy Daily Whig. December 17, 1846: 2 col 6.

The Antiquarian, and General Review: Comprising Whatever Is Useful and Instructive in Ecclesiastical or Historical Antiquities, Serving as a Book of Useful Reference, or Subjects of Research and Curiosity. Vol. III. Edited by Rev. William Arthur, A. M. Lansingburgh, N. Y. Printed at the Office of the Lansingburgh Gazette. 1847.

The Antiquarian, and General Review. Vol. 3. Lansingburgh, NY: Lansingburgh Gazette. 1847.

Illustration showing the Lansingburgh Gazette's building three-story building, "Lansingburgh Book-Store" of Pelatiah Bliss on first floor, a row of four window on both the second and third floors.

Depiction of Lansingburgh Gazette storefront in that paper in 1847, the address then being 265 State Street. The street was renamed, becoming Second Avenue; the addresses were also renumbered. It appears to be 614 Second Avenue.

MARRIED, […]

On the evening of the 24th inst., by Rev. Mr Arthur, of Lansingburgh, Mr ESACK BUSSEY to Miss CORNELIA H. CRUIKSHANK, daughter of Robert Cruikshank, Esq. of this city.
Troy Daily Whig. April 27, 1848: 2 col 7.

MARRIED,

In Lansingburgh, on the evening of the 26th of April, by the Rev. Wm Arthur, Mr CHARLES H. BULL, of Hebron, Washington Co., to Miss MARTHA JANE COTTRELL.
Northern Budget [Troy, NY]. May 8, 1848: 2 col 4.

DISSOLUTION.

THE Co-partnership heretofore existing between the Subscribers in the publication of “The Antiquarian” Magazine, is this day dissolved by mutual consent
ISAAC WESTCOTT,
WILLIAM ARTHUR.
Lansingburgh, March 15, 1848
Lansingburgh Democrat. May 25, 1848: 3 col 3.

Churches in Lansingburgh,

with the names and residence of the several Ministers:
Baptist—Rev. Mr. Hughes [Charles Wesley Hewes], residence 167 John street.
Lansingburgh Democrat. December 28, 1848: 2 col 5. [This item would appear to indicate that Rev. William Arthur had moved to Hoosick, Rensselaer County, by this time.]

A Letter From Gen. Arthur’s Old School Teacher.
GREENWICH, N. Y., July 21st, 1880.
Hon. D. R. Anthony, Leavenworth, Kansas:
DEAR SIR: I presume you have no forgotten the town of Greenwich, N. Y., nor the early days of the Union Village Academy, nor your school companions and friends. Perhaps some reminiscences of them may not be inacceptable to the readers of your paper. The scholars of the academy, at the time you attended it, were mostly young ladies and gentlemen. I have never seen a school of young people, either before or since, who had greater regard and respect for each other, or who made such rapid, and at the same time, such thorough and permanent improvement in the various branches of education. They were mainly governed by a public opinion among themselves. They were taught to think intensely, and with perseverance as the basis of excellence and success. Many of them have since become distinguished in the different professions and pursuits of life. […]
Another scholar of those days, though only about twelve years of age, was Chester A. Arthur. His eyes were dark and brilliant, and his physical system finely formed. He was frank and open in his manners and genial in his disposition. Even at that early age he was a favorite with all who knew him. He was full of life and animation. His active abilities, his courage and his strength of will made him a leader among his companions. Two of his sisters, very excellent and beautiful girls, died here at the old Baptist parsonage, where their father, the Rev. Dr. Arthur resided. He afterwards graduated at Union College, and settled in the city of New York, and distinguished himself as a leading and reliable statesman. A few years ago, while he was Collector of the port of New York, he came here to visit his old home. He was exceedingly interested in all the familiar places in and around the village, and especially in the parsonage. He went through every room, from the cellar to the roof of the old time-worn building. He met his early friends with great cordiality. There is no more genial, reliable, noble-hearted man in the State of New York than Chester A. Arthur. He was the subject of much political comment while collector, which he answered with great force and conclusive success. But no one ever charged him with dishonesty or dishonor. His political opponents have nothing personal against him. He is now the Republican candidate for vice-president of the United States […]
So much for the early days of the Union Academy. Yours Respectfully,
JAMES I. LOURIE.
Leavenworth Times [KS]. July 25, 1880: 1 cols 1-2.

CHESTER A. ARTHUR

Sketch of the Life of the New President.

Chester Alan Arthur was born in Franklin county, Vermont, on the 5th day of October, 1830. […]
Chester A. Arthur found his father’s fine knowledge of the Latin and Greek classics of great advantage to him when he came to prepare for college. His preparation first began in Union Village, now Greenwich, a beautiful village of Washington county, New York; and was concluded at the grammar school at Schenectady. Thanks to his fine training young Arthur took a high position in Union college, which he entered in 1845, when only fifteen years old.
His father was receiving a salary of only $500, and with a large family to support with it, found that he could not aid his eldest son through college. When sixteen years old, and a Sophomore, young Arthur left college, and obtaining a school at Schaghticoke, Rensselaer county, taught there throughout the winter. He had “to board around” and received only $15 a month compensation. He also had to keep up his studies in college. In the last year of his college course he again taught during the winter at Schaghticoke. He was graduated, at eighteen years of age, from Union college in the class of 1848.
At college he had determined to become a lawyer. Accordingly, upon graduation he went to a law school at Ballston Springs, and there remained diligently studying for several months. He then returned to Lansingburg [sic], where his father then resided and there studied law. In 1851 he obtained a situation as principal of an academy at North Pownal, Bennington county, Vermont. He prepared boys for college, all the while studying law.
Lansingburgh State Gazette. September 24, 1881: 4 cols 3-4.

The Arthurs lived for a brief time in West Troy (Watervliet) and in August of 1844 removed to Schenectady, where William became pastor of the Baptist Church on Union Street.
Broderick, Warren F. “President Arthur’s Father Lived in Area.” Troy Record. October 16, 1971: B20.

in April 1835, they traveled into western New York State, living in Perry, in Wyoming County, until September 1837, and then moving to York, in Livingston County, where they stayed until late 1839. William found a new job in November at the Bottskill Baptist Church in Union Village (now Greenwhich) [sic] that paid the munificent sum of $500 a year, and remained until July 30, 1844 (perhaps because the salary was increased to $550). He then accepted a position with the First Particular Baptist Church and Society of Gibbonsville and West Troy at Schenectady [sic], where he stayed until September 1846. Other churches served were in Lansingburgh (1846–49), Hoosick (1849–53), West Troy [now Watervliet] (1853–55), and Albany (1855–64)
Reeves, Thomas C. Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur. NY: Knopf, 1975. 6-7. [The First Particular Baptist Church and Society of Gibbonsville and West Troy was in what is now Watervliet, not Schenectady.]

Chauncey I. Filley.

Lansingburgh has contributed her quota to fill the higher offices within the gift of the Federal government, having supplied the United States with its chief magistrate, President Chester A. Arthur, and no little surprise was occasioned when the President did not appoint another old resident of this village, Chauncey I. Filley, to a position in his cabinet as Postmaster General.
Lansingburgh Courier. December 24, 1881: 3 col 3.

The Hon. James I. Laurie, now a prominent lawyer of Greenwich, who formerly taught in the academy there, in a recent letter to the Hon. D. R. Anthony, editor of the Leavenworth Times, recounting the subsequent career of some of his pupils, says:
Another scholar of those days, though only about twelve years of age, was Chester A. Arthur. His eyes were dark and brilliant, and his physical system finely formed. He was frank and open in his manners and genial in his disposition. Even at that early age he was a favorite with all who knew him. He was full of life and animation. His active abilities, his courage and his strength of will made him a leader among his companions. One of his sisters, an excellent and beautiful girl, died here at the old Baptist parsonage, where the Rev. Dr. Arthur resided. He afterwards graduated at Union College, and settled in the city of New York, and distinguished himself as a leading and reliable statesman. A few years ago, while he was Collector of the port of New York, he came here to visit his old home. He was exceedingly interested in all the familiar places in and around the village, and especially in the parsonage. He went through every room, from the cellar to the roof of the old time-worn building. He met his early friends with great cordiality. There is no more genial, reliable, noble-hearted man in the State of New York than Chester A. Arthur.
Headley, Phineas Camp. Public Men of To-Day. Hartford, CT: S. S. Scranton & Co., 1882. 50-51.

It is said that President Arthur attended school here, but of that I am not sure.
“Scholastic Laurels on Fair Young Brows; The Centennial Exercises of the Lansingburgh Academy—The Past and the Present.” Troy Times. June 24, 1896: 3 cols 1-3.

It is said that President Arthur attended school here, but of that [Rev.] Dr. [William] Reed was not sure.
“An Old School; Lansingburgh’s Academy ‘On the Green.'” Troy Times. April 7, 1906. Art Section.

One of the ministers who served in the [Baptist] church built in 1844 was Rev. William Arthur, father of Chester Alan Arthur. Rev. Arthur arrived in Lansingburgh early in 1846 and remained as pastor for three years. He resided with his family in a house on First Avenue and while living in Lansingburgh he published a periodical called The Antiquarian and General Review. Many cultural events were held at the church when he was in charge.
“Baptists formed in 1803.” Troy Record. May 18, 1971: 10 col 4.


Freidel, Frank, and Hugh Sidey. “Chester A. Arthur.” The Presidents of the United States of America. Washington, D.C: White House Historical Association, 2006.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/chester-a-arthur/

Dolton, Patricia F. “Chester Alan Arthur.” Greenwich History. September 10, 2010. http://greenwichhistory.blogspot.com/2010/09/chester-alan-arthur.html

Dolton, Patricia F. “Education in Union Village.” Greenwich History. November 8, 2012. http://greenwichhistory.blogspot.com/2012/11/education-in-union-village.html

“Chester Arthur and Two Rensselaer County Schools.” Early Schools: Rural and Urban. Rensselaer County, NY: Rensselaer-Taconic Land Conservancy, Lansingburgh Historical Society, and Brunswick Historical Society, 1999. https://www.renstrust.org/images/portfolios/EarlySchools%20-%20Rural%20and%20Urban.pdf

“Chester A. Arthur 21st President – The Hoosick Connection.” Hoosick Township Historical Society Newsletter. February 2004. http://www.hoosickhistory.com/newsletters/Feb2004.htm

“Chester Alan Arthur (1829-1881).” Union College Schaeffer Library. https://www.union.edu/library/collections/digital-collections/notables/Arthur-Chester/

“President Chester A. Arthur.” Troy Military Banners. January 2018. http://www.troymilitarybanners.com/banner/president-chester-arthur/

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