During my travels, I always love finding the graves of famous Americans, so I knew when traveling to Albany, that I wanted to visit the grave of President Chester Arthur in Albany Rural Cemetery.
Chester Arthur was the 21st President of the United States and served in that role from September 1881 through March 1885. He was elected to the Vice Presidency in the election of 1880, but when President James Garfield was assassinated after only a few months in office, Arthur become the president.
While Arthur was born in Vermont to an abolitionist Baptist preacher and his wife, he spent most of his life in New York, serving in the New York militia during the Civil War, and later working for the Port of New York and the New York Republican Party before becoming Vice President. Arthur’s vice presidency and presidency were rather unremarkable, and he was not chosen as the Republican nominee for the presidency in 1884.
When he left office in 1885, Arthur was in poor health but returned to practicing law in New York City.
On November 18, 1886, Arthur died in New York City at the age of 57. Other than James Polk, who died three months after he left office, Arthur had the shortest post-presidency in American history.
Arthur was interred in his family plot in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York, just a few miles north of downtown Albany. He is buried next to his wife who preceded him in death in 1880. Many other family members including his parents, siblings, and children are also buried nearby.
In 1889, a large bronze monument by Ephraim Keyser titled “Angel of Sorrow” was placed atop his grave. This features a life-size angel standing next to the large granite sarcophagus. I believe that Arthur is actually buried within this sarcophagus, but I’m not 100% sure. If anyone knows for certain, please let me know in the comments section below.
The entire plot is located on a corner in the middle of Albany Rural Cemetery making it easy to find, and you can even view the monument marking Arthur’s grave without leaving your vehicle.
Arthur’s Grave is located in Section 24 of the cemetery and can be found at the following coordinates: 42.707492, -73.733635. While driving through the cemetery, you may see a few signs that point the way to this spot. There is also a map on the cemetery’s website that has a red “X” on Arthur’s gravesite.
When visiting Albany Rural Cemetery, make sure to take some time to drive around the 400 acres of land and enjoy one of the most scenic cemeteries in New York. While it’s still an active cemetery, there are graves here dating back to 1845, and many beautiful monuments can be found throughout the space.
Not surprisingly, there are many other notable people buried here including prominent members of the Corning family, Peggy Schuyler (Sister-in-law of Alexander Hamilton), and several Supreme Court justices and governors of New York, just to name a few.
However, even if you simply head straight for the grave of President Chester Arthur and leave, this is still a spot that’s worth checking out for those wanting to pay their respects to America’s 21st president.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]