Ellen Lewis Arthur (Herndon) (1837 - 1880) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Culpepper, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in New York, New York, United States
Occupation: First Lady of the United States
Managed by: Susan
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About Ellen Lewis Arthur (Herndon)

Presidential first Lady. Ellen Herndon Arthur was a posthumous first lady as she had died before her husband Chester Arthur assumed the presidency. Her passing came even before his becoming Vice President. Ellen's death placed Arthur in deep mourning which continued even after becoming President following the assassination of President Garfield. After her untimely death, Chester kept her room in their New York home exactly as she left it. At the White House, he would not give anyone the place that would have been his wife's and asked Mary his youngest sister to assume certain social duties and help care for his daughter. He presented a stained glass window to nearby St. John's Church in his wife's memory. He could see it at night from the White House with the lights of the church shining through. Each morning he would place fresh flowers beside her portrait which hung on the White House wall. Because of declining health, he did not pursue a second term. She was born Ellen Lewis Herndon to a distinguished Virginia family the daughter of Lieutenant William Herndon a famous naval hero who went down with his Mail Steamer on board was $3 million dollars. She was living in New York with her widowed mother meeting then attorney Chester Arthur. After a brief courtship they were married on the eve of the Civil War. They lost one child, but eventually had two more. Living in New York City, Arthur's career brought the family increasing prosperity when at the age of 42, she suffered from a cold which became pneumonia taking her life a few days later. She was taken to Albany and buried in the Arthur's family plot at Albany's Rural Cemetery. Six years after Ellen's death, President Chester Arthur died in the same house as his wife and was interred beside her. (bio by: Donald Greyfield)

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The wife of the 21st U.S. President Chester Alan Arthur. She wore glasses during her life.

"Nell" Herndon was born in Culpepper Court House, Virginia, the daughter of William Lewis Herndon, a naval officer who gained national attention in 1857 when he calmly went down with his ship after having safely evacuated passengers and crew of the Central America amid a storm off Cape Hatteras, and Frances Elizabeth Hansborough-Herndon. She was also the niece of Matthew Fontaine Maury USN.

Nell and Chester Arthur were introduced in 1856 by her cousin Dabney Herndon, a friend of Arthur, in New York City. Arthur proposed to her on the porch of the U.S. Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York after a brief courtship.

Arthur, aged 30, married Herndon, aged 22, on October 25, 1859, at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. The date was her father's birthdate. Arthur, who was from rural Vermont, is said to have learned the ways of high society from her prominent family. The couple's parties in their Lexington Avenue townhouse in Manhattan were legendary.

A talented soprano, Mrs. Arthur sang with the Mendelssohn Glee Club and performed at benefits around New York. The Arthurs apparently had a strong marriage, but one strained by both the political activities that consumed so much of his time and the Civil War. While Arthur was serving in the New York militia during the conflict, his wife privately sympathized with the Confederacy, for which many of her Virginia kinfolk were fighting.

The Arthurs had a son and a daughter live to maturity:

Chester "Alan" Alan Arthur, Jr. (1864-1937) - He graduated from Princeton University in 1885 and went on to Columbia Law School, but rather than follow in his father's footsteps, he chose instead to become a gentleman of leisure. President Arthur on his deathbed warned his son not to go into politics. Alan Arthur traveled extensively, maintained a fine stable of horses, and relied on polo for exercise. A celebrated playboy, he at age 36 married Myra Townsend, a California heiress. The couple separated after 16-years of marriage and divorced in 1927. Eventually he settled in Colorado Springs. In 1934 he married Rowena Graves, a real estate and insurance businesswoman.

Ellen "Nell" Herndon Arthur-Pinkerton (1871-1915) - Still a child while her father was president, she was shielded from the press. She later married Charles Pinkerton and lived in New York City.

Mrs. Arthur always feared the worst for her husband, but it was she who died first. In January 1880, she came down with a cold from waiting outdoors for a carriage after an evening concert. Always frail in health, she quickly developed pneumonia and died two days later, on January 10, 1880, at age 42. She was buried in the Arthur family plot in Albany, New York.

The president's sister Mary McElroy served as hostess and unofficial First Lady while agreeing to look after their children.

Arthur deeply mourned the death of his beloved wife. After taking office as president, Arthur, who could see St. John's Episcopal Church from his office, had a stained glass window dedicated to his wife where he could view it at night, as the lights were kept on. He also ordered fresh flowers placed daily before her portrait in the White House.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Lewis_Herndon_Arthur

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (August 30, 1837 – January 12, 1880) was the wife of the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur.

Early life

"Nell" Herndon was born in Culpeper Court House, Virginia, the daughter of William Lewis Herndon, a naval officer who gained national attention in 1857 when he calmly went down with his ship after having safely evacuated passengers and crew of the Central America amid a storm off Cape Hatteras, and Frances Elizabeth Hansborough. She was also the niece of Matthew Fontaine Maury USN.

Romance and Marriage

Nell and Chester Arthur were introduced in 1856 by her cousin Dabney Herndon, a friend of Arthur, in New York City. Arthur proposed to her on the porch of the U.S. Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York after a brief courtship.

Arthur, aged 30, married Herndon, aged 22, on October 25, 1859, at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. The date was her father's birthdate. Arthur, who was from rural Vermont, is said to have learned the ways of high society from her prominent family. The couple's parties in their Lexington Avenue townhouse in Manhattan were legendary.

A talented soprano, Mrs. Arthur sang with the Mendelssohn Glee Club and performed at benefits around New York. The Arthurs apparently had a strong marriage, but one strained by both the political activities that consumed so much of his time and the Civil War. While Arthur was serving in the New York militia during the conflict, his wife privately sympathized with the Confederacy, for which many of her Virginia kinfolk were fighting.

Children

The Arthurs had a son and a daughter live to maturity:

William Lewis Herndon Arthur (1860–1863)

Chester Alan Arthur II (1864–1937) - He graduated from Princeton University in 1885 and went on to Columbia Law School, but rather than follow in his father's footsteps, he chose instead to become a gentleman of leisure. President Arthur on his deathbed warned his son not to go into politics. Alan Arthur traveled extensively, maintained a fine stable of horses, and relied on polo for exercise. A celebrated playboy, he at age 36 married Myra Townsend, a California heiress. The couple separated after 16-years of marriage and divorced in 1927. Eventually he settled in Colorado Springs. In 1934 he married Rowena Graves, a real estate and insurance businesswoman. Ellen Hansbrough Herndon Arthur (1871–1915) - Still a child while her father was president, she was shielded from the press. She later married Charles Pinkerton and lived in New York City.

Death

Mrs. Arthur always feared the worst for her husband, but it was she who died first. In January 1880, she came down with a cold from waiting outdoors for a carriage after an evening concert. Always frail in health, she quickly developed pneumonia and died two days later, on January 12, 1880, at age 42. She was buried in the Arthur family plot in Albany, New York.

The president's sister Mary McElroy served as hostess and unofficial First Lady while agreeing to look after their children.

Arthur deeply mourned the death of his beloved wife. After taking office as president, Arthur, who could see St. John's Episcopal Church from his office, had a stained glass window dedicated to his wife where he could view it at night, as the lights were kept on. He also ordered fresh flowers placed daily before her portrait in the White House.

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Ellen "Nell" Arthur, First Lady's Timeline

1837
August 30, 1837
Culpepper, Virginia, United States
1859
October 25, 1859
Age 22
New York, New York, United States
1860
December 10, 1860
Age 23
New York, New York, United States
1864
July 25, 1864
Age 26
New York, New York, NY
1871
November 21, 1871
Age 34
New York, New York, NY
1880
January 12, 1880
Age 42
New York, New York, United States
1880
Age 42
Menands, Albany, New York, United States
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