Chester Ashley

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Chester Ashley
Chester Ashley.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
November 8, 1844 – April 29, 1848
Preceded by William S. Fulton
Succeeded by William K. Sebastian
Personal details
Born (1790-06-01)June 1, 1790
Amherst, Massachusetts
Died April 29, 1848(1848-04-29) (aged 57)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic

Chester Ashley (June 1, 1790 – April 29, 1848) was an American politician who represented Arkansas in the U.S. Senate from 1844 until his death.

Ashley was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1790; while a child he moved with his parents to Hudson, New York. He was a graduate, with honors, of Williams College; following this, he took a course in law in Litchfield, Connecticut. Ashley moved west upon completion of his education, going first to Illinois, and thence to Missouri. In 1820 he arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas, soon becoming one of the best and most prominent lawyers in the Arkansas Territory; for a time, his partner in practice was Robert Crittenden. Together, Ashley and Crittenden founded Rose Law Firm.

For some twenty years Ashley's practice was the largest in the state, and he became a wealthy man. This led him to try his hand at politics; in 1844 he canvassed the state campaigning for James K. Polk for president; the Democrats were victorious, and Ashley was elected by the state legislature to fill a vacancy in the Senate. Soon after entering, he was made the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; in 1846, he was reelected to the Senate. Two years later, he became suddenly ill in the Senate Chamber and died not long after.

Chester Ashley is the namesake of Ashley County, Arkansas.

One of Ashley's descendants is Sterling R. Cockrill, the Democratic Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1968 to 1969 and the unsuccessful Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 1970.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
William Savin Fulton
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
1844 – 1848
Served alongside: Ambrose Hundley Sevier and Solon Borland
Succeeded by
William K. Sebastian