|United States Senator|
November 8, 1844 – April 29, 1848
|Preceded by||William S. Fulton|
|Succeeded by||William K. Sebastian|
June 1, 1790|
Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.
April 29, 1848 (aged 57)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Mount Holly Cemetery,|
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
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 attended the Litchfield Law School. 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.
Legal and political career
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.
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.
Chester Ashley is the namesake of Ashley County, Arkansas.
- List of United States Senators from Arkansas
- List of United States Congress members who died in office (1790–1899)
- "Litchfield Ledger - Student". www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- Brief biography, with picture from the Central Arkansas Library System
- Chester Ashley at Find a Grave
- United States Congress. "Chester Ashley (id: A000311)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
William Savin Fulton
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
Served alongside: Ambrose Hundley Sevier and Solon Borland
William K. Sebastian