Chester Ashley

June 1, 1791
April 29, 1848
Home Town:
Amherst, MA
Later Residences:
Hudson, NY
Edwardsville, IL
Missouri Territory
Arkansas Territory
Mary Elliott Ashley (July 4, 1821)
Biographical Notes:
Chester Ashley was born in Amherst, Massachusetts but by 1797 his family had settled in the new town of Hudson, New York where his father established a successful local store. Ashley graduated from Williams College in 1813. He then attended the Litchfield Law School, after which he returned to Hudson, New York to complete his legal studies and was admitted to the bar. In 1818 he went west, anxious to try to seek his fortune in a newly settled area. He practiced first in Edwardsville, Illinois and in 1819, moved on to the Missouri Territory, where he worked as a lawyer for William Russel, the largest land speculator in the Territory. Ashley then moved to the Arkansas Territory and established a reputation as the leading lawyer in land litigation cases. He became a partner of Robert Crittenden, ...

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Attended Williams College in 1813.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
New York in 1817
Training with Other Lawyers:
Studies with the Hon. Elisha Williams.
Political Party:
Federal Posts:
U.S. Senator (AR) 1843-1848
Federal Committees:
Chariman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1845-1848.

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Ledger, Journals of the Bar - Litchfield County. Litchfield Historical Society.; Schroeder, Caroline M. (Boardman).

Litchfield Female Academy Collection, Series 2, Folder 74: Schroeder, Caroline M. (Boardman), Mrs. John F., 1815, Caroline M. Boardman's Journal Book, Litchfield, June 1st 1815 Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, Litchfield Historical Society.
Litchfield County Bar Association Records, 1814, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, Litchfield Historical Society
Secondary Sources:
Hallum, John. Biographical and Pictorial History of Arkansas. Southern Historical Press, 1978; Trowbridge, Frances Bacon.

The Ashley Genealogy. New Haven, CT: Private Printing, 1896.

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