1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 32nd Congress were held at various dates in different states from August 1850 to November 1851. The Democrats gained 17 seats, increasing their majority relative to the rival Whigs, who lost 22 seats.

1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1848 & 1849 August 5, 1850 – November 4, 1851 1852 & 1853 →

All 233 seats in the United States House of Representatives
117 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  LinnBoyd.jpg Edward Stanly by Brady.jpg
Leader Linn Boyd Edward Stanly
Party Democratic Whig
Leader's seat Kentucky 1st North Carolina 8th
Last election 113 seats 106 seats
Seats won 120 82
Seat change Increase 7 Decrease 24
Popular vote 1,142,783 1,105,286
Percentage 43.31% 41.89%
Swing Decrease 0.85% Decrease 2.95%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Unionist Southern Rights
Last election Pre-creation Pre-creation
Seats won 15[a] 8[b]
Seat change Increase 15 Increase 8
Popular vote 123,727 109,060
Percentage 4.69% 4.13%
Swing New Party New Party

  Fifth party Sixth party
 
Party Free Soil Independent
Last election 8 seats 3 seats
Seats won 4 4[c]
Seat change Decrease 4 Increase 1
Popular vote 82,221 70,262
Percentage 3.12% 2.79%
Swing Decrease 5.54% Increase 1.03%

Speaker before election

Howell Cobb
Democratic

Elected Speaker

Linn Boyd
Democratic

Incumbent Whig President Millard Fillmore, who succeeded to the Presidency in July 1850 after the death of more charismatic General Zachary Taylor, lacked a strong political base. The Compromise of 1850, which admitted California alone as a free state in exchange for concessions to slave state interests, began integration of the Mexican Cession. It appeared in the short term that Congress had politically feasible options to contain sectionalism and to reduce tensions over expanding slavery in the West. This optimism soon would prove unfounded.

The Unionist Party, formed in support of the Compromise of 1850, gained 10 seats in the South, as did the States' Rights Party. The Free Soil Party, which opposed the expansion of slavery into the Western territories, lost five seats and was reduced to four Representatives, all in New England.

Election summariesEdit

130 7 10 86
Democratic [d] [e] Whig
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Free Soil States' Rights Unionist Whig
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Iowa District August 5, 1850 2 2   0   0   0   0  
Missouri District August 5, 1850 5 2  3 0   0   0   3  3
Vermont District September 3, 1850 4 1   0   0   0   3  
Maine District September 9, 1850 7 5   0   0   0   2  
Florida At-large October 7, 1850 1 0   0   0   0   1  
Ohio District October 8, 1850 21 11[f]   1  1 0   0   9  1
Pennsylvania District October 8, 1850 24[g] 15  6 0  1 0   0   9  4
South Carolina District October 14–15, 1850 7 7   0   0   0   0  
Illinois District November 5, 1850
(Election Day)[h]
7 6   0   0   0   1  
Michigan District 3 1  1 0   0   0   2  1
New Jersey District 5 4  3 0   0   0   1  3
New York District 34 17  16 0  1 0   0   17  15
Wisconsin District 3 2[f]  1 1   0   0   0  1
Massachusetts District November 11, 1850 10[i] 1  1 2  1 0   0   7  1
Delaware At-large November 12, 1850 1 1  1 0   0   0   0  1
Late elections (after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term)
New Hampshire District March 11, 1851 4 2   0  1 0   0   2  1
Rhode Island District April 2, 1851 2 1  1 0   0   0   1  1
Connecticut District April 7, 1851 4 3  1 0  1 0   0   1  
Alabama District August 4, 1851 7 4  1 0   0   1  1 2  
Arkansas At-large August 4, 1851 1 1   0   0   0   0  
Indiana District August 4, 1851 10 8   0  1 0   0   2  1
Kentucky District August 4, 1851 10 5  1 0   0   0   5  1
Texas District August 4, 1851 2 2   0   0   0   0  
North Carolina District August 7, 1851 9 3   0   0   0   6  
Tennessee District August 7, 1851 11 7[f]   0   0   0   4  
California At-large September 3, 1851 2[j] 2  1 0   0   0   0  
Maryland District October 1, 1851 6 2  1 0   0   0   4[k]  1
Georgia District October 6, 1851 8 0  4 0   2  2 6  6 0  4
Virginia District October 23, 1851 15 13   0   0   0   2  
Mississippi District November 3–4, 1851 4 0  4 0   1  1 3  3 0  
Louisiana District November 4, 1851 4 2  1 0   0   0   2  1
Total 233 130[l]
55.8%
 17 4
1.7%
 5 3
1.3%
 3 10
4.3%
 10 86[k]
36.9%
 22
Popular vote
Democratic
43.31%
Whig
41.89%
Unionist
4.69%
States' Rights
4.13%
Free Soil
3.12%
Independent
2.79%
Others
0.07%
House seats
Democratic
50.65%
Whig
35.06%
Unionist
6.06%
Southern Rights
3.46%
Free Soil
3.03%
Independent
1.73%

One district in Massachusetts had been vacant in the 31st Congress. No new seats were added.

The previous election had 1 Know-Nothing and 1 Independent.

Special electionsEdit

31st CongressEdit

32nd CongressEdit

AlabamaEdit

Elections were held August 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Alabama 1
Alabama 2
Alabama 3
Alabama 4
Alabama 5
Alabama 6
Alabama 7

ArkansasEdit

The election was held August 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Arkansas at-large

CaliforniaEdit

California's members were elected late, at-large statewide, September 3, 1851. There were nevertheless seated with the rest of the House at the beginning of the first session.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
California at-large
2 seats
George W. Wright Independent 1849 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
(Elected on a general ticket)
Edward Gilbert Democratic 1849 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.

ConnecticutEdit

Elections were held April 7, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Connecticut 1
Connecticut 2
Connecticut 3
Connecticut 4

DelawareEdit

The election was held November 12, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Delaware at-large

FloridaEdit

The election was held October 7, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Florida at-large

GeorgiaEdit

Elections were held October 6, 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Georgia 1
Georgia 2
Georgia 3
Georgia 4
Georgia 5
Georgia 6
Georgia 7
Georgia 8

IllinoisEdit

Elections were held November 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Illinois 1
Illinois 2
Illinois 3
Illinois 4
Illinois 5
Illinois 6
Illinois 7

IndianaEdit

Elections were held August 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Indiana 1
Indiana 2
Indiana 3
Indiana 4
Indiana 5
Indiana 6
Indiana 7
Indiana 8
Indiana 9
Indiana 10

IowaEdit

Elections were held August 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Iowa 1
Iowa 2

KentuckyEdit

Elections were held August 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Kentucky 1
Kentucky 2
Kentucky 3
Kentucky 4
Kentucky 5
Kentucky 6
Kentucky 7
Kentucky 8
Kentucky 9
Kentucky 10

LouisianaEdit

Elections were held November 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Louisiana 1
Louisiana 2
Louisiana 3
Louisiana 4

MaineEdit

Elections were held September 9, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Maine 1
Maine 2
Maine 3
Maine 4
Maine 5
Maine 6
Maine 7

MarylandEdit

Elections were held October 1, 1851 elections were after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the new term, but still before the Congress convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Maryland 1
Maryland 2
Maryland 3
Maryland 4
Maryland 5
Maryland 6

MassachusettsEdit

Elections were held November 11, 1850, but at least one district's elections went to multiple ballots into 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Massachusetts 1
Massachusetts 2
Massachusetts 3
Massachusetts 4 Vacant due to failure to elect. New member elected on the 4th ballot.
Whig gain.
First ballot (November 11, 1850):

Second ballot (January 20, 1851):

Third ballot (April 7, 1851):

Fourth ballot (May 26, 1851):
Massachusetts 5
Massachusetts 6
Massachusetts 7 Julius Rockwell Whig 1844 (Late) Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected on the fourth ballot.
Whig hold.
First ballot (November 11, 1850):

Second ballot (January 20, 1851):

Third ballot (April 7, 1851):

Fourth ballot (May 26, 1851):
Massachusetts 8
Massachusetts 9
Massachusetts 10

MichiganEdit

Elections were held November 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Michigan 1
Michigan 2
Michigan 3

Minnesota TerritoryEdit

See Non-voting delegates, below.

MississippiEdit

Elections were held November 3–4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Mississippi 1 Jacob Thompson Democratic 1839 Incumbent lost re-election as a Southern Rights candidate.
New member elected.
Unionist gain.
Mississippi 2 Winfield S. Featherston Democratic 1847 Incumbent lost re-election as a Southern Rights candidate.
New member elected.
Unionist gain.
Mississippi 3 William McWillie Democratic 1849 Incumbent lost re-election as a Southern Rights candidate.
New member elected.
Unionist gain.
Mississippi 4 Albert G. Brown Democratic 1847 Incumbent re-elected.
Southern Rights gain.

MissouriEdit

Elections were held August 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Missouri 1
Missouri 2
Missouri 3
Missouri 4
Missouri 5

New HampshireEdit

Elections were held March 11, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
New Hampshire 1
New Hampshire 2
New Hampshire 3
New Hampshire 4

New JerseyEdit

Elections were held November 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
New Jersey 1
New Jersey 2
New Jersey 3
New Jersey 4
New Jersey 5

New Mexico TerritoryEdit

See Non-voting delegates, below.

New YorkEdit

Elections were held November 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
New York 1
New York 2
New York 3
New York 4
New York 5
New York 6
New York 7
New York 8
New York 9
New York 10
New York 11
New York 12
New York 13
New York 14
New York 15
New York 16
New York 17
New York 18
New York 19
New York 20
New York 21
New York 22
New York 23
New York 24
New York 25
New York 26
New York 27
New York 28
New York 29
New York 30
New York 31
New York 32
New York 33
New York 34

North CarolinaEdit

Elections were held August 7, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
North Carolina 1
North Carolina 2
North Carolina 3
North Carolina 4
North Carolina 5
North Carolina 6
North Carolina 7
North Carolina 8
North Carolina 9

OhioEdit

Elections were held October 8, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Ohio 1
Ohio 2
Ohio 3
Ohio 4
Ohio 5
Ohio 6
Ohio 7
Ohio 8
Ohio 9
Ohio 10
Ohio 11
Ohio 12
Ohio 13
Ohio 14
Ohio 15
Ohio 16
Ohio 17
Ohio 18
Ohio 19
Ohio 20
Ohio 21

Oregon TerritoryEdit

See Non-voting delegates, below.

PennsylvaniaEdit

Elections were held October 8, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Pennsylvania 1
Pennsylvania 2
Pennsylvania 3
Pennsylvania 4
Pennsylvania 5
Pennsylvania 6
Pennsylvania 7
Pennsylvania 8
Pennsylvania 9
Pennsylvania 10
Pennsylvania 11
Pennsylvania 12
Pennsylvania 13
Pennsylvania 14
Pennsylvania 15
Pennsylvania 16
Pennsylvania 17
Pennsylvania 18
Pennsylvania 19
Pennsylvania 20
Pennsylvania 21
Pennsylvania 22
Pennsylvania 23
Pennsylvania 24

Rhode IslandEdit

Elections were held April 2, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Rhode Island 1
Rhode Island 2

South CarolinaEdit

Elections were held October 14–15, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
South Carolina 1
South Carolina 2
South Carolina 3
South Carolina 4
South Carolina 5
South Carolina 6
South Carolina 7

TennesseeEdit

Elections were held August 7, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Tennessee 1 Andrew Johnson Democratic 1842 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 2 Albert G. Watkins Whig 1849 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 3 Josiah M. Anderson Whig 1849 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Tennessee 4 John H. Savage Democratic 1849 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 5 George W. Jones Democratic 1842 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 6 James H. Thomas Democratic 1847 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Independent Democratic gain.
Tennessee 7 Meredith P. Gentry Whig 1845 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 8 Andrew Ewing Democratic 1849 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Whig gain.
Tennessee 9 Isham G. Harris Democratic 1849 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 10 Frederick P. Stanton Democratic 1845 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 11 Christopher H. Williams Whig 1849 Incumbent re-elected.

TexasEdit

Elections were held August 4, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Texas 1
Texas 2

Utah TerritoryEdit

See Non-voting delegates, below.

VermontEdit

Elections were held September 3, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Vermont 1
Vermont 2
Vermont 3
Vermont 4

VirginiaEdit

Elections were held October 23, 1851, after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term, but before the House first convened in December 1851.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Virginia 1
Virginia 2
Virginia 3
Virginia 4
Virginia 5
Virginia 6
Virginia 7
Virginia 8
Virginia 9
Virginia 10
Virginia 11
Virginia 12
Virginia 13
Virginia 14
Virginia 15

WisconsinEdit

Elections were held November 5, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates[26]
Wisconsin 1 Charles Durkee Free Soil 1848 Incumbent re-elected.
  •  Y Charles Durkee (Free Soil) 57.23%
  • Andrew E. Elmore (Democratic) 42.47%
Wisconsin 2 Orsamus Cole Whig 1848 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Wisconsin 3 James Duane Doty Democratic 1848 Incumbent won re-election as an Independent.
Independent Democratic gain.

Non-voting delegatesEdit

District Incumbent This race
Delegate Party First elected Results Candidates
Minnesota Territory Henry Hastings Sibley Democratic 1848 (Wisconsin Territory: Special)
1849 (Wisconsin Territory: Eliminated)
1849 (Minnesota Territory)
Incumbent re-elected.
New Mexico Territory New seat New seat created.
New delegate elected.
Democratic gain.
Oregon Territory Samuel Thurston Democratic 1849 (New seat) Incumbent died April 9, 1851.
New delegate elected June 2, 1851.[28]
Democratic hold.
Utah Territory New seat New seat created.
New delegate elected.
Independent gain.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Includes two Unionist Whigs, three Unionist Democrats, and ten Unionists.
  2. ^ Includes one Secessionist Democrat, one Secessionist Whig, three Southern Rights Democrats, and three Southern Rightists.
  3. ^ Includes two Independent Democrats, one Benton Democrat and one Independent Whig.
  4. ^ Free Soil had 4 seats and States' Rights had 3.
  5. ^ Unionist had 10 seats.
  6. ^ a b c Includes one Independent Democrat.
  7. ^ There was 1 Know-Nothing in the 31st Congress.
  8. ^ In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors.[1] Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for congressional elections as well.
  9. ^ One seat, Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, had been vacant during the entire 31st Congress.
  10. ^ There was 1 Independent in the 31st Congress.
  11. ^ a b Includes 1 Independent Whig.
  12. ^ Includes three Independent Democrats from Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - CA - At Large Race - Sep 03, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  3. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 4 - 1st Trial Race - Nov 11, 1850". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 4 - 2nd Trial Race - Jan 20, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  5. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 4 - 3rd Trial Race - Apr 07, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 4 - 4th Trial Race - May 26, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 7 - 1st Trial Race - Nov 11, 1850". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 7 - 2nd Trial Race - Jan 20, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 7 - 3rd Trial Race - Apr 07, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA District 7 - 4th Trial Race - May 26, 1851". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  11. ^ "MS - District 01". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "MS - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  13. ^ "MS - District 03". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "MS - District 04". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "TN - District 01". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  16. ^ "TN - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  17. ^ "TN - District 03". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  18. ^ "TN - District 04". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  19. ^ "TN - District 05". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  20. ^ "TN - District 06". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  21. ^ "TN - District 07". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "TN - District 08". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  23. ^ "TN - District 09". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  24. ^ "TN - District 10". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  25. ^ "TN - District 11". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  26. ^ "Wisconsin Congressional election 1850 / Official". Wisconsin Argus. December 17, 1850. p. 2. Retrieved May 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "Later from New-Mexico--Murder, and Great Excitement". timesmachine.nytimes.com. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  28. ^ https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Documents/elections/history-officials.pdf

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit