1856 and 1857 United States House of Representatives elections

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 35th Congress were held at various dates in different states from August 1856 to November 1857.

1856 and 1857 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1854 & 1855 August 4, 1856 – November 4, 1857[a] 1858 & 1859 →

All 237 seats in the United States House of Representatives
118 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  James Lawrence Orr - Brady-Handy.jpg Galusha A. Grow restored.jpg
Leader James Orr Galusha A. Grow
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat South Carolina 5th Pennsylvania 14th
Last election 81 seats 46 seats[b]
Seats won 132 90
Seat change Increase 51 Increase 45
Popular vote 1,805,827 1,425,265
Percentage 46.85% 36.98%
Swing Increase 2.90% Increase 21.36%[c]

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Know Nothing Independent
Last election 51 seats 1 seats[d]
Seats won 14 1[e]
Seat change Decrease 37 Steady
Popular vote 586,254 34,120[f]
Percentage 15.21% 0.89%
Swing Decrease 4.35% Decrease 1.72%

Speaker before election

Nathaniel Banks
Know Nothing

Elected Speaker

James Orr
Democratic

The elections briefly returned a semblance of normalcy to the Democratic Party, restoring its House majority alongside election of Democratic President James Buchanan. However, superficial victory masked severe, ultimately irretrievable divisions over slavery. Voters next would return a Democratic House majority only in 1874.

Party realignments continued. In 1856, the Whig Party disbanded, the Know Nothing movement declined, and its vehicle, the American Party, began to collapse. Many Northern Whig, American, and other Opposition Party Representatives joined the new, rapidly consolidating Republican Party, which contested the Presidency in 1856. Though the Republican Party did not yet demand abolition, its attitude toward slavery was stridently negative. It was an openly sectional Northern party opposing fugitive slave laws and slavery in the territories, and for the first time offered a mainstream platform to outspoken abolitionists.

In March 1857, after almost all Northern states had voted, the Supreme Court issued its infamous Dred Scott decision, amplifying tensions and hardening voter divisions. Remaining elections were concentrated in the South. Southern voters widely drove the American Party from office, rallying to the Democrats in firm opposition to the Republicans.

In October 1857, the pending new state of Minnesota elected its first Representatives, to be seated by the 35th Congress. Between the admissions of Vermont in 1791 and Wisconsin in 1848, Congress had admitted new states roughly in pairs: one slave, one free. California was admitted alone as a free state in 1850 only as part of a comprehensive compromise including significant concessions to slave state interests. Admission of Minnesota in May 1858, also alone but with no such deal, helped expose the declining influence of the South, destroying the formerly binding concept that slave and free state power was best kept in balance even in the Senate while solidifying a sense that the West would exclude slavery.

Election summariesEdit

Two seats were added for the new state of Minnesota,[1] which was unrepresented for part of the 1st session.

133 14 90
Democratic KN Republican
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Know Nothing Republican
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change[g]
Arkansas District August 4, 1856 2 2   0   0  
Iowa District August 4, 1856 2 0  1 0   2  1
Missouri District August 4, 1856 7 5[e]  4 2  2 0  6
Vermont District September 2, 1856 3 0   0   3  
Maine District September 8, 1856 6 0  1 0   6  1
Florida At-large October 6, 1856 1 1   0   0  
South Carolina District October 13–14, 1856 6 6   0   0  
Indiana District October 14, 1856 11 6  4 0   5  4
Ohio District October 14, 1856 21 9  9 0   12  9
Pennsylvania District October 14, 1856 25 15  8 0  1 10  7
California At-large November 4, 1856
(Election Day)[h]
2 2   0   0  
Delaware At-large 1 1  1 0  1 0  
Illinois District 9 5   0   4  
Massachusetts District 11 0   0  11 11  11
Michigan District 4 0  1 0   4  1
New Jersey District 5 3  2 0   2  2
New York District 33 12  7 0  3 21  4
Wisconsin District 3 0  1 0   3  1
New Hampshire District March 10, 1857 3 0   0  3 3  3
Rhode Island District April 1, 1857 2 0   0  2 2  2
Connecticut District April 6, 1857 4 2  2 0  4 2  2
Virginia District May 28, 1857 13 13  1 0  1 0  
Alabama District August 3, 1857 7 7  2 0  2 0  
Kentucky District August 3, 1857 10 8  4 2  4 0  
Texas District August 3, 1857 2 2  1 0  1 0  
North Carolina District August 6, 1857 8 7  2 1  2 0  
Tennessee District August 6, 1857 10 7  2 3  2 0  
Georgia District October 5, 1857 8 6   2   0  
Mississippi District October 5–6, 1857 5 5  1 0  1 0  
Minnesota At-large October 13, 1857[i] 2 2  2 0   0  
Louisiana District November 3, 1857 4 3   1   0  
Maryland District November 4, 1857 6 3  1 3  1 0  
Total 236 133[e]
56.1%
 50[e] 14
5.9%
 37 90
38.0%
 10[g]
Popular vote
Democratic
46.85%
Republican
36.98%
Know Nothing
15.21%
Independent
0.89%
Others
0.07%
House seats
Democratic
55.70%
Republican
37.97%
Know Nothing
5.91%
Independent
0.42%

Special electionsEdit

There were special elections in 1856 and 1857 during the 34th United States Congress and 35th United States Congress.

34th CongressEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member / Delegate Party First elected Results Candidates
Illinois 8
Missouri 5
Virginia 1
South Carolina 3
South Carolina 4
Illinois 7
New Mexico Territory at-large
Vermont 1
Illinois 5
Kansas Territory at-large John Wilkins Whitfield Democratic 1854 Seat declared vacant August 1, 1856.
Incumbent re-elected to finish his term.
Winner was not elected to the next term, see below.

35th CongressEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Indiana 1
Indiana 10
Pennsylvania 12
Missouri 3

AlabamaEdit

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

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

CaliforniaEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
California at-large
2 seats on a general ticket
James W. Denver Democratic 1854 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
  •  Y Charles L. Scott (Democratic) 29.9%
  •  Y Joseph C. McKibbin (Democratic) 21%
  • A. B. Dibble (Know Nothing) 20.7%
  • Ira P. Rankin (Independent) 13%
  • J. N. Turner (Republican) 12.5%
Philemon T. Herbert Democratic 1854 Incumbent retired after manslaughter acquittal.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.

ConnecticutEdit

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

DelawareEdit

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

FloridaEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Florida at-large Augustus Maxwell Democratic 1852 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.

GeorgiaEdit

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

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

IndianaEdit

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
Indiana 11

IowaEdit

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

Kansas TerritoryEdit

See non-voting delegates, below.

KentuckyEdit

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

LouisianaEdit

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

MaineEdit

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

MarylandEdit

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

MassachusettsEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Massachusetts 1
Massachusetts 2
Massachusetts 3
Massachusetts 4
Massachusetts 5
Massachusetts 6
Massachusetts 7
Massachusetts 8
Massachusetts 9
Massachusetts 10
Massachusetts 11

MichiganEdit

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

MinnesotaEdit

Minnesota Territory elected three members in advance of Minnesota's 1848 statehood. "Although three men won this election, which was held before Minnesota was actually a state, only two representatives from Minnesota were allowed in the congressional bill creating the state in 1858. George L. Becker lost in the drawing of lots to decide who would present their credentials, therefore he did not serve in Congress."[3]

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Minnesota at-large
2 seats
None. New state would be admitted May 11, 1858.
New member elected October 13, 1857.
Democratic gain.
Elected on a general ticket:
None. New state would be admitted May 11, 1858.
New member elected October 13, 1857.
Democratic gain.

MississippiEdit

Elections held late, from October 5 to 6, 1857.

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Mississippi 1 Daniel B. Wright Democratic 1853 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
Mississippi 2 Hendley S. Bennett Democratic 1855 Incumbent lost renomination.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
Mississippi 3 William Barksdale Democratic 1853 Incumbent re-elected.
Mississippi 4 William A. Lake Know Nothing 1855 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Mississippi 5 John A. Quitman Democratic 1855 Incumbent re-elected.

MissouriEdit

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

Nebraska TerritoryEdit

See non-voting delegates, below.

New HampshireEdit

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

New JerseyEdit

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 YorkEdit

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

North CarolinaEdit

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

OhioEdit

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

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
Pennsylvania 25

Rhode IslandEdit

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

South CarolinaEdit

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

TennesseeEdit

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Tennessee 1 Albert G. Watkins Democratic 1855 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 2 William H. Sneed Know Nothing 1855 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Know Nothing hold.
Tennessee 3 Samuel A. Smith Democratic 1853 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 4 John H. Savage Democratic 1855 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 5 Charles Ready Know Nothing 1853 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 6 George W. Jones Democratic 1842 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 7 John V. Wright Democratic 1855 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 8 Felix Zollicoffer Know Nothing 1853 Incumbent re-elected.
Tennessee 9 Emerson Etheridge Know Nothing 1853 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Tennessee 10 Thomas Rivers Know Nothing 1855 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.

TexasEdit

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

VermontEdit

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

VirginiaEdit

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

WisconsinEdit

Election results in Wisconsin for 1856:[19]

District Incumbent This race
Member Party First elected Results Candidates
Wisconsin 1 Daniel Wells, Jr. Democratic 1852 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Wisconsin 2 Cadwallader C. Washburn Republican 1854 Incumbent re-elected.
Wisconsin 3 Charles Billinghurst Republican 1854 Incumbent re-elected.

Non-voting delegatesEdit

District Incumbent This race
Delegate Party First elected Results Candidates
Kansas Territory John Wilkins Whitfield Democratic 1854
1856 (Seat vacated)
1856 (Special)
Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
New delegate elected.
Democratic hold.
Minnesota Territory Henry Mower Rice Democratic 1852 Incumbent retired.
New delegate elected.
Democratic hold.
District eliminated in 1858 upon Minnesota's statehood.
Nebraska Territory Bird Chapman Democratic 1854 Incumbent lost re-election.
New delegate elected August 3, 1857.[20]
Independent Democratic gain.
Oregon Territory Joseph Lane Democratic 1851 Incumbent re-elected.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Excludes states admitted during this Congress
  2. ^ Number of the seats that made up the Parties involved in the Opposition Coalition, excluding the Whig Party.
  3. ^ In comparison to the performance of the Parties involved in the Opposition Coalition, excluding the Whig Party.
  4. ^ Included one Independent Whig: Anthony Ellmaker Roberts of Pennsylvania.
  5. ^ a b c d Includes one Independent Democrat (a.k.a. a "Benton Democrat"): Francis Preston Blair Jr. of MO-01. Note that while Martis (p. 110) and Dubin (p. 176) list him as an "Independent Democrat" or "Benton Democrat," others sources (e.g. the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress) list Blair as a "Republican".
  6. ^ Includes votes for those who ran labeled as an "Independent," "Benton Democrat," "Independent Democrat," or "Independent American."
  7. ^ a b Compared to the 100 Opposition Party members in previous election of 1854.
  8. ^ In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors (see: Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721). Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for congressional elections as well.
  9. ^ New state. Representatives seated May 11, 1858, during the 1st session.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 11 Stat. 166
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - KS Territorial Delegate - Special Election Race - Nov 05, 1856".
  3. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - MN At-Large Race - Oct 13, 1857". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  4. ^ "MS - District 01". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ "MS - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ "MS - District 03". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  7. ^ "MS - District 04". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  8. ^ "MS - District 05". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  9. ^ "TN - District 01". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. ^ "TN - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  11. ^ "TN - District 03". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  12. ^ "TN - District 04". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  13. ^ "TN - District 05". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  14. ^ "TN - District 06". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  15. ^ "TN - District 07". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  16. ^ "TN - District 08". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  17. ^ "TN - District 09". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  18. ^ "TN - District 10". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Wisconsin U.S. House Election Results" (PDF). Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 5, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  20. ^ "Collections of the NSHS - Volume 18". www.usgennet.org.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit