1859 United States Senate election in Minnesota

The 1859 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place for the state's Class II seat on December 15, 1859 by the Minnesota legislature in a joint convention. Democratic incumbent James Shields drew the short-term Class II seat lot (expiring March 3, 1859) when he was elected on December 19, 1857 prior to Minnesota statehood.

1859 United States Senate election in Minnesota
← 1857 December 15, 1859 1865 →

Majority vote of the Minnesota Legislature needed to win
  Morton S. Wilkinson - Brady-Handy.jpg Gen. James Shields (cropped 2).jpg
Nominee Morton S. Wilkinson James Shields
Party Republican Democratic
Electoral vote 79 33
Percentage 69.9% 29.2%

Senator before election

James Shields

Elected Senator

Morton S. Wilkinson



  • Willis A. Gorman, former Minnesota Territorial Governor (1853-1857)[1]
  • James Shields, U.S. Senator since 1858, former Governor of Oregon Territory (1848-1849), former U.S. Senator from Illinois (1849-1855)[1]


  • Morton S. Wilkinson, Attorney from Stillwater, former Minnesota territorial Representative from the 2nd House District (1849-1850), former Ramsey County Register of Deeds (1851-1853)[1]


1859 Minnesota U.S. Senate Election[1]
Republican Morton S. Wilkinson 79 69.91
Democrat James Shields (inc.) 33 29.20
Democrat Willis A. Gorman 1 0.88
Total Votes 133 100.0


  1. ^ a b c d University of Minnesota Libraries, University of Minnesota. "1859 Minnesota U.S. Senate Election". Minnesota Historical Election Archive. Archived from the original on 2021-08-24. Retrieved 2021-08-24.