Incumbent Democrat William Bigler, who was elected in 1856, was not a candidate for re-election to another term. The Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, convened on January 8, 1861, to elect a new Senator to fill the term beginning on March 4, 1861. The results of the vote of both houses combined are as follows:
- "U.S. Senate Election - 8 January 1861" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved 22 December 2013.