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49th United States Congress

The Forty-ninth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1885, to March 4, 1887, during the first two years of Grover Cleveland's first presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.

49th United States Congress
48th ←
→ 50th
March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1887
Senate PresidentThomas A. Hendricks (D)
until November 25, 1885
from November 25, 1885
Senate President pro temJohn Sherman (R)
John Ingalls (R)
House SpeakerJohn Carlisle (D)
Members76 senators
325 members of the House
8 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityDemocratic
Special: March 4, 1885 – April 2, 1885
1st: December 7, 1885 – August 5, 1886
2nd: December 6, 1886 – March 3, 1887


Major eventsEdit

First presidential inauguration of Grover Cleveland, March 4, 1885, on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. "Fellow-Citizens: In the presence of this vast assemblage of my countrymen I am about to supplement and seal by the oath which I shall take the manifestation of the will of a great and free people…."[1]

Major legislationEdit

Party summaryEdit

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 36 2 38 76 0
Begin 34 2 37 73 3
End 40 760
Final voting share 44.7% 2.6% 52.6%
Beginning of next congress 36 1 38 75 1

House of RepresentativesEdit

House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% to 100% Democratic
  80+% to 100% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Republican
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 197 4 2 113 7[a] 323 2
Begin 181 1 1 140 0 323 2
End 180 138 3205
Final voting share 56.3% 0.3% 0.3% 43.1% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 168 0 1 150 5 324 1




Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1886; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1888; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1890.

House of RepresentativesEdit

The names of members of the House of Representatives are listed by district.

Changes in membershipEdit

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • replacements: 7
  • deaths: 3
  • resignations: 6
  • interim appointments: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 9
Vacator Reason for Vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
New Hampshire
Vacant Appointed to fill vacancy in term. Henry W. Blair (R) March 5, 1885
Vacant Legislature failed to elect, with several delays in election process held from February 18 to May 19. Incumbent Logan eventually chosen to retake seat. John A. Logan (R) May 19, 1885
Vacant Failure to elect. Charles N. Felton (R) November 18, 1885
Augustus H. Garland (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Attorney General. Successor was elected. James H. Berry (D) March 20, 1885
Thomas F. Bayard (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Secretary of State. Successor was elected. George Gray (D) March 18, 1885
Lucius Q. C. Lamar II (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Secretary of the Interior. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. Edward C. Walthall (D) March 9, 1885
John F. Miller (R) Died March 8, 1886. Successor was appointed. George Hearst (D) March 23, 1886
Howell E. Jackson (D) Resigned April 14, 1886, after being appointed judge for the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit. Successor was appointed. Washington C. Whitthorne (D) April 16, 1886
George Hearst (D) Successor was elected August 4, 1886. Abram Williams (R) March 23, 1886
New Hampshire
Austin F. Pike (R) Died October 8, 1886. Successor was appointed. Person C. Cheney (R) January 19, 1887
John A. Logan (R) Died December 26, 1886. Successor was elected. Charles B. Farwell (R) January 19, 1887

House of RepresentativesEdit

  • replacements: 11
  • deaths: 8
  • resignations: 7
  • contested election: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 16
District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor seated
Pennsylvania 19th Vacant Elected to finish term of Rep. William A. Duncan resigned during previous congress John A. Swope (D) November 3, 1885
Arkansas 3rd Vacant Elected to finish term of Rep. James K. Jones resigned during previous congress Thomas C. McRae (D) December 7, 1885
New York 8th Samuel S. Cox (D) Resigned May 20, 1885, after being appointed Minister to the Ottoman Empire Timothy J. Campbell (D) November 3, 1885
Illinois 5th Reuben Ellwood (R) Died July 1, 1885 Albert J. Hopkins (R) December 7, 1885
Wisconsin 5th Joseph Rankin (D) Died January 24, 1886 Thomas R. Hudd (D) March 8, 1886
Louisiana 2nd Michael Hahn (R) Died March 15, 1886 Nathaniel D. Wallace (D) December 9, 1886
New York 9th Joseph Pulitzer (D) Resigned April 10, 1886 Samuel S. Cox (D) November 2, 1886
Maryland 3rd William H. Cole (D) Died July 8, 1886 Harry W. Rusk (D) November 2, 1886
New York 15th Lewis Beach (D) Died August 10, 1886 Henry Bacon (D) December 6, 1886
New York 28th John Arnot, Jr. (D) Died November 20, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
Wisconsin 8th William T. Price (R) Died December 6, 1886 Hugh H. Price (R) January 18, 1887
New York 12th Abraham Dowdney (D) Died December 10, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
New York 10th Abram Hewitt (D) Resigned December 30, 1886, after being elected Mayor of New York Vacant until next Congress
North Carolina 5th James W. Reid (D) Resigned December 31, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
New Jersey 3rd Robert S. Green (D) Resigned January 17, 1887, after being elected Governor of New Jersey Vacant until next Congress
Rhode Island 2nd William A. Pirce (R) Seat declared vacant January 25, 1887, due to election irregularities Charles H. Page (D) February 21, 1887


Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (5 links), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, on the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of RepresentativesEdit

Joint committeesEdit




  1. ^ Independent, Independent Democratic, Independent Republican, and Anti-Monopoly

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "THE 25th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION / Grover Cleveland / March 4, 1885". United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External linksEdit