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The Sixty-first United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1909, to March 4, 1911, during the first two years of William H. Taft's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Twelfth Census of the United States in 1900. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

61st United States Congress
60th ←
→ 62nd
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1911
Senate PresidentJames S. Sherman (R)
Senate President pro temWilliam P. Frye (R)
House SpeakerJoseph G. Cannon (R)
Members92 senators
391 members of the House
7 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityRepublican
Special: March 4, 1909 – March 6, 1909
1st: March 15, 1909 – August 5, 1909
2nd: December 6, 1909 – June 25, 1910
3rd: December 5, 1910 – March 3, 1911


Major eventsEdit

Major legislationEdit

Constitutional amendmentsEdit

Party summaryEdit


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 31 61 92 0
Begin 32 59 91 1
Final voting share 35.2% 64.8%
Beginning of next congress 40 50 90 2

House of RepresentativesEdit

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 164 1 220 0 385 6
Begin 170 1 218 0 389 2
End 173 210 3847
Final voting share 45.1% 0.3% 54.7% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 228 0 160 2[a] 390 1



House of RepresentativesEdit

Majority (Republican) leadershipEdit

Minority (Democratic) leadershipEdit


Skip to House of Representatives, below


At this time, most Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. A few senators were elected directly by the residents of the state. 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 1910; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1912; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1914.

House of RepresentativesEdit

Changes in membershipEdit

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


  • replacements: 13
  • deaths: 8
  • resignations: 2
  • vacancy: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 14
Vacator Reason for vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Vacant Sen. was elected at beginning of term. Served in House until resigning June 18, 1909 William Lorimer (R) June 18, 1909
Philander C. Knox (R) Resigned March 4, 1909, after being appointed United States Secretary of State. Successor was elected. George T. Oliver (R) March 17, 1909
North Dakota
Martin N. Johnson (R) Died October 21, 1909. Successor was appointed. Fountain L. Thompson (D) October 10, 1909
Anselm J. McLaurin (D) Died December 22, 1909. Successor was appointed. James Gordon (D) December 27, 1909
North Dakota
Fountain L. Thompson (D) Resigned January 31, 1910. Successor was appointed. William E. Purcell (D) February 1, 1910
James Gordon (D) Successor was elected. LeRoy Percy (D) February 23, 1910
Samuel D. McEnery (D) Died June 28, 1910. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. John Thornton (D) December 10, 1910
John W. Daniel (D) Died June 29, 1910. Successor was appointed. Claude A. Swanson (D) August 1, 1910
Jonathan P. Dolliver (R) Died October 15, 1910 Lafayette Young (R) November 12, 1910
Alexander S. Clay (D) Died November 13, 1910. Successor was appointed. Joseph M. Terrell (D) November 17, 1910
West Virginia
Stephen B. Elkins (R) Died January 4, 1911. Successor was appointed. Davis Elkins (R) January 9, 1911
Charles J. Hughes Jr. (D) Died January 11, 1911. Vacant until next Congress
West Virginia
Davis Elkins (R) Successor was elected. Clarence W. Watson (D) February 1, 1911
North Dakota
William E. Purcell (D) Successor was elected. Asle Gronna (R) February 2, 1911

House of RepresentativesEdit

  • replacements: 12
  • deaths: 12
  • resignations: 6
  • contested elections: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 21
District Vacator Reason for Vacancy Successor
Louisiana 2nd Vacant Rep. Robert C. Davey died during previous congress Samuel L. Gilmore (D) March 30, 1909
Ohio 21st Vacant Rep. Theodore E. Burton resigned during previous congress James H. Cassidy (R) April 20, 1909
Illinois 6th William Lorimer (R) Resigned June 17, 1909, after being elected to the U.S. Senate William Moxley (R) November 23, 1909
Washington 2nd Francis W. Cushman (R) Died July 6, 1909 William W. McCredie (R) November 2, 1909
Virginia 4th Francis R. Lassiter (D) Died October 31, 1909 Robert Turnbull (D) March 8, 1910
Philippines Resident Commissioner Pablo Ocampo Term ended November 22, 1909 Manuel L. Quezon (Unionist) November 23, 1909
Missouri 6th David A. De Armond (D) Died November 23, 1909 Clement C. Dickinson (D) February 1, 1910
Georgia 2nd James M. Griggs (D) Died January 5, 1910 Seaborn Roddenbery (D) February 6, 1910
Massachusetts 14th William C. Lovering (R) Died March 11, 1910 Eugene Foss (D) January 4, 1911
New York 32nd James B. Perkins (R) Died February 4, 1910 James S. Havens (D) April 19, 1910
Texas 3rd Gordon J. Russell (D) Resigned June 14, 1910, after being appointed judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Robert M. Lively (D) July 23, 1910
Tennessee 1st Walter P. Brownlow (R) Died July 8, 1910 Zachary D. Massey (R) November 8, 1910
Louisiana 2nd Samuel L. Gilmore (D) Died July 18, 1910 H. Garland Dupré (D) November 8, 1910
Massachusetts 4th Charles Q. Tirrell (R) Died July 31, 1910 John J. Mitchell (D) November 8, 1910
Pennsylvania 5th William W. Foulkrod (R) Died November 13, 1910 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 2nd Joel Cook (R) Died December 15, 1910 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Massachusetts 14th Eugene Foss (D) Resigned January 4, 1911, after being elected Governor of Massachusetts Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 24th John K. Tener (R) Resigned January 16, 1911, after being elected Governor of Pennsylvania Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 19th John M. Reynolds (R) Resigned January 17, 1911, after being elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania Seat remained vacant until next Congress
North Dakota 2nd Asle Gronna (R) Resigned February 11, 1911, after being elected to the U.S. Senate Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Maine 1st Amos L. Allen (R) Died February 20, 1911 Seat remained vacant until next Congress


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 (4 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



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Progressive Republican & Socialist