46th United States Congress

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46th United States Congress
USCapitol1869.jpg
United States Capitol (1869)

Duration: March 4, 1879 – March 4, 1881

Senate President: William A. Wheeler
Senate Pres. pro tem: Allen G. Thurman
House Speaker: Samuel J. Randall
Members: 76 Senators
293 Representatives
8 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Democratic
House Majority: Democratic (coalition)

Sessions
1st: March 18, 1879 – July 1, 1879
2nd: December 1, 1879 – June 16, 1880
3rd: December 6, 1880 – March 3, 1881
<45th 47th>

The Forty-sixth 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, 1879 to March 4, 1881, during the last two years of the administration of U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Ninth Census of the United States in 1870. The Senate had a Democratic majority, while the House of Representatives had a Democratic plurality. The Democrats were still able to control the House, however, with the help of the Independent politicians who caucused with them.

Contents

Party summary[edit]

Senate[edit]

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Democratic
(D)
Independent
(I)
Independent
Republican

(IR)
Republican
(R)
Readjuster
(RA)
End of the previous congress 36 1 0 39 0 76 0
Begin 42 1 1 32 0 76 0
End 31 75 1
Final voting share 56.0% 1.3% 1.3% 41.3% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 37 1 0 37 1 76 0

House of Representatives[edit]

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Democratic
(D)
Independent
Democratic

(ID)
Independent
(I)
National
Greenback

(NG)
Republican
(R)
End of the previous congress 148 2 0 0 141 291 2
Begin 145 4 1 11 131 292 1
End 146 129 291 2
Final voting share 50.2% 1.4% 0.3% 3.8% 44.3%
Beginning of the next congress 128 1 1 10 151 291 0

Leadership[edit]

Senate[edit]

President of the Senate
William A. Wheeler
Senate President pro tempore Allen G. Thurman

House of Representatives[edit]

House Speaker Samuel J. Randall

Major events[edit]

  • Depression of 1873–79
  • March 18, 1879: Samuel J. Randall was elected in one of the most tightly fought contests for the speakership after the Civil War. Randall, who favored the protective tariff and "hard money," drew his greatest strength from northern cities and greatest opposition from the west and south. The midterm elections of 1878 had gone badly for the Democrats, with the Greenback Party making inroads in key districts. This emboldened Randall's opponents, who rallied to the support of Joseph Blackburn from Kentucky. In the end, Randall prevailed in the Democratic caucus to receive the nomination, with 75 votes to Blackburn's 57 and a scattering of 9 votes to three other candidates. Blackburn, in moving to make Randall's nomination unanimous, steered his supporters away from the nomination of Hendrick B. Wright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who was nominated by the Greenbacks. In the eventual vote in the House to elect the Speaker, Randall prevailed with 144 votes, to 125 for James Garfield (Republican from Ohio), 13 for Wright, and one for William "Pig Iron" Kelley (Pennsylvania).
  • November 2, 1880: U.S. presidential election, 1880: James Garfield (R) defeated Winfield S. Hancock (D)
  • February 19, 1881: Kansas became the first state to prohibit alcohol.

Major legislation[edit]

Members[edit]

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

Senate[edit]

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 re-election in 1880; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1882; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1884.

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership[edit]

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

Senate

  • replacements: 4
  • deaths: 3
  • resignations: 1
  • interim appointments: 2
  • Total seats with changes: 5
State
(class)
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
New Hampshire (3) Vacant Vacancy in term. An interim successor was appointed. Charles H. Bell (R) March 13, 1879
New Hampshire (3) Charles H. Bell (R) Successor elected June 18, 1879 Henry W. Blair (R) June 20, 1879
Michigan (1) Zachariah Chandler (R) Died November 1, 1879 Henry P. Baldwin (R) November 17, 1879
Alabama (3) George S. Houston (D) Died December 31, 1879. An interim successor was appointed. Luke Pryor (D) January 7, 1880
Georgia (3) John B. Gordon (D) Resigned My 26, 1880 to promote building of the Georgia Pacific Railway Joseph E. Brown (D) May 26, 1880
Alabama (3) Luke Pryor (D) Successor elected November 23, 1880. James L. Pugh (D) November 24, 1880
Wisconsin (3) Matthew H. Carpenter (R) Died February 24, 1881 Vacant Not filled this term
House of Representatives
  • replacements: 8
  • deaths: 4
  • resignations: 3
  • contested election: 2
  • Total seats with changes: 11


District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
seated
Texas 6th Vacant Rep. Gustav Schleicher died during previous congress Christopher C. Upson (D) April 15, 1879
New York 12th Vacant Rep.-elect Alexander Smith died during previous congress Waldo Hutchins (D) November 4, 1879
Iowa 5th Rush Clark (R) Died April 29, 1879 William G. Thompson (R) October 14, 1879
Ohio 19th James A. Garfield (R) Resigned ????, 1880 Ezra B. Taylor (R) December 13, 1880
Missouri 7th Alfred M. Lay (D) Died December 8, 1879 John F. Philips (D) January 10, 1880
New York 32nd Ray V. Pierce (R) Resigned September 18, 1880 Jonathan Scoville (D) November 12, 1880
Alabama 6th Burwell B. Lewis (D) Resigned October 1, 1880 to accept presidency of the University of Alabama Newton N. Clements (D) December 8, 1880
New Hampshire 3rd Evarts W. Farr (R) Died November 30, 1880 Ossian Ray (R) January 8, 1881
Florida 2nd Noble A. Hull (D) Lost contested election January 22, 1881 Horatio Bisbee, Jr. (R) January 22, 1881
North Carolina 1st Joseph J. Martin (R) Lost contested election January 29, 1881 Jesse J. Yeates (D) January 29, 1881
New York 9th Fernando Wood (D) Died February 14, 1881 Vacant Not filled this term
Michigan 7th Omar D. Conger (R) Resigned March 3, 1881 after being elected to the US Senate Vacant Not filled this term

Employees[edit]

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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 links[edit]