List of Members of the United States House of Representatives in the 3rd Congress by seniority

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This is a list of members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd United States Congress by seniority. For the most part, representatives are ranked by the beginning of their terms in office.

As an historical article, the districts and party affiliations listed reflect those during the 3rd Congress (March 4, 1793 – March 3, 1795). Seats and party affiliations on similar lists for other Congresses will be different for certain members.

This article describes the criteria for seniority in the House of Representatives and sets out the list of members by seniority. It is prepared on the basis of the interpretation of seniority applied to the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. In the absence of information to the contrary, it is presumed that the twenty-first-century practice is identical to the seniority customs used during the 3rd Congress.[1]

House seniority[edit]

Seniority in the House, for Congressmen with unbroken service, depends on the date on which the members first term began. That date is either the start of the Congress (4th March in odd numbered years, for the era up to and including the 73rd Congress starting in 1933) or the date of a special election during the Congress. Since many members start serving on the same day as others, ranking between them is based on alphabetical order by the last name of the congressman.

Congressmen, in early Congresses, were often elected after the legal start of the Congress. Such representatives are attributed with unbroken seniority, from the legal start of the congressional term, if they were the first person elected to a seat in a Congress. The date of the election is indicated in a note.

The seniority date is normally taken from the members entry in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, except where the date given is the legal start of the Congress and the actual election (for someone who was not the first person elected to the seat in that Congress) was later. The date of election is taken from United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997. In a few instances the latter work provides dates, for the start and end of terms, which correct those in the Biographical Directory.

The Biographical Directory normally uses the date of a special election, as the seniority date. However, mostly in early Congresses, the date of the member taking his seat can be the one given. The date of the special election is mentioned in a note to the list below, when that date is not used as the seniority date by the Biographical Directory.

Representatives who return to the House, after having previously served, are credited with service equal to one less than the total number of terms they served. When a representative has served a prior term of less than two terms (i.e., prior term minus one equals less than one), he is ranked above all others whose service begins on the same day.


In this Congress the only formal leader was the Speaker of the House. A Speakership ballot was held on December 2, 1793 and Frederick Muhlenberg (A-PA) was elected. Speaker Muhlenberg had previously held the same office, in the 1st Congress. [2]

Standing Committees[edit]

The House created its first standing committee, on April 13, 1789. There were two standing committees in the 3rd Congress. In addition there was a Ways and Means Committee in the 1st session. Although the Ways and Means Committee was not formally added to the list of standing committees until 1802, the 2011 committee considers the one in 1794 to be a forerunner.

Committees, in this period, were appointed for a session at a time and not necessarily for every one in a Congress. The Speaker appointed the members.

This list refers to the standing committees of the House in the 3rd Congress, the year of establishment as a standing committee, the number of members assigned to the committee and the dates of appointment in each session, the end of the session and its chairman. [3]

No. Committee From Mbrs Appointed Chairman
01 Claims 1794 7 November 14, 1794 – March 3, 1795 Uriah Tracy (P-CT)
02 Elections 1789 7 December 2, 1793-June 9, 1794 William L. Smith (P-SC)
November 7, 1794-March 3, 1795 Jonathan Dayton (P-NJ)
03 Ways and Means [1794] 15 March 26, 1794 – June 9, 1794 William L. Smith (P-SC)

List of Representatives by seniority[edit]

A numerical rank is assigned to each of the 105 members initially elected to the 3rd Congress. Other members, who were not the first person elected to a seat but who joined the House during the Congress, are not assigned a number.

Three Representatives-elect was not sworn in, as one resigned to become a United States Senator and two declined to serve. The list below includes the Representative-elect (with names in italics), with the seniority they would have held if they had been sworn in.

Party designations used in this article are A for Anti-Administration members and P for Pro-Administration representatives.

Rank Representative Party District Seniority date Notes
Three consecutive terms
001 Fisher Ames P MA-1a March 4, 1789
002 Abraham Baldwin A GA-al
003 Elias Boudinot P NJ-al Last term
004 Thomas Fitzsimons P PA-al
005 Nicholas Gilman P NH-al
006 Benjamin Goodhue P MA-1c
007 Samuel Griffin P VA-13 Anti-Administration 1791–93. Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793.
Last term.
008 Thomas Hartley P PA-al
009 Daniel Hiester A PA-al
010 Richard B. Lee P VA-17 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793. Last term.
011 James Madison A VA-15 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
012 Andrew Moore A VA-2
013 Frederick Muhlenberg A PA-al Pro-Administration 1789–91. Speaker of the House.
014 John Page A VA-12 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
015 Josiah Parker P VA-11 Anti-Administration 1789–93. Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793.
016 Theodore Sedgwick P MA-2c
017 William L. Smith P SC-1 Chairman: Elections (1793). Chairman: Ways and Means (1794).
018 Jonathan Sturges P CT-al Declined to serve, as Representative-elect, before the start of the Congress.
019 George Thatcher P MA-4b
020 Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. P CT-al Last term (elected to 4th Congress but did not serve)
021 Jeremiah Wadsworth P CT-al Last term
022 William B. Giles A VA-9 December 7, 1790 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
023 Benjamin Bourne P RI-al December 17, 1790
Two consecutive terms
024 Shearjashub Bourne P MA-3a March 4, 1791 Last term
025 Abraham Clark P NJ-al Died September 15, 1794
026 Jonathan Dayton P NJ-al Chairman: Elections (1794)
027 William Findley A PA-al
028 James Gordon P NY-9 Last term
029 Andrew Gregg A PA-al
030 William B. Grove P NC-7
031 James Hillhouse P CT-al
032 John W. Kittera P PA-al
033 Nathaniel Macon A NC-5
034 William V. Murray P MD-8
035 Jeremiah Smith P NH-al
036 Abraham B. Venable A VA-7 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
037 Artemas Ward P MA-2d Last term
038 Amasa Learned P CT-al September 19, 1791
039 Nathaniel Niles A VT-2 October 17, 1791
040 Israel Smith A VT-1 Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1793
041 Thomas Tredwell A NY-1 October 24, 1791 Last term
042 John F. Mercer A MD-2 February 5, 1792 Resigned April 13, 1794
043 Alexander D. Orr A KY-2 November 8, 1792 Elected to this Congress: September 6, 1793
044 Christopher Greenup A KY-1 November 9, 1792
045 William Hindman P MD-7 January 30, 1793
Two non-consecutive terms
046 Lambert Cadwalader P NJ-al March 4, 1793 Previously served 1789–91. Last term.
047 Isaac Coles A VA-6 Previously served 1789–91. Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793.
048 Benjamin Huntington P CT-al Previously served 1789–91.
Declined to serve, as Representative-elect, before Congress convened.
049 Peter Muhlenberg A PA-al Previously served 1789–91. Last term until 6th Congress.
050 Thomas Scott P PA-al Previously served 1789–91. Last term.
One term
051 James Armstrong P PA-al March 4, 1793 Only term
052 Theodorus Bailey A NY-5
053 John Beatty P NJ-al Only term
054 Lemuel Benton A SC-3
055 Thomas Blount A NC-9
056 Thomas P. Carnes A GA-al Only term
057 Gabriel Christie A MD-6
058 Thomas Claiborne A VA-8 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
059 David Cobb P MA-al Only term
060 Peleg Coffin, Jr. P MA-3b
061 William J. Dawson A NC-8
062 Henry Dearborn A MA-4a
063 George Dent P MD-1
064 Samuel Dexter P MA-1b Only term
065 Uriah Forrest P MD-3 Resigned November 8, 1794
066 Dwight Foster P MA-2a Elected to this Congress: April 1, 1793
067 Ezekiel Gilbert P NY-6
068 James Gillespie A NC-6
069 Alexander Gillon A SC-5 Died October 6, 1794
070 Henry Glen P NY-8
071 George Hancock P VA-5 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
072 Carter B. Harrison A VA-10
073 John Heath A VA-19
074 Samuel Holten A MA-1d Elected to this Congress April 1, 1793. Only term.
075 John Hunter A SC-2 Only term
076 William Irvine A PA-al
077 Matthew Locke A NC-2
078 William Lyman A MA-2b Elected to this Congress April 1, 1793
079 Francis Malbone P RI-al
080 Joseph McDowell A NC-1 Only term
081 Alexander Mebane A NC-4
082 Stephen M. Mitchell P CT-al Resigned, as Representative-elect, to become US Senator:
October, 1793.
083 William Montgomery A PA-al Only term
084 Joseph Neville A VA-3 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793. Only term.
085 Anthony New A VA-16 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
086 John Nicholas A VA-18
087 John Patten A DE-al Unseated after election contest: February 14, 1794.
Only term until 4th Congress.
088 Andrew Pickens A SC-6 Only term
089 Francis Preston A VA-4 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793
090 Robert Rutherford A VA-1
091 John S. Sherburne A NH-al
092 John Smilie A PA-al Only term until 6th Congress
093 Samuel Smith A MD-5
094 Thomas Sprigg A MD-4
095 Silas Talbot P NY-10 Only term
096 John E. Van Alen P NY-7
097 Philip Van Cortlandt A NY-3
098 Peter Van Gaasbeck P NY-4 Only term
099 Peleg Wadsworth P MA-4c Elected to this Congress April 1, 1793
100 Francis Walker A VA-14 Elected to this Congress: March 18, 1793. Only term.
101 John Watts P NY-2 Only term
102 Benjamin Williams A NC-10
103 Paine Wingate P NH-al
104 Richard Winn A SC-4
105 Joseph Winston A NC-3 Only term until 8th Congress
Members joining the House, after the start of the Congress
... Uriah Tracy P CT-al April 8, 1793 Special election. Chairman: Claims (1794).
... Joshua Coit P CT-al November 11, 1793 Special election
... Zephaniah Swift P CT-al
... Henry Latimer P DE-al February 14, 1794 Seated after election contest.
Resigned to become US Senator: February 7, 1795.
... Gabriel Duvall A MD-2 May 5, 1794 Special election [4]
... Benjamin Edwards P MD-3 January 2, 1795 Special election. Only term.
... Aaron Kitchell P NJ-al January 29, 1795 Previously served 1791–93. Special election.
... Robert G. Harper P SC-5 February 9, 1795 Special election: October 13–14, 1794 [5]
Non voting Member
a James White - TN-al September 4, 1794 Delegate from the Southwest Territory (later TN)


  1. ^ 112th Congress official House seniority list
  2. ^ Annals of Congress, for the date of election
  3. ^ Based on Rule X Organisation of Committees, in the House Rules and Manual for the 112th Congress. For membership and chairmen, see the Journal of the House of Representatives for the 3rd Congress for the dates of appointment specified.
  4. ^ United States Congressional Elections 1788-1977, page 8 for the special election
  5. ^ United States Congressional Elections 1788-1977, page 8 for the special election; Congressional Biographical Directory for service from February 1795 and the House of Representatives Journal of February 9, 1795 for exact date Harper took his seat.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

  • United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, by Michael J. Dubin (McFarland and Company 1998) ISBN 0-7864-0283-0

See also[edit]

External links[edit]