List of Members of the United States House of Representatives in the 5th Congress by seniority
This is a list of members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th 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 5th Congress (March 4, 1797 – March 3, 1799). 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 5th Congress.
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 (4 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. 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 returned 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 May 15, 1797 and Jonathan Dayton (F-NJ) was re-elected for a second consecutive term. 
The House created its first standing committee, on April 13, 1789. There were four standing committees, listed in the rules of the 5th Congress. In addition there was a Ways and Means Committee. Although the Ways and Means Committee was not formally added to the main list of standing committees until 1802, the 2011 committee considers it 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 5th 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. Chairmen, who were re-appointed after serving in the previous Congress, are indicated by an *. 
|01||Claims||1794||7||November 21, 1797-July 16, 1798||*Dwight Foster (F-MA)|
|December 10, 1798-March 3, 1799|
|02||Commerce and Manufactures||1795||7||November 21, 1797-July 16, 1798||Edward Livingston (DR-NY)|
|December 10, 1798-March 3, 1799||Samuel Smith (DR-MD)|
|03||Elections||1789||7||May 15, 1797-July 10, 1797||Joshua Coit (F-CT)|
|November 17, 1797-July 16, 1798|
|December 5, 1798-March 3, 1799||Joseph B. Varnum (DR-MA)|
|04||Revisal and Unfinished Business||1795||3||May 18, 1797-July 10, 1797||Jeremiah Smith (F-NH)|
|November 15, 1797-July 16, 1798||Nathaniel Macon (DR-NC)|
|December 10, 1798-March 3, 1799||George Thatcher (F-MA)|
|05||Ways and Means||||7||June 10, 1797-July 10, 1797||*William L. Smith (F-SC)|
|16||December 4, 1797-July 16, 1798||Robert G. Harper (F-SC)|
|9||December 14, 1798-March 3, 1799|
List of Representatives by seniority
A numerical rank is assigned to each of the 106 members initially elected to the 5th 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.
Four Representatives-elect were not sworn in, as one refused to serve and three resigned. The list below includes the Representatives-elect (with name in italics), with the seniority they would have held if they had been sworn in.
Party designations used in this article are D-R for Democratic-Republican members and F for Federalist representatives. Designations used for service in the first three congresses are (A) for Anti-Administration members and (P) for Pro-Administration representatives.
|Five consecutive terms|
|001||Abraham Baldwin||DR||GA-al||March 4, 1789||(A) 1789-95. Last term.|
|002||Thomas Hartley||F||PA-8||(P) 1789-95|
|003||Josiah Parker||F||VA-11||(A) 1789-93; (P) 1793-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797.|
|004||William L. Smith||F||SC-1||(P) 1789-95. Chairman: Ways and Means. Resigned July 10, 1797.|
|005||George Thatcher||F||MA-14||(P) 1789-95. Chairman: Revisal and Unfinished Business (1798).|
|006||William B. Giles||DR||VA-9||December 7, 1790||(A) December 7, 1790-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797.
Resigned October 2, 1798. Last term until 7th Congress.
|007||Benjamin Bourne||F||RI-al||December 17, 1790||(P) December 17, 1790-95. Resigned, as Representative-elect: 1796.|
|Four consecutive terms|
|008||Jonathan Dayton||F||NJ-al||March 4, 1791||(P) 1791-95. Speaker of the House. Last term.|
|009||William Findley||DR||PA-11||(A) 1791-95. Last term until 8th Congress.|
|010||Andrew Gregg||DR||PA-9||(A) 1791-95|
|011||William B. Grove||F||NC-7||(P) 1791-95|
|012||John W. Kittera||F||PA-7||(P) 1791-95|
|013||Nathaniel Macon||DR||NC-5||(A) 1791-95. Chairman: Revisal and Unfinished Business (1797).|
|014||Jeremiah Smith||F||NH-al||(P) 1791-95. Chairman: Revisal and Unfinished Business. Resigned July 26, 1797.|
|015||Abraham B. Venable||DR||VA-7||(A) 1791-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Last term.|
|016||William Hindman||F||MD-7||January 30, 1793||(P) January 30, 1793-95. Last term.|
|Three consecutive terms|
|017||Lemuel Benton||DR||SC-3||March 4, 1793||(A) 1793-95. Last term.|
|018||Thomas Blount||DR||NC-9||(A) 1793-95. Last term until 9th Congress.|
|019||Thomas Claiborne||DR||VA-8||(A) 1793-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Last term until 7th Congress.|
|020||George Dent||F||MD-1||(P) 1793-95|
|021||Dwight Foster||F||MA-4||(P) 1793-95. Chairman: Claims.|
|022||James Gillespie||DR||NC-6||(A) 1793-95. Last term until 8th Congress.|
|023||Henry Glen||F||NY-8||(P) 1793-95|
|024||Carter B. Harrison||DR||VA-10||(A) 1793-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Last term.|
|025||Matthew Locke||DR||NC-2||(A) 1793-95. Last term.|
|026||Anthony New||DR||VA-16||(A) 1793-95. Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797.|
|028||Samuel Smith||DR||MD-5||(A) 1793-95. Chairman: Commerce and Manufactures (1798).|
|029||John E. Van Alen||F||NY-7||(P) 1793-95. Last term.|
|030||Philip Van Cortlandt||DR||NY-3||(A) 1793-95|
|031||Peleg Wadsworth||F||MA-13||(P) 1793-95|
|032||Uriah Tracy||F||CT-al||April 8, 1793||(P) April 8, 1793-95. Resigned, as Representative-elect: October 13, 1796. |
|033||Joshua Coit||F||CT-al||November 11, 1793||(P) November 11, 1793-95. Chairman: Elections. Died September 5, 1798.|
|034||Zephaniah Swift||F||CT-al||(P) November 11, 1793-95. Resigned, as a Representative-elect, probably before his term started. |
|035||Robert G. Harper||F||SC-5||February 9, 1795||(P) February 9-March 3, 1795.  Chairman: Ways and Means (1797).|
|Three non-consecutive terms|
|036||Thomas Sumter||D-R||SC-4||March 4, 1797||Previously served (A) 1789-93|
|037||Abiel Foster||F||NH-al||March 4, 1795||Previously served (P) June 22, 1789-91|
|038||John Milledge||D-R||GA-al||Previously served (A) November 22, 1792-93. Last term until 7th Congress.|
|Two consecutive terms|
|039||David Bard||DR||PA-10||March 4, 1795||Last term until 8th Congress|
|040||Theophilus Bradbury||F||MA-11||Resigned July 24, 1797|
|041||Richard Brent||DR||VA-17||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Last term until 7th Congress.|
|042||Nathan Bryan||DR||NC-10||Died June 4, 1798|
|043||Daniel Buck||F||VT-2||Refused to serve, when a Representative-elect |
|044||Dempsey Burges||DR||NC-8||Last term|
|045||Samuel J. Cabell||DR||VA-14||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|046||John Clopton||DR||VA-13||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Last term until 7th Congress.|
|047||Nathaniel Freeman, Jr.||DR||MA-5||(F) 1795-97. Last term.|
|051||Jonathan N. Havens||DR||NY-1|
|052||Edward Livingston||DR||NY-2||Chairman: Commerce and Manufactures (1797)|
|054||John Reed, Sr.||F||MA-6|
|055||Samuel Sitgreaves||F||PA-4||Resigned 1798|
|056||John Swanwick||DR||PA-1||Died August 1, 1798|
|058||Mark Thomson||F||NJ-al||Last term|
|059||Joseph B. Varnum||DR||MA-9||Chairman: Elections (1798)|
|060||John Williams||F||NY-9||Last term|
|061||Nathaniel Smith||F||CT-al||April 13, 1795|
|062||Richard Sprigg, Jr.||DR||MD-2||May 5, 1796||Last term until 7th Congress|
|...||Elisha R. Potter||F||RI-al||November 15, 1796||Special election before start of term. Resigned June 1797. Last term until 11th Congress.|
|063||William Craik||F||MD-3||December 5, 1796|
|064||Andrew Jackson||D-R||TN-al||Resigned, to become a US Senator: September 1797|
|065||Samuel Sewall||F||MA-10||December 7, 1796|
|066||George Ege||F||PA-5||December 8, 1796||Resigned October 1797|
|067||Samuel W. Dana||F||CT-al||January 3, 1797|
|068||Thomson J. Skinner||DR||MA-1||January 27, 1797||Last term until 8th Congress|
|Two non-consecutive terms|
|069||James Schureman||F||NJ-al||March 4, 1797||Previously served (P) 1789-91. Last term until 13th Congress.|
|070||Thomas Sinnickson||F||NJ-al||Previously served (P) 1789-91. Last term.|
|071||George Baer, Jr.||F||MD-4||March 4, 1797|
|072||James A. Bayard||F||DE-al|
|073||David Brooks||F||NY-5||Only term|
|074||Stephen Bullock||F||MA-7||Elected to this Congress: April 3, 1797. Only term.|
|075||Christopher G. Champlin||F||RI-al|
|076||John Chapman||F||PA-4||Only term|
|077||Matthew Clay||DR||VA-6||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|078||James Cochran||F||NY-10||Only term|
|079||Thomas T. Davis||DR||KY-1||Elected to this Congress: September 2, 1797|
|080||John Dawson||DR||VA-15||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|082||Lucas C. Elmendorf||DR||NY-4|
|083||Thomas Evans||F||VA-12||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|084||John Fowler||DR||KY-2||Elected to this Congress: September 2, 1797|
|087||John A. Hanna||DR||PA-6|
|088||David Holmes||DR||VA-2||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|089||Hezekiah L. Hosmer||F||NY-6||Only term|
|090||James H. Imlay||F||NJ-al|
|091||Walter Jones||DR||VA-19||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Only term until 8th Congress.|
|093||James Machir||F||VA-3||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Only term.|
|094||William Matthews||F||MD-4||Only term|
|097||Daniel Morgan||F||VA-1||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Only term.|
|098||Harrison G. Otis||F||MA-8|
|099||Isaac Parker||F||MA-12||Elected to this Congress: April 3, 1797. Only term.|
|100||John Rutledge, Jr.||F||SC-2|
|102||William Smith||DR||SC-6||Only term|
|104||Abram Trigg||DR||VA-4||Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797|
|105||John J. Trigg||DR||VA-5|
|Members joining the House, after the start of the Congress|
|...||James Davenport||F||CT-al||April 10, 1797||Previously served December 5, 1796-97. Special election. Died August 3, 1797. |
|...||John Allen||F||CT-al||Special election. Only term (elected to but did not serve in 6th Congress).|
|...||Lewis R. Morris||F||VT-2||May 22, 1797||Special election |
|...||William Edmond||F||CT-al||November 13, 1797||Special election: September 18, 1797|
|...||Thomas Tillinghast||F||RI-al||Special election: August 29, 1797. Only term until 7th Congress.|
|...||William C. C. Claiborne||D-R||TN-al||November 23, 1797||Special election: October 15, 1797|
|...||Thomas Pinckney||F||SC-1||Special election: September 4-5, 1797|
|...||Bailey Bartlett||F||MA-11||November 27, 1797||Special election: August 4, 1797|
|...||Peleg Sprague||F||NH-al||December 15, 1797||Special election: October 30, 1797|
|...||Joseph Hiester||DR||PA-5||December 1, 1798||Special election: October 10, 1797|
|...||Jonathan Brace||F||CT-al||December 3, 1798||Special election: October 22, 1798|
|...||Joseph Eggleston||DR||VA-9||Special election: November 1, 1798|
|...||Robert Waln||F||PA-1||Special election: October 9, 1798|
|...||Robert Brown||DR||PA-4||December 4, 1798|
|...||Richard D. Spaight||DR||NC-10||December 10, 1798||Special election: August 2, 1798|
- 112th Congress official House seniority list
- Annals of Congress, for the date of election
- 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 5th Congress for the dates of appointment specified.
- United States Congressional Elections 1788-1977, page 8 for the special election to 3rd Congress on October 13-14, 1794; 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.
- United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, for special election page 16
- Congressional Biographical Directory dates service from May 22, 1797. United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, dates special election as May 23, 1797 - page 16.
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
- House Journal, First Forty-three Sessions of Congress
- House of Representatives list of members of the 5th Congress