List of Members of the United States House of Representatives in the 5th Congress by seniority

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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.[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 (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.

Leadership[edit]

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. [2]

Standing Committees[edit]

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 *. [3]

No. Committee From Mbrs Appointed Chairman
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 [1794] 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[edit]

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.

Rank Representative Party District Seniority date Notes
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.
027 John Nicholas DR VA-18
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. [4]
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. [5]
035 Robert G. Harper F SC-5 February 9, 1795 (P) February 9-March 3, 1795. [6] 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 [7]
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.
048 Albert Gallatin DR PA-12
049 Chauncey Goodrich F CT-al
050 Roger Griswold F CT-al
051 Jonathan N. Havens DR NY-1
052 Edward Livingston DR NY-2 Chairman: Commerce and Manufactures (1797)
053 Samuel Lyman F MA-3
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
057 Richard Thomas F PA-3
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.
One 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
081 John Dennis F MD-8
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
085 Jonathan Freeman F NH-al
086 William Gordon F NH-al
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.
092 Matthew Lyon DR VT-1
093 James Machir F VA-3 Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797. Only term.
094 William Matthews F MD-4 Only term
095 Blair McClenachan DR PA-2
096 Joseph McDowell DR NC-1
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
101 William Shepard F MA-2
102 William Smith DR SC-6 Only term
103 Richard Stanford DR NC-4
104 Abram Trigg DR VA-4 Elected to this Congress: March 20, 1797
105 John J. Trigg DR VA-5
106 Robert Williams DR NC-3
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. [8]
... 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 [9]
... 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

References[edit]

  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 5th Congress for the dates of appointment specified.
  4. '^ 'United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, election page 14 and note 1 on page 17.
  5. '^ 'United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, election page 14 and note 3 on page 17.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. '^ 'United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, for election page 15 and refusal note 13 on page 17.
  8. ^ United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997, for special election page 16
  9. ^ 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

See also[edit]

External links[edit]