United States House of Representatives elections, 1838

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United States House of Representatives elections, 1838
United States
1836 ←
July 2, 1838 - November 5, 1839
→ 1840

All 242 seats to the United States House of Representatives
122 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  JohnWinstonJones.jpg Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter.jpg
Leader John Jones Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter
Party Democratic Whig
Leader's seat Virginia-3rd Virginia-9th
Last election 127 seats 102 seats
Seats won 126 108
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 6

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Thomas Henry George Washington Hopkins
Party Anti-Masonic Conservative
Leader's seat Pennsylvania-22nd Virginia-18th
Last election 7 seats 0 seats
Seats won 6 2
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 2

Speaker before election

James K. Polk
Democratic

Elected Speaker

Robert M. T. Hunter
Whig

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 26th Congress took place at various dates in each state, from July 2, 1838 (Louisiana) until November 5, 1839 (Mississippi) - after the formal start of the 26th Congress but before the first session convened.

The Panic of 1837 set the background for this election cycle, as the carryover effects of the economic downturn led to Whig gains. President Martin Van Buren was deeply unpopular and Whig ideas for economic nationalism made slight inroads in suffering districts. However, the Democrats were able to lessen their loss by portraying the crisis as the result of missteps within the private banking industry and not as caused by government inactivity. The Anti-Masonic Party remained as a presence during this election, but also saw a drop in its seat total, while the Nullifier Party completely disappeared. Two Representatives in Virginia were elected under the Conservative Party label.

Election summaries[edit]

126 2 6 108
Democratic C AM Whig
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Whig Others
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Arkansas At-large October 1, 1838 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large November 13, 1838 1 1 Increase1 0 Decrease1 0 Steady
Georgia At-large October 1, 1838 9 0 Decrease8 9 Increase8 0 Steady
Illinois District (3) August 6, 1838 3 2 Decrease1 1 Increase1 0 Steady
Louisiana District (3) July 2–4, 1838 3 0 Decrease1 3 Increase1 0 Steady
Maine District (8) September 10, 1838 8 6 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Massachusetts District (12) November 12, 1838 12 2 Steady 10 Steady 0 Steady
Michigan At-large November 6, 1838 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri At-large August 6, 1838 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
New Jersey At-large October 8, 1838 6 5 Increase5 1 Decrease5 0 Steady
New York District (33[1]) November 5–7, 1838 40 19 Decrease11 21 Increase11 0 Steady
Ohio District (19) October 9, 1838 19 11 Increase3 8 Decrease3 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District (25[2]) October 9, 1838 28 17 Steady 5 Increase1 6[3] Decrease1
South Carolina District (9) October 8–9, 1838 9 8 Increase6 1 Steady 0 Decrease6[4]
Vermont District (5) September 1, 1838 5 2 Increase1 3 Decrease1 0 Steady
1839 elections
Alabama District (5) August 5, 1839 5 3 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Connecticut District (6) April 1, 1839 6 0 Decrease6 6 Increase6 0 Steady
Indiana District (7) August 5, 1839 7 5 Increase4 2 Decrease4 0 Steady
Kentucky District (13) August 1, 1839 13 2 Increase1 11 Decrease1 0 Steady
Maryland District (7[5]) October 3, 1839 8 5 Increase1 3 Decrease1 0 Steady
Mississippi At-large November 4–5, 1839 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
New Hampshire At-large March 12, 1839 5 5 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
North Carolina District (13) August 8, 1839 13 8 Increase3 5 Decrease3 0 Steady
Rhode Island At-large August 27, 1839 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee District (13) August 1, 1839 13 6 Increase3 7 Decrease3 0 Steady
Virginia District (21) May 23, 1839 21 13 Decrease2 6 Steady 2[6] Increase2
Total 242 126
52.1%
Decrease1 108
44.6%
Increase6 8
3.3%
Decrease5
House seats
Democratic
  
52.07%
Whig
  
44.63%
Anti-Masonic
  
2.48%
Conservative
  
0.83%

Complete returns[edit]

Pennsylvania[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates[7][8]
Pennsylvania 1 Lemuel Paynter Democratic 1836 Re-elected Lemuel Paynter (D) 55.1%
Joel B. Sutherland (W) 44.9%
Pennsylvania 2
Plural district with 2 seats
John Sergeant Whig 1816
1836
Re-elected George W. Toland (W) 69.4%
John Sergeant (W) 69.2%

Joseph R. Evans (D) 30.7%
Samuel Brasnears (D) 30.7%
George W. Toland Whig 1836 Re-elected
Pennsylvania 3 Charles Naylor Whig 1837 (special) Re-elected Charles Naylor (W) 53.1%
Charles J. Ingersoll (D) 46.9%
Pennsylvania 4
Plural district with 3 seats
Edward Davies Anti-Masonic 1836 Re-elected John Edwards (AM) 57.2%
Edward Davies (AM) 57.0%
Francis James (AM) 57.0%

Joshua Evans, Jr. (D) 43.0%
Reah Frazer (D) 43.0%
Samuel Leiper (D) 42.8%
Edward Darlington Anti-Masonic 1832 Retired
Anti-Masonic hold
David Potts, Jr. Anti-Masonic 1830 Retired
Anti-Masonic hold
Pennsylvania 5 Jacob Fry, Jr. Democratic 1834 Retired
Democratic hold
Joseph Fornance (D) 54.9%
Joseph Royer (W) 45.1%
Pennsylvania 6 Mathias Morris Whig 1834 Lost re-election
Democratic gain
John Davis (D) 51.9%
Mathias Morris (W) 48.1%
Pennsylvania 7 David D. Wagener Democratic 1832 Re-elected David D. Wagener (D) 63.7%
Peter S. Michler (W) 36.3%
Pennsylvania 8 Edward B. Hubley Democratic 1834 Retired
Democratic hold
Peter Newhard (D) 54.5%
Walter C. Livingston (W) 45.5%
Pennsylvania 9 George Keim Democratic 1838 (special) Re-elected George Keim (D) 69.3%
Daniel M. Bieber (W) 30.7%
Pennsylvania 10 Luther Reily Democratic 1836 Retired
Whig gain
William Simonton (W) 59.1%
William Reily (D) 40.9%
Pennsylvania 11 Henry Logan Democratic 1834 Retired
Democratic hold
James Gerry (D) 56.6%
Charles A. Barnitz (W) 43.4%
Pennsylvania 12 Daniel Sheffer Democratic 1836 Lost re-election
Whig gain
James Cooper (W) 55.9%
Daniel Sheffer (D) 44.1%
Pennsylvania 13 Charles McClure Democratic 1836 Retired
Democratic hold
William S. Ramsey (D) 57.3%
Frederick Watts (W) 42.7%
Pennsylvania 14 William W. Potter Democratic 1836 Re-elected William W. Potter (D) 50.9%
William Irvin (W) 49.1%
Pennsylvania 15 David Petrikin Democratic 1836 Re-elected David Petrikin (D) 53.5%
David Hurley (W) 46.5%
Pennsylvania 16 Robert H. Hammond Democratic 1836 Re-elected Robert H. Hammond (D) 56.6%
James Morrill (W) 43.4%
Pennsylvania 17 Samuel W. Morris Democratic 1836 Re-elected Samuel W. Morris (D) 54.2%
William Willard (W) 45.8%
Pennsylvania 18 Charles Ogle Anti-Masonic 1836 Re-elected Charles Ogle (AM) 55.9%
Job Mann (D) 44.1%
Pennsylvania 19 John Klingensmith, Jr. Democratic 1832 Retired
Democratic hold
Albert G. Marchand (D) 60.9%
Joseph Markle (W) 39.1%
Pennsylvania 20 Andrew Buchanan Democratic 1832 Retired
Democratic hold
Enos Hook (D) 62.4%
Fideleo Hughes (W) 37.6%
Pennsylvania 21 Thomas M. T. McKennan Anti-Masonic 1830 Retired
Democratic gain
Isaac Leet (D) 50.1%
Joseph Lawrence (W) 49.9%
Pennsylvania 22 Richard Biddle Anti-Masonic 1836 Re-elected Richard Biddle (AM) 58.1%
James Power (D) 41.9%
Pennsylvania 23 William Beatty Democratic 1836 Re-elected William Beatty (D) 61.5%
George W. Smith (W) 38.5%
Pennsylvania 24 Thomas Henry Anti-Masonic 1836 Re-elected Thomas Henry (AM) 54.7%
James D. White (D) 45.3%
Pennsylvania 25 Arnold Plumer Democratic 1836 Retired
Democratic hold
John Galbraith (D) 51.2%
David Dick (W) 48.8%

In the 3rd district, Charles Naylor's election was unsuccessfully contested by Charles J. Ingersoll.[9]

There were three special elections in Pennsylvania during the 26th Congress.[10] The first was in the 14th district to fill a vacancy left by the death of William W. Potter (D) on October 28, 1839, and was filled by George McCulloch (D). The second was in the 22nd district to fill a vacancy left by Richard Biddle's resignation and was filled by Henry M. Brackenridge (W). The third was held in the 13th district to fill a vacancy left by the death of William S. Ramsey (D) on October 17, 1840. Ramsey had also been re-elected to the 27th Congress and so an additional special election was held the following May to fill the vacancy in the 27th Congress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Includes 5 plural districts
  2. ^ Includes 3 plural districts
  3. ^ 6 Anti-Masonic
  4. ^ 6 Nullifiers in previous election
  5. ^ Includes 1 plural district
  6. ^ 2 Conservatives
  7. ^ For plural districts, percent is based on assumption that each voter cast as many votes as there are seats
  8. ^ Wilkes University Elections Statistics Project
  9. ^ http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/bioguide-front/26.pdf footnote 42
  10. ^ http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/bioguide-front/26.pdf footnotes 43-48

External links[edit]