United States House of Representatives elections, 1844

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United States House of Representatives elections, 1844
United States
1842 ←
July 1, 1844 - November 4, 1845[1]
→ 1846

All 227[2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
115 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  John Wesley Davis.jpg Samuel Finley Vinton by howe.png LCLevin-small.jpg
Leader John Davis Samuel Finley Vinton Lewis Charles Levin
Party Democratic Whig American
Leader's seat Indiana-6th Ohio-12th Pennsylvania-1st
Last election 148 seats 73 seats 0 seats
Seats won 143[2] 78 6
Seat change Decrease 5 Increase 5 Increase 6

Speaker before election

John Jones
Democratic

Elected Speaker

John Davis
Democratic

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 29th Congress were held at different dates in the various states from July 1, 1844 (Louisiana) to November 4, 1845 (Mississippi). All 227 members of the House of Representatives elected[3] took their seats when Congress convened December 1, 1845. The elections mostly coincided with the 1844 presidential election, won by dark horse Democratic candidate James K. Polk, who won on a campaign advocating territorial expansion. The new states of Florida, Texas and Iowa were added during this Congress. Florida had actually been admitted on the last day of the 28th Congress, but was not represented until the 29th. Iowa and Texas both elected their first representatives in 1846.

Despite Polk's victory, the Democrats had a net loss of six Representatives. They still retained a large majority of 142-79 over their major rivals, the Whigs. The American Party, based on the nativist "Know Nothing" movement characterized by opposition to immigration and anti-Catholicism, gained six seats, its first in Congress. The fragmentation of votes by this new party, combined with a generally negative political environment cause by dislike of outgoing President John Tyler, contributed to the slight Democratic loses.

Election summaries[edit]

Five seats were added for the new States of Florida[4] (1), Iowa[5] (2), and Texas[6] (2). Florida was represented for the entirety of the 29th Congress, while Texas was unrepresented for part of the 1st session and Iowa for all of the 1st session.

143 6 78
Democratic AKN Whig
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Whig Know Nothing
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Arkansas At-large October 8, 1844 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large November 12, 1844 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Georgia District[7] August 7, 1844 8 5 Decrease3 3 Increase3 0 Steady
Illinois District August 5, 1844 7 6 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Louisiana District July 1–3, 1844 4 3 Decrease1 1 Increase1 0 Steady
Maine District September 9, 1844 7 6 Increase1 1 Decrease1 0 Steady
Massachusetts District November 11, 1844 10 0 Decrease2 10 Increase2 0 Steady
Michigan District November 5, 1844 3 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri At-large August 5, 1844 5 5 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
New Jersey District October 9, 1844 5 1 Decrease3 4 Increase3 0 Steady
New York District November 11, 1844 34 21 Decrease3 9 Decrease1 4 Increase4
Ohio District October 8, 1844 21 13 Increase1 8 Decrease1 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District October 8, 1844 24 12 Steady 10 Decrease2 2 Increase2
South Carolina District October 14–15, 1844 7 7 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont District September 3, 1844 4 1 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
1845 elections
Alabama District August 4, 1845 7 6 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Connecticut District April 7, 1845 4 0 Decrease4 4 Increase4 0 Steady
Florida[8] At-large May 26, 1845 1 1 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady
Indiana District August 4, 1845 10 8 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Kentucky District August 4, 1845 10 3 Decrease1 7 Increase2 0 Steady
Maryland District October 1, 1845 6 4 Increase4 2 Decrease4 0 Steady
Mississippi At-large November 3–4, 1845 4 4 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
New Hampshire At-large March 11, 1845 4[3] 3 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady
North Carolina District August 7, 1845 9 6 Increase1 3 Decrease1 0 Steady
Rhode Island District April 2, 1845 2 0 Steady 2 Increase2[9] 0 Steady
Tennessee District August 7, 1845 11 6 Steady 5 Steady 0 Steady
Virginia District April 24, 1845 15 14 Increase2 1 Decrease2 0 Steady
1846 elections
Iowa[8] At-large October 26, 1846 2 2 Increase2 0 Steady 0 Steady
Texas[8] District March 30, 1846 2 2 Increase2 0 Steady 0 Steady
Total 227[2] 143
62.6%
Decrease6 78
34.8%
Increase6 6
2.6%
Increase6
House seats
Democratic
  
63.00%
Whig
  
34.36%
Know-Nothing
  
2.64%

Complete returns[edit]

Florida[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
Florida at-large None (New state) Democratic gain David Levy Yulee (D) 60.3
Benjamin A. Putnam (W) 39.7%

Yulee did not serve, being elected to the Senate. A special election was held which was, initially, won by Edward C. Cabell (W). The election was successfully challenged by William H. Brockenbrough (D).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Excludes states admitted during the 29th Congress
  2. ^ a b c Includes late elections
  3. ^ a b There was a single vacancy in New Hampshire's representation, which went unfilled for the duration of the 29th Congress
  4. ^ Stat. 743
  5. ^ Stat. 52
  6. ^ Stat. 798
  7. ^ Changed from at-large
  8. ^ a b c New State
  9. ^ Previous election had 2 members of the short-lived Law and Order Party