United States House of Representatives elections, 1856
Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 35th Congress were held in 1856 and 1857. The elections returned a semblance of normality to the Democratic Party, as they retook a House majority and retained the presidency with the election of James Buchanan. However, the party was permanently divided over the slavery issue.
Earlier in the year, the Whig Party disbanded. With the majority of Whigs joining the Republican cause, the Republican Party finished second for their first time. Meanwhile, the short-lived Know-Nothing movement declined and the American Party began to fall apart. The Democrats (including Francis Preston Blair, Jr. who was elected as an Independent Democrat (aka. a "Benton Democrat") to Missouri's 1st District), aided by much support from recent immigrants, took advantage of the situation and became the majority, despite fragmented support within the party.
Two seats were added for the new state of Minnesota and one seat for the new state of Oregon. Minnesota was unrepresented for part of the 1st session, while Oregon was unrepresented for all but the last few weeks of the 2nd session.
|California||At-large||November 4, 1856
(Election Day)[Note 6]
|Arkansas||District||August 4, 1856||2||2||0||0|
|Florida||At-large||October 6, 1856||1||1||0||0|
|Indiana||District||October 14, 1856||11||6||4||5||4||0|
|Iowa||District||August 4, 1856||2||0||1||2||1||0|
|Maine||District||September 8, 1856||6||0||1||6||1||0|
|Missouri||District||August 4, 1856||7||5[Note 7]||4||0||6||2||2|
|Ohio||District||October 14, 1856||21||9||9||12||9||0|
|Pennsylvania||District||October 14, 1856||25||15||9||10||8||0||1|
|South Carolina||District||October 13–14, 1856||6||6||0||0|
|Vermont||District||September 2, 1856||3||0||3||0|
|Alabama||District||August 3, 1857||7||7||2||0||0||2|
|Connecticut||District||April 6, 1857||4||2||2||2||2||0||4|
|Georgia||District||October 5, 1857||8||6||0||2|
|Kentucky||District||August 3, 1857||10||8||4||0||2||4|
|Louisiana||District||November 3, 1857||4||3||0||1|
|Maryland||District||November 4, 1857||6||3||1||0||3||1|
|Minnesota||At-large||October 13, 1857[Note 8]||2||2||2||0||0|
|Mississippi||District||October 5–6, 1857||5||5||1||0||0||1|
|New Hampshire||District||March 10, 1857||3||0||3||3||0||3|
|North Carolina||District||August 6, 1857||8||7||2||0||1||2|
|Rhode Island||District||April 1, 1857||2||0||2||2||0||2|
|Tennessee||District||August 6, 1857||10||7||2||0||3||2|
|Texas||District||August 3, 1857||2||2||1||0||0||1|
|Virginia||District||May 28, 1857||13||13||1||0||0||1|
|Oregon||At-large||June, 1858[Note 9]||1||1||1||0||0|
|Total[Note 2]||237||133[Note 4]
2 seats on a general ticket
|James W. Denver||Democratic||1854||Retired
|Charles L. Scott (D) 29.9%
Joseph C. McKibbin (D) 21%
A. B. Dibble (KN) 20.7%
Ira P. Rankin (I) 13%
J. N. Turner (R) 12.5%
|Philemon T. Herbert||Democratic||1854||Retired[Note 10]
|Florida at-large||Augustus Maxwell||Democratic||1852||Retired
|George S. Hawkins (D) 53.1%
James McNair Baker (KN) 46.9%
- United States presidential election, 1856
- United States Senate elections, 1856
- 35th United States Congress
- Excludes states admitted during this Congress
- Includes late elections.
- The figure indicates the number of members of the Opposition Party in previous election of 1854. (There were 13 Republican Party members who part of the so-called Opposition Party.)
- Includes one Independent Democrat (aka. a "Benton Democrat"): Francis Preston Blair, Jr. of MO-01.
- Compared to the 100 Opposition Party members in previous election of 1854.
- In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors (see: Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721). Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for Congressional elections as well.
- Includes one Independent Democrat (aka. a "Benton Democrat"): Francis Preston Blair, Jr. of MO-01. Note that while Martis (p. 110) and Dubin (p. 176) list him as an "Independent Democrat" or "Benton Democrat", others sources (e.g. the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress) list Blair as a "Republican".
- New state. Representatives seated May 11, 1858, during the 1st session.
- New state. Representative seated February 14, 1859, less than a month before the end of the 35th Congress.
- Retired after manslaughter acquittal.
- Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. ISBN 978-0786402830.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0029201701.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1994). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Third ed.). Congressional Quarterly Inc. ISBN 978-0871879967.
- "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives* 1789–Present". Office of the Historian, House of United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Office of the Historian (Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives)