United States House of Representatives elections, 1856

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United States House of Representatives elections, 1856
United States
1854 ←
August 4, 1856 - November 4, 1857[Note 1] → 1858

All 237[Note 2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
118 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  James Lawrence Orr - Brady-Handy.jpg GalushaAaron.jpg Henry Winter Davis.jpg
Leader James Orr Galusha Grow Henry Winter Davis
Party Democratic Republican American
Leader's seat South Carolina-5th Pennsylvania-14th Maryland-4th
Last election 83 seats 100 seats[Note 3] 51 seats
Seats won 133[Note 2][Note 4] 90 14
Seat change Increase 50 Decrease 10[Note 5] Decrease 37

Speaker before election

Nathaniel Banks
Republican

Elected Speaker

James Orr
Democratic

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.

Election summaries[edit]

Two seats were added for the new state of Minnesota[1] and one seat for the new state of Oregon.[2] Minnesota was unrepresented for part of the 1st session, while Oregon was unrepresented for all but the last few weeks of the 2nd session.

133 14 90
Democratic AKN Republican
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Republican Know-Nothing
Seats Change Seats Change[Note 5] Seats Change
California At-large November 4, 1856
(Election Day)[Note 6]
2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large 1 1 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
Illinois District 9 5 Steady 4 Steady 0 Steady
Massachusetts District 11 0 Steady 11 Increase11 0 Decrease11
Michigan District 4 0 Decrease1 4 Increase1 0 Steady
New Jersey District 5 3 Increase2 2 Decrease2 0 Steady
New York District 33 12 Increase7 21 Decrease4 0 Decrease3
Wisconsin District 3 0 Decrease1 3 Increase1 0 Steady
Arkansas District August 4, 1856 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Florida At-large October 6, 1856 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Indiana District October 14, 1856 11 6 Increase4 5 Decrease4 0 Steady
Iowa District August 4, 1856 2 0 Decrease1 2 Increase1 0 Steady
Maine District September 8, 1856 6 0 Decrease1 6 Increase1 0 Steady
Missouri District August 4, 1856 7 5[Note 7] Increase4 0 Decrease6 2 Increase2
Ohio District October 14, 1856 21 9 Increase9 12 Decrease9 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District October 14, 1856 25 15 Increase9 10 Decrease8 0 Decrease1
South Carolina District October 13–14, 1856 6 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont District September 2, 1856 3 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
1857 elections
Alabama District August 3, 1857 7 7 Increase2 0 Steady 0 Decrease2
Connecticut District April 6, 1857 4 2 Increase2 2 Increase2 0 Decrease4
Georgia District October 5, 1857 8 6 Steady 0 Steady 2 Steady
Kentucky District August 3, 1857 10 8 Increase4 0 Steady 2 Decrease4
Louisiana District November 3, 1857 4 3 Steady 0 Steady 1 Steady
Maryland District November 4, 1857 6 3 Increase1 0 Steady 3 Decrease1
Minnesota At-large October 13, 1857[Note 8] 2 2 Increase2 0 Steady 0 Steady
Mississippi District October 5–6, 1857 5 5 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
New Hampshire District March 10, 1857 3 0 Steady 3 Increase3 0 Decrease3
North Carolina District August 6, 1857 8 7 Increase2 0 Steady 1 Decrease2
Rhode Island District April 1, 1857 2 0 Steady 2 Increase2 0 Decrease2
Tennessee District August 6, 1857 10 7 Increase2 0 Steady 3 Decrease2
Texas District August 3, 1857 2 2 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
Virginia District May 28, 1857 13 13 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
1858 elections
Oregon At-large June, 1858[Note 9] 1 1 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady
Total[Note 2] 237 133[Note 4]
56.1%
Increase49 90
38.0%
Decrease8[Note 5] 14
5.9%
Decrease38
House seats
Democratic
  
56.12%
Republican
  
37.97%
Know-Nothing
  
5.91%

Complete returns[edit]

California[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
California at-large
2 seats on a general ticket
James W. Denver Democratic 1854 Retired
Democratic hold
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]
Democratic hold

Florida[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
Florida at-large Augustus Maxwell Democratic 1852 Retired
Democratic hold
George S. Hawkins (D) 53.1%
James McNair Baker (KN) 46.9%

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Excludes states admitted during this Congress
  2. ^ a b c Includes late elections.
  3. ^ 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.)
  4. ^ a b Includes one Independent Democrat (aka. a "Benton Democrat"): Francis Preston Blair, Jr. of MO-01.
  5. ^ a b c Compared to the 100 Opposition Party members in previous election of 1854.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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".
  8. ^ New state. Representatives seated May 11, 1858, during the 1st session.
  9. ^ New state. Representative seated February 14, 1859, less than a month before the end of the 35th Congress.
  10. ^ Retired after manslaughter acquittal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 11 Stat. 166
  2. ^ 11 Stat. 383

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]