1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections
All 233 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
117 seats needed for a majority
Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 32nd Congress were held at various dates in different states from August 1850 to November 1851. The Democrats gained 17 seats, increasing their majority relative to the rival Whigs, who lost 22 seats.
Whig President Millard Fillmore, who succeeded to the Presidency in July 1850 after the death of Zachary Taylor, lacked a strong political base. Sectionalism and slavery were increasingly prominent, but not yet politically critical, issues. The Compromise of 1850 was a short-term success in beginning the constructive disposal of the Mexican Cession, but the admission of California as the 31st state augured a future free-soil West. Lingering Southern unhappiness with the results of the Compromise and a sense of foreboding helped motivate later sectional and political conflict over Kansas.
The Unionist Party, formed in support of the Compromise of 1850, gained 10 seats in the South, as did the States' Rights Party. The abolitionist Free Soil Party lost five seats and was reduced to four Representatives, all in New England.
|Democratic||Free Soil||States' Rights||Unionist||Whig|
|Iowa||District||August 5, 1850||2||2||0||0||0||0|
|Missouri||District||August 5, 1850||5||2||3||0||0||0||3||3|
|Vermont||District||September 3, 1850||4||1||0||0||0||3|
|Maine||District||September 9, 1850||7||5||0||0||0||2|
|Florida||At-large||October 7, 1850||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Ohio||District||October 8, 1850||21||11[e]||1||1||0||0||9||1|
|Pennsylvania||District||October 8, 1850||24[f]||15||6||0||1||0||0||9||4|
|South Carolina||District||October 14–15, 1850||7||7||0||0||0||0|
|Illinois||District||November 5, 1850
|Massachusetts||District||November 11, 1850||10[h]||1||1||2||1||0||0||7||1|
|Delaware||At-large||November 12, 1850||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Late elections (after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term)|
|New Hampshire||District||March 11, 1851||4||2||0||1||0||0||2||1|
|Rhode Island||District||April 2, 1851||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||1|
|Connecticut||District||April 7, 1851||4||3||1||0||1||0||0||1|
|Alabama||District||August 4, 1851||7||4||1||0||0||1||1||2|
|Arkansas||At-large||August 4, 1851||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Indiana||District||August 4, 1851||10||8||0||1||0||0||2||1|
|Kentucky||District||August 4, 1851||10||5||1||0||0||0||5||1|
|Texas||District||August 4, 1851||2||2||0||0||0||0|
|North Carolina||District||August 7, 1851||9||3||0||0||0||6|
|Tennessee||District||August 7, 1851||11||7[e]||0||0||0||4|
|California||At-large||September 3, 1851||2[i]||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Maryland||District||October 1, 1851||6||2||1||0||0||0||4[b]||1|
|Georgia||District||October 6, 1851||8||0||4||0||2||2||6||6||0||4|
|Virginia||District||October 23, 1851||15||13||0||0||0||2|
|Mississippi||District||November 3–4, 1851||4||0||4||0||1||1||3||3||0|
|Louisiana||District||November 4, 1851||4||2||1||0||0||0||2||1|
California's members were elected late, at-large statewide, September 3, 1851. There were nevertheless seated with the rest of the House at the beginning of the first session.
|California at-large||George W. Wright||Independent||1849||Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
|Edward Gilbert||Democratic||1849||Incumbent retired.|
New member elected.
Florida's single at-large member was elected October 7, 1850.
|Florida at-large||Edward C. Cabell||Whig||1846||Incumbent re-elected.|
- 1850 United States elections
- 31st United States Congress
- 32nd United States Congress
- Includes three Independent Democrats from Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
- Includes 1 Independent Whig.
- Free Soil had 4 seats and States' Rights had 3.
- Unionist had 10 seats.
- Includes one Independent Democrat.
- There was 1 Know-Nothing in the 31st Congress.
- In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors. Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for Congressional elections as well.
- One seat, Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, had been vacant during the entire 31st Congress.
- There was 1 Independent in the 31st Congress.
- Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721
- 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)