1869 United States Senate election in New York

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The 1869 United States Senate election in New York was held on January 19, 1869, by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.


Republican Edwin D. Morgan had been elected in February 1863 to this seat, and his term would expire on March 3, 1869.

At the State election in November 1867, 17 Republicans and 15 Democrats were elected for a two-year term (1868-1869) in the State Senate. At the State election in November 1868, Democrat John T. Hoffman was elected Governor, and 75 Republicans and 53 Democrats were elected for the session of 1869 to the Assembly. The 92nd New York State Legislature met from January 5 to May 11, 1869, at Albany, New York.


Republican caucus[edit]

The caucus of Republican State legislators met on January 16, Assemblyman John H. Selkreg presided. All 92 legislators were present. They nominated Ex-Governor Reuben E. Fenton for the U.S. Senate. The incumbent U.S. Senator Edwin D. Morgan was very keen on his re-election, but was voted down. Speaker Truman G. Younglove had held back the appointments to the standing Assembly committees until after the caucus, and subsequent election, of a U.S. Senator, and was accused by the Morgan men to have made a bargain to favor the Fenton men with appointments after the election was accomplished. After the caucus, comparing notes, the assemblymen discovered that some of the most important committee chairmanships had been promised to a dozen different members by Speaker Younglove.

1869 Republican caucus for United States Senator result
Candidate First ballot Second ballot
Reuben E. Fenton (50) 52
Edwin D. Morgan (42) 40
blank (1)

Note: On the first ballot, 93 votes were cast, one too many, and it was annulled without announcing the result. The above stated result transpired unofficially. The blank vote caused some debate if the result was really invalidated by it, but it was finally agreed to take a second ballot.

Democratic caucus[edit]

The caucus of the Democratic State legislators met on January 18. State Senator Henry C. Murphy was again nominated, like in 1867.


In the Assembly, Republicans DeWitt C. Hoyt (Saratoga Co.) and James O. Schoonmaker (Ulster Co.); and Democrats James Irving (NYC), Lawrence D. Kiernan (NYC), Harris B. Howard (Rensselaer Co.), James B. Pearsall (Queens), John Tighe (Albany Co.) and Moses Y. Tilden (Columbia Co.); did not vote.

In the State Senate, Republicans Matthew Hale (16th D.) and Charles Stanford (15th D.); and Democrats Cauldwell, Thomas J. Creamer, Michael Norton (5th D.) and John J. Bradley (7th D.); did not vote.


Reuben E. Fenton was the choice of both the Assembly and the State Senate, and was declared elected.

1869 United States Senator election result
House Republican Democratic Democratic
State Senate
(32 members)
Reuben E. Fenton 15 Henry C. Murphy 10 Henry S. Randall 1
State Assembly
(128 members)
Reuben E. Fenton 73 Henry C. Murphy 46


  • The vote for Ex-Secretary of State Randall was cast by Henry C. Murphy.
  • The votes were cast on January 19, but both Houses met in a joint session on January 20 to compare nominations, and declare the result.


Fenton served one term, and remained in office until March 3, 1875.