25th United States Congress

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"25th Congress" redirects here. For the Soviet congress, see 25th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
25th United States Congress
24th ← → 26th
United States Capitol (1827)

Duration: March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1839

Senate President: Richard M. Johnson (D)
Senate Pres. pro tem: William R. King (D)
House Speaker: James K. Polk (D)
Members: 52 Senators
242 Representatives
3 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Democratic
House Majority: Democratic

Special: March 4, 1837 – March 10, 1837
1st: September 4, 1837 – October 16, 1837
2nd: December 4, 1837 – July 9, 1838
3rd: December 3, 1838 – March 3, 1839

The Twenty-fifth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1837 to March 4, 1839, during the first two years of Martin Van Buren's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fifth Census of the United States in 1830. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.

Major events[edit]

"The modern balaam and his ass."
A gaunt figure labeled Bankrupts of 1837 "the Regency" "Safety Fund" "Deposit Banks" "Old Hickory" & Uncle Sam $300,000,000 holds a fiery sword labeled Protest $200,000. The figure says "Wherefore hast thou smitten thine Ass? Behold I went out to Protest thee, because thy way is perverse before me!!" An ass carrying a man and a sack with the words Specie Currency Circulating Medium replies to the figure, "Am not I thine Ass upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?" The man ontop the talking Ass wields a cane with the word Veto on it and says to the figure, "Because thou hast mocked me, I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I veto thee!!" The man also has part of his garment labeled Farewell Address. A man walking behind him with a bulge in his pocket labeled $300,000 says, "I shall tread in the footsteps of my illustrious predecessor."

Major legislation[edit]

States admitted and/or territories organized[edit]

Party summary[edit]


(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress (Jacksonian)
52 0
Begin 35 17 0 52 0
End 16 1
Final voting share 67.3% 30.8% 1.9%
Beginning of the next congress 28 19 0 47 5

House of Representatives[edit]

(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of the previous congress 14 (Jacksonian)
7 (Anti-Jacksonian)
0 241 1
Begin 7 121 7 100 0 235 0
End 114 105 233 2
Final voting share 3.0% 48.9% 3.0% 45.1% 0.0%
Non-voting members 0 2 0 0 1 3 0
Beginning of the next congress 6 124 0 109 2 241 1


President of the Senate
Richard M. Johnson


House of Representatives[edit]


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

Skip to House of Representatives, below


Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1838; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1840; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1842.

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership[edit]

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • Replacements: 6
    • Democrats: no net change
    • Whigs: no net change
  • Deaths: 1
  • Resignations: 6
  • Total seats with changes: 7
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Richard E. Parker (D) Resigned March 4, 1837 after accepting a seat on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals William H. Roane (D) Elected March 14, 1837
John McKinley (D) Resigned April 22, 1837 after being appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Clement C. Clay (D) Elected June 19, 1837
John P. King (D) Resigned November 1, 1837 Wilson Lumpkin (D) Elected November 22, 1837
Joseph Kent (W) Died November 24, 1837 William D. Merrick (W) Elected January 4, 1838
John Black (W) Resigned January 22, 1838 James F. Trotter (D) Appointed January 22, 1838
Felix Grundy (D) Resigned July 4, 1838 after being appointed United States Attorney General Ephraim H. Foster (W) Elected September 17, 1838
James F. Trotter (D) Resigned July 10, 1838 Thomas H. Williams (D) Appointed November 12, 1838 and subsequently elected

House of Representatives[edit]

  • Replacements: 16
    • Democrats: 5-seat net loss
    • Whigs: 5-seat net gain
  • Deaths: 9
  • Resignations: 6
  • Contested election:1
  • Total seats with changes: 20

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
Mississippi At-large Vacant Rep-elect Claiborne presented credentials July 18, 1837 John F. H. Claiborne (D) Seated July 18, 1837
Mississippi At-large Vacant Rep-elect Gholson presented credentials July 18, 1837 Samuel J. Gholson (D) Seated July 18, 1837
Pennsylvania 3rd Francis J. Harper (D) Died March 18, 1837 Charles Naylor (W) Seated June 29, 1837
Tennessee 4th James I. Standifer (W) Died August 20, 1837 William Stone (W) Seated September 14, 1837
Ohio 17th Elisha Whittlesey (W) Resigned October 20, 1837 Charles D. Coffin (W) Seated December 20, 1837
Mississippi At-large John F. H. Claiborne (D) Seat declared vacant February 5, 1838 Seargent S. Prentiss (W) Seated May 30, 1838
Mississippi At-large Samuel J. Gholson (D) Seat declared vacant February 5, 1838 Thomas J. Word (W) Seated May 30, 1838
Pennsylvania 9th Henry A. P. Muhlenberg (D) Resigned February 9, 1838 after being appointed Minister to Austrian Empire George M. Keim (D) Seated March 17, 1838
Maine 3rd Jonathan Cilley (D) Killed in a duel February 24, 1838 by Rep. William J. Graves Edward Robinson (W) Seated April 28, 1838
Maine 5th Timothy J. Carter (D) Died March 14, 1838 Virgil D. Parris (D) Seated May 29, 1838
Maryland 4th Isaac McKim (D) Died April 1, 1838 John P. Kennedy (W) Seated April 25, 1838
Virginia 13th John M. Patton (D) Resigned April 7, 1838 Linn Banks (D) Seated April 28, 1838
Alabama 3rd Joab Lawler (W) Died May 8, 1838 George W. Crabb (W) Seated October 5, 1835
Ohio 19th Daniel Kilgore (D) Resigned July 4, 1838 Henry Swearingen (D) Seated December 3, 1838
Ohio 16th Elisha Whittlesey (W) Resigned July 9, 1838 Joshua R. Giddings (W) Seated December 3, 1838
New York 22nd Andrew D. Bruyn (D) Died July 27, 1838 Cyrus Beers (D) Seated December 3, 1838
New York 29th William Patterson (W) Died August 14, 1838 Harvey Putnam (W) Seated November 7, 1838
Iowa Territory At-large New seat Iowa Territory seated its first delegate September 10, 1838 George W. Jones (D) Seated September 10, 1838
Massachusetts 2nd Stephen C. Phillips (W) Seat declared vacant September 28, 1838 Leverett Saltonstall (W) Seated December 15, 1838
Maine 1st John Fairfield (D) Resigned December 24, 1838 after being elected Governor of Maine Vacant Not filled this congress
Wisconsin Territory At-large George W. Jones (D) Lost contested election January 14, 1839 James D. Doty (D) Seated January 14, 1839
Louisiana 2nd Eleazar W. Ripley (D) Died March 2, 1839 Vacant Not filled this congress


Lists of committees and their party leaders.


House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]



House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 

External links[edit]