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25th United States Congress

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25th United States Congress
24th ←
→ 26th

March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1839
Members52 senators
242 representatives
3 non-voting delegates
Senate majorityDemocratic
Senate PresidentRichard M. Johnson (D)
House majorityDemocratic
House SpeakerJames K. Polk (D)
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 25th 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 1830 United States census. Both houses of congress had a Democratic majority.

Major events[edit]

THE MODERN BALAAM AND HIS ASS, an 1837 caricature placing the blame for the Panic of 1837 and the perilous state of the banking system on outgoing President Andrew Jackson, shown riding a donkey, while President Martin Van Buren comments approvingly.

Major legislation[edit]

Territories organized[edit]

Party summary[edit]

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this congress. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 31[a] 19[b] 2[c] 52 0
Begin 35 17 0 52 0
End 16 511
Final voting share 68.6% 31.4% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 28 19 0 47 5

House of Representatives[edit]

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 14 139[d] 7 81[e] 0 241 1
Begin 7 128 4 101 0 240 2
End 123 106
Final voting share 2.9% 51.3% 1.7% 44.2% 0.0%
Non-voting members 0 2001 3 0
Beginning of 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 by class, and representatives 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, ending in 1839; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, ending in 1841; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, ending in 1843.

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
Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[f]
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
Ephraim H. Foster (W) Resigned March 3, 1839 before start of new Congress under orders of state legislature. Vacant

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
House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[f]
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 Wallace 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 Wallace 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]


  1. ^ Jacksonians
  2. ^ Anti-Jacksonians
  3. ^ Nullifier
  4. ^ Jacksonians
  5. ^ Anti-Jacksonians
  6. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  1. ^ "Committee History". House Committee on Natural Resources. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  • 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]