42nd United States Congress

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42nd United States Congress
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March 4, 1871 – March 4, 1873
Members74 senators
243 representatives
10 non-voting delegates
Senate majorityRepublican
Senate PresidentSchuyler Colfax (R)
House majorityRepublican
House SpeakerJames G. Blaine (R)
1st: March 4, 1871 – April 20, 1871
2nd: December 4, 1871 – June 10, 1872
3rd: December 2, 1872 – March 4, 1873

The 42nd 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, 1871, to March 4, 1873, during the third and fourth years of Ulysses S. Grant's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the 1860 United States census. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

Major events[edit]

Major legislation[edit]

Party summary[edit]

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 12 0 62 74 0
Begin 14 1 55 70 4
End 17 54 722
Final voting share 23.6% 1.4% 75.0%
Beginning of next congress 19 3 50 72 2

House of Representatives[edit]

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant


End of previous congress 67 0 0 169 5[a] 241 2
Begin 102 1 3 135 0 241 2
End 106 4 130
Final voting share 44.0% 0.4% 1.7% 53.9% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 91 0 4 189 6[b] 290 2


President of the Senate Schuyler Colfax


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 began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1874; Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1876; and Class 3 meant their term ended in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1872.

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: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Resignations: 2
  • Contested elections: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 4
Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
Virginia (2) Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Previous incumbent re-elected March 15, 1871.
John W. Johnston (D) March 15, 1871
Georgia (2) Vacant Foster Blodgett presented credentials as Senator-elect, but the Senate declared him not elected.
Successor elected November 14, 1871.
Thomas M. Norwood (D) November 14, 1871
Mississippi (2) Vacant Delayed taking seat in order to serve as Governor of Mississippi James L. Alcorn (R) December 1, 1871
North Carolina (2) Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Successor elected January 30, 1872.
Matt W. Ransom (D) January 30, 1872
Kentucky (3) Garrett Davis (D) Died September 22, 1872.
Successor appointed September 27, 1872.
Appointee was later elected January 21, 1873, to finish the term.[1]
Willis B. Machen (D) September 27, 1872
Louisiana (3) William P. Kellogg (R) Resigned November 1, 1872, after being elected Governor of Louisiana Vacant Not filled this Congress
Massachusetts (2) Henry Wilson (R) Resigned March 3, 1873, after being elected U.S. Vice President Vacant Not filled this Congress

House of Representatives[edit]

House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
District of Columbia At-large New seat District of Columbia's At-large district created March 4, 1871, and remained vacant until April 21, 1871 Norton P. Chipman (R) April 21, 1871
Illinois At-large Vacant Rep. John A. Logan resigned at the end of the previous congress after being elected to the US Senate John L. Beveridge (R) November 7, 1871
Michigan 4th Vacant Rep. Thomas W. Ferry resigned at the end of the previous congress after being elected to the US Senate Wilder D. Foster (R) December 4, 1871
Illinois 6th Burton C. Cook (R) Resigned August 26, 1871 Henry Snapp (R) December 4, 1871
Louisiana 4th James McCleery (R) Died November 5, 1871 Alexander Boarman (LR) December 3, 1872
Massachusetts 9th William B. Washburn (R) Resigned December 5, 1871, after being elected Governor of Massachusetts Alvah Crocker (R) January 2, 1872
Arkansas 3rd John Edwards (LR) Lost contested election February 9, 1872 Thomas Boles (R) February 9, 1872
Massachusetts 7th George M. Brooks (R) Resigned May 13, 1872, after becoming judge of probate for Middlesex County Constantine C. Esty (R) December 2, 1872
Texas 3rd William T. Clark (R) Lost contested election May 13, 1872 Dewitt C. Giddings (D) December 13, 1872
Ohio 1st Aaron F. Perry (R) Resigned July 14, 1872 Ozro J. Dodds (D) October 9, 1872
Georgia 4th Thomas J. Speer (R) Died August 18, 1872 Erasmus W. Beck (D) December 2, 1872
Connecticut 1st Julius L. Strong (R) Died September 7, 1872 Joseph R. Hawley (R) December 2, 1872
Pennsylvania 13th Ulysses Mercur (R) Resigned December 2, 1872, after becoming an assoc. justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Frank C. Bunnell (R) December 24, 1872
Illinois At-large John L. Beveridge (R) Resigned January 4, 1873, after being elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois Vacant Not filled this term
South Carolina 2nd Robert C. De Large (R) Seat declared vacant January 24, 1873, after election was contested by Christopher C. Bowen Vacant Not filled this term
Florida At-large Josiah T. Walls (R) Lost contested election January 29, 1873 Silas L. Niblack (D) January 29, 1873


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]



Legislative branch agency directors[edit]


House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Conservative
  2. ^ Independent Democratic
  3. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  1. ^ Byrd & Wolff, p. 112.
  • Byrd, Robert C.; Wolff, Wendy (October 1, 1993). The Senate, 1789-1989: Historical Statistics, 1789-1992 (volume 4 Bicentennial ed.). U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 9780160632563.
  • 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]