45th United States Congress

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45th United States Congress
44th ← → 46th
United States Capitol (1869)

Duration: March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1879

Senate President: William A. Wheeler
Senate Pres. pro tem: Thomas W. Ferry
House Speaker: Samuel J. Randall
Members: 76 Senators
293 Representatives
8 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Democratic

Special: March 5, 1877 – March 17, 1877
1st: October 15, 1877 – December 3, 1877
2nd: December 3, 1877 – June 20, 1878
3rd: December 2, 1878 – March 3, 1879

The Forty-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, 1877 to March 4, 1879, during the first two years of Rutherford Hayes's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Ninth Census of the United States in 1870. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.

The 45th Congress remained politically divided between a Democratic House and Republican Senate.[1] President Hayes vetoed an Army appropriations bill from the House which would have ended Reconstruction and prohibited the use of federal troops to protect polling stations in the former Confederacy.[1] Striking back, Congress overrode another of Hayes’s vetoes and enacted the Bland-Allison Act that required the purchase and coining of silver.[1] Congress also approved a generous increase in pension eligibility for Northern Civil War veterans.[1]


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.

During this Congress, two Senate seats and one House seat were added for the new state, Colorado.


(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of the previous congress 28 0 1 47 76 0
Begin 35 1 0 40 76 0
End 36 39
Final voting share 47.4% 1.3% 0.0% 51.3%
Beginning of the next congress 42 1 1 32 76 0

House of Representatives[edit]

(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant



End of the previous congress 183 1 3 4 100 0 291 1
Begin 151 1 0 0 141 0 293 0
End 154 136 291 2
Final voting share 52.9% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 46.7% 0.0%
Non-voting members 3 0 0 0 5 0 8 0
Beginning of the next congress 145 4 1 0 131 11 292 1


President of the Senate
William A. Wheeler


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.


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 reelection in 1880; Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1882; and Class 3 meant their term ended in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1878.

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: 5
  • deaths: 2
  • resignations: 3
  • interim appointments: 1
  • contested elections: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 5
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Ohio (3) John Sherman (R) Resigned March 8, 1877 after being appointed United States Secretary of the Treasury T. Stanley Matthews (R) March 21, 1877
Pennsylvania (3) Simon Cameron (R) Resigned March 12, 1877 J. Donald Cameron (R) March 20, 1877
Missouri (3) Lewis V. Bogy (D) Died September 20, 1877. An interim successor was appointed. David H. Armstrong (D) September 29, 1877
Indiana (3) Oliver P. Morton (R) Died November 1, 1877. Daniel W. Voorhees (D) November 6, 1877
Missouri (3) David H. Armstrong (D) Successor elected January 26, 1879 James Shields (D) January 27, 1879
Michigan (1) Isaac P. Christiancy (R) Resigned February 10, 1879 due to ill health Zachariah Chandler (R) February 22, 1879

House of Representatives[edit]

  • replacements: 10
  • deaths: 7
  • resignations: 1
  • contested election: 5
  • Total seats with changes: 13

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
Georgia 9th Vacant Rep Benjamin Harvey Hill resigned in previous congress Hiram P. Bell (D) March 13, 1877
Colorado At-large James B. Belford (R) Lost contested election December 13, 1877 Thomas M. Patterson (D) December 13, 1877
California 4th Romualdo Pacheco (R) Lost contested election February 7, 1878 Peter D. Wigginton (D) February 7, 1878
Louisiana 3rd Chester B. Darrall (R) Lost contested election February 20, 1878 Joseph H. Acklen (D) February 20, 1878
Louisiana 5th John E. Leonard (R) Died March 15, 1878 J. Smith Young (D) November 5, 1878
Massachusetts 3rd Walbridge A. Field (R) Lost contested election March 28, 1878 Benjamin Dean (D) March 28, 1878
New York 16th Terence J. Quinn (D) Died June 18, 1878 John M. Bailey (R) November 5, 1878
Nebraska At-large Frank Welch (R) Died September 4, 1878 Thomas J. Majors (R) November 5, 1878
Michigan 1st Alpheus S. Williams (D) Died December 21, 1878 Vacant Not filled this term
Virginia 1st Beverly B. Douglas (D) Died December 22, 1878 Richard L. T. Beale (D) January 23, 1879
Georgia 1st Julian Hartridge (D) Died January 8, 1879 William B. Fleming (D) February 10, 1879
Texas 6th Gustav Schleicher (D) Died January 10, 1879 Vacant Not filled this term
Florida 2nd Horatio Bisbee, Jr. (R) Lost contested election February 20, 1879 Jesse J. Finley (D) February 20, 1879



House of Representatives[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]