55th United States Congress

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55th United States Congress
54th ← → 56th
USCapitol1906.jpg
United States Capitol (1906)

Duration: March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1899

Senate President: Garret Hobart (R)
Senate Pres. pro tem: William P. Frye (R)
House Speaker: Thomas B. Reed (R)
Members: 90 Senators
357 Representatives
3 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Republican

Sessions
Special: March 4, 1897 – March 10, 1897
1st: March 15, 1897 – July 24, 1897
2nd: December 6, 1897 – July 8, 1898
3rd: December 5, 1898 – March 3, 1899

The Fifty-fifth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1897, to March 4, 1899, during the first two years of William McKinley's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eleventh Census of the United States in 1890. Both chambers had a Republican majority. There was one African-American member, George Henry White, a Republican from the state of North Carolina.

Contents

Major events[edit]

Major legislation[edit]

Treaties ratified[edit]

Senate composition, by party:
  Democratic
  Republican
  One Democratic, one Republican
  Populist
  Silver
  Silver Republican

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.

Senate[edit]

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Democratic
(D)
Populist
(P)
Republican
(R)
Silver
(S)
Silver
Republican

(SR)
End of the previous congress 40 4 44 2 0 90 0
Begin 33 5 43 2 5 88 2
End 34 44 90 0
Final voting share 37.8% 5.6% 48.9% 2.2% 5.6%
Beginning of the next congress 24 6 52 2 2 86 4

House of Representatives[edit]

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Democratic
(D)
Populist
(P)
Republican
(R)
Independent
Republican

(IR)
Silver
(S)
Silver
Republican

(SR)
End of the previous congress 94 9 252 0 0 1 356 1
Begin 124 22 206 1 1 3 357 0
End 207 358
Final voting share 34.6% 6.1% 57.8% 0.3% 0.3% 0.8%
Beginning of the next congress 163 6 183 0 1 2 355 2

Leadership[edit]

President of the Senate
Garret Hobart
Speaker of the House
Thomas Brackett Reed

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Members[edit]

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

Senate[edit]

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 1898; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1900; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1902.

Skip to House of Representatives, below

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.

Senate[edit]

  • replacements: 6
  • deaths: 5
  • resignations: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 8
State
(class)
Vacator Reason for vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Ohio
(1)
Vacant Rep. John Sherman resigned during previous congress. Elected to fill remainder of term. Mark Hanna (R) March 5, 1897
Florida
(3)
Vacant Failure to elect. Stephen R. Mallory (D) May 15, 1897
Oregon
(3)
Vacant Fill vacancy in term. Joseph Simon (R) May 15, 1897
South Carolina
(3)
Joseph H. Earle (D) Died May 20, 1897. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. John L. McLaurin (D) June 1, 1897
Tennessee
(2)
Isham G. Harris (D) Died July 8, 1897. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. Thomas B. Turley (D) July 20, 1897
Mississippi
(1)
James Z. George (D) Died August 14, 1897. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. Hernando Money (D) October 8, 1897
Mississippi
(2)
Edward C. Walthall (D) Died April 21, 1898. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. William V. Sullivan (D) May 31, 1898
Vermont
(3)
Justin S. Morrill (R) Died December 28, 1898. Successor was appointed. Jonathan Ross (R) January 11, 1899

House of Representatives[edit]

  • replacements: 13
  • deaths: 10
  • resignations: 8
  • contested election: 3
  • Total seats with changes: 23
District Previous Reason for change Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Pennsylvania 25th Vacant Rep.-elect James J. Davidson died before being seated. Showalter was elected to finish term. Joseph B. Showalter (R) April 20, 1897
Missouri 1st Vacant Rep.-elect Richard P. Giles died before being seated. Lloyd was elected to finish term. James T. Lloyd (D) June 1, 1897
Maine 3rd Seth L. Milliken (R) Died April 18, 1897 Edwin C. Burleigh (R) June 21, 1897
Indiana 4th William S. Holman (D) Died April 22, 1897. Francis M. Griffith (D) December 6, 1897
South Carolina 6th John L. McLaurin (D) Resigned May 31, 1897 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate James Norton (D) December 6, 1897
Illinois 6th Edward D. Cooke (R) Died June 24, 1897 Henry S. Boutell (R) November 23, 1897
Massachusetts 1st Ashley B. Wright (R) Died August 14, 1897 George P. Lawrence (R) November 2, 1897
New York 3rd Francis H. Wilson (R) Resigned September 30, 1897 to become Postmaster of Brooklyn, New York Edmund H. Driggs (D) December 6, 1897
Alabama 4th Thomas S. Plowman (D) Lost contested election February 9, 1898 William F. Aldrich (R) February 9, 1898
Virgina 4th Sidney P. Epes (D) Lost contested election March 23, 1898 Robert T. Thorp (R) March 23, 1898
Massachusetts 13th John Simpkins (R) Died March 27, 1898 William S. Greene (R) May 31, 1898
Virgina 2nd William A. Young (D) Lost contested election April 26, 1898 Richard A. Wise (R) April 26, 1898
Mississippi 2nd William V. Sullivan (D) Resigned May 31, 1898 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate Thomas Spight (D) July 5, 1898
Ohio 19th Stephen A. Northway (R) Died September 8, 1898 Charles W. F. Dick (R) November 8, 1898
Mississippi 6th William F. Love (D) Died October 16, 1898 Frank A. McLain (D) December 12, 1898
Pennsylvania 23rd William A. Stone (R) Resigned November 9, 1898 to run for Governor of Pennsylvania William H. Graham (R) November 29, 1898
New York 34th Warren B. Hooker (R) Resigned November 10, 1898 after being appointed judge for the New York Supreme Court Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Tennessee 4th Benton McMillin (D) Resigned January 6, 1899 after being elected Governor of Tennessee Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New Jersey 4th Mahlon Pitney (R) Resigned January 10, 1899 after being elected to the New Jersey Senate Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Maine 2nd Nelson Dingley Jr. (R) Died January 13, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Texas 9th Joseph D. Sayers (D) Resigned January 16, 1899 after being elected Governor of Texas Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New York 2nd Mahlon Pitney (R) Died February 26, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Texas 4th John W. Cranford (D) Died March 3, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress

Employees[edit]

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]

References[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]