56th United States Congress

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56th United States Congress
55th ← → 57th
USCapitol1906.jpg
United States Capitol (1906)

Duration: March 4, 1899 – March 4, 1901

Senate President: Garret Hobart (R) (until November 21, 1899)
Vacant (from November 21, 1899)
Senate Pres. pro tem: William P. Frye (R)
House Speaker: David B. Henderson (R)
Members: 90 Senators
357 Representatives
4 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Republican

Sessions
1st: December 4, 1899 – June 7, 1900
2nd: December 3, 1900 – March 3, 1901

The Fifty-sixth 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, 1899 to March 4, 1901, during the third and fourth years of William McKinley's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this 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 of North Carolina, who served his second and final term as a Representative in this Congress, and would be the last black member of Congress until 1928, and the last black member of Congress from the South until 1972.

Contents

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.

Senate[edit]

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

(SR)
End of the previous congress 34 5 44 2 5 90 0
Begin 24 6 52 2 2 86 4
End 23 7 54 88 2
Final voting share 26.1% 8.0% 61.4% 2.3% 2.3%
Beginning of the next congress 28 2 53 0 3 86 4

House of Representatives[edit]

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

(SR)
End of the previous congress 124 22 207 1 3 357 0
Begin 163 6 183 1 2 355 2
End 159 186 354 3
Final voting share 44.9% 1.7% 52.5% 0.3% 0.6%
Non-voting members 1 0 2 0 0 3 1
Beginning of the next congress 151 5 200 0 1 357 0

Leadership[edit]

President of the Senate
Garret Hobart
Speaker of the House
David B. Henderson

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Majority (Republican) leadership[edit]

Minority (Democratic) leadership[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]

At this time, 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 with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1904; Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1900; and Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1902.

Skip to House of Representatives, below

House of Representatives[edit]

Changes in membership[edit]

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress. Note: Montana's Class 1 Senate seat remained vacant during entire Congress. Senate refused to seat William A. Clark due to a bribery scheme to win his seat.

Senate[edit]

  • replacements: 7
  • deaths: 3
  • resignations: 1
  • vacancy: 5
  • interim appointments: 2
  • Total seats with changes: 9
State
(class)
Vacator Reason for vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Nebraska
(1)
Vacant Legislature failed to elect to fill vacancy in term. Monroe Hayward (R) March 8, 1899
California
(1)
Vacant Legislature failed to elect to fill vacancy in term. Thomas R. Bard (R) February 7, 1900
Florida
(1)
Samuel Pasco (D) Successor was elected April 18, 1899. James Taliaferro (D) April 20, 1899
Nebraska
(1)
Monroe Hayward (R) Died December 5, 1899. Successor was appointed. William V. Allen (Pop.) December 13, 1899
Iowa
(2)
John H. Gear (R) Died July 14, 1900. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. Jonathan P. Dolliver (R) August 22, 1900
Vermont
(3)
Jonathan Ross (R) Successor was elected October 18, 1900. William P. Dillingham (R) October 18, 1900
Minnesota
(1)
Cushman K. Davis (R) Died November 7, 1900. Successor was appointed. Charles A. Towne (D) December 5, 1900
Pennsylvania
(1)
Vacant Due to a failure to elect, Governor appointed Quay at beginning of term, but Senate refused to seat him. He then won a special election. Matthew Quay (R) January 16, 1901
Minnesota
(1)
Charles A. Towne (D) Successor was elected January 23, 1901. Moses E. Clapp (R) January 23, 1901
Utah
(1)
Vacant failure to elect Thomas Kearns (R) January 16, 1901

House of Representatives[edit]

  • replacements: 21
  • deaths: 12
  • resignations: 7
  • contested election: 3
  • new seats: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 26
District Previous Reason for change Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Maine 2nd Vacant Rep. Nelson Dingley Jr. died during previous congress Charles E. Littlefield (R) June 19, 1899
Utah At-large Vacant B. H. Roberts was denied seat. King was elected to finish term. William H. King (D) June 19, 1899
New York 34th Vacant Rep. Warren B. Hooker resigned during previous congress Edward B. Vreeland (R) November 7, 1899
Nebraska 6th William L. Greene (Pop.) Died June 15, 1899. William Neville (Pop.) December 4, 1899
Louisiana 5th Samuel T. Baird (D) Died April 22, 1899. Joseph E. Ransdell (D) August 29, 1899
Missouri 8th Richard P. Bland (D) Died June 15, 1899. Dorsey W. Shackleford (D) August 29, 1899
Ohio 16th Lorenzo Danford (R) Died June 19, 1899 Joseph J. Gill (R) December 4, 1899
Maine 1st Thomas B. Reed (R) Resigned September 4, 1899. Amos L. Allen (R) November 6, 1899
Pennsylvania 9th Daniel Ermentrout (D) Died September 17, 1899. Henry D. Green (D) November 7, 1899
Kentucky 7th Evan E. Settle (D) Died November 16, 1899. June Ward Gayle (D) January 15, 1900
Maryland 1st John W. Smith (D) Resigned January 12, 1900 after being elected Governor of Maryland Josiah Kerr (R) November 6, 1900
New York 24th Charles A. Chickering (R) Died February 13, 1900 Albert D. Shaw (R) November 6, 1900
Virginia 4th Sidney P. Epes (D) Died March 3, 1900. Francis R. Lassiter (D) April 9, 1900
Pennsylvania 5th Alfred C. Harmer (R) Died March 6, 1900 Edward Morrell (R) November 6, 1900
Alabama 4th Gaston A. Robbins (D) Lost contested election March 8, 1900 William F. Aldrich (R) March 8, 1900
Virginia 2nd William A. Young (D) Lost contested election March 12, 1900 Richard A. Wise (R) March 12, 1900
Alabama 8th Joseph Wheeler (D) Resigned April 20, 1900. William N. Richardson (D) December 3, 1900
North Carolina 9th William T. Crawford (D) Lost contested election May 10, 1900 Richmond Pearson (R) May 10, 1900
Iowa 9th Smith McPherson (R) Resigned June 6, 1900 after being appointed judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa Walter I. Smith (R) December 3, 1900
Delaware At-large John H. Hoffecker (R) Died June 16, 1900 Walter O. Hoffecker (R) December 3, 1900
New Jersey 7th William D. Daly (D) Died July 31, 1900. Allan L. McDermott (D) December 3, 1900
California 2nd Marion De Vries (D) Resigned August 20, 1900 after being appointed to the Board of General Appraisers Samuel D. Woods (R) December 3, 1900
Iowa 10th Jonathan P. Dolliver (R) Resigned August 22, 1900 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate James P. Conner (R) December 4, 1900
Hawaii Territory New seat Seat established by the Hawaiian Organic Act April 30, 1900 Robert W. Wilcox (Home Rule) November 6, 1900
Virginia 2nd Richard A. Wise (R) Died December 21, 1900 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New Hampshire 2nd Frank G. Clarke (R) Died January 9, 1901 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New York 24th Albert D. Shaw (R) Died February 10, 1901 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Maine 4th Charles A. Boutelle (R) Resigned March 3, 1901 Seat remained vacant until next Congress

Committees[edit]

Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]

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]