61st United States Congress

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61st United States Congress
60th ← → 62nd
United States Capitol (1906)

Duration: March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1911

Senate President: James S. Sherman (R)
Senate Pres. pro tem: William P. Frye (R)
House Speaker: Joseph G. Cannon (R)
Members: 92 Senators
391 Representatives
7 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Republican

Special: March 4, 1909 – March 6, 1909
1st: March 15, 1909 – August 5, 1909
2nd: December 6, 1909 – June 25, 1910
3rd: December 5, 1910 – March 3, 1911

The Sixty-first 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, 1909 to March 4, 1911, during the first two years of William H. Taft's Presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Twelfth Census of the United States in 1900. Both chambers had a Republican majority.


Major events[edit]

Major legislation[edit]

Constitutional amendments[edit]

Party summary[edit]


TOTAL members: 92

House of Representatives[edit]

TOTAL members: 391


Senate President James S. Sherman
Senate President James S. Sherman
Senate President pro tempore William P. Frye
Senate President pro tempore William P. Frye
Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon
Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon
Leaders of the 61st United States Congress


House of Representatives[edit]

Majority (Republican) leadership[edit]

Minority (Democratic) leadership[edit]


Skip to House of Representatives, below


At this time, most Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. A few senators were elected directly by the residents of the state. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election.

House of Representatives[edit]

Changes in membership[edit]

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • replacements: 13
  • deaths: 8
  • resignations: 2
  • vacancy: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 14
Vacator Reason for vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Vacant Sen. was elected at beginning of term. Served in House until resigning June 18, 1909 William Lorimer (R) June 18, 1909
Philander C. Knox (R) Resigned March 4, 1909 after being appointed United States Secretary of State. Successor was elected. George T. Oliver (R) March 17, 1909
North Dakota
Martin N. Johnson (R) Died October 21, 1909. Successor was appointed. Fountain L. Thompson (D) October 10, 1909
Anselm J. McLaurin (D) Died December 22, 1909. Successor was appointed. James Gordon (D) December 27, 1909
North Dakota
Fountain L. Thompson (D) Resigned January 31, 1910. Successor was appointed. William E. Purcell (D) February 1, 1910
James Gordon (D) Successor was elected. LeRoy Percy (D) February 23, 1910
Samuel D. McEnery (D) Died June 10, 1910. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. John Thornton (D) December 10, 1910
John W. Daniel (D) Died June 29, 1910. Successor was appointed. Claude A. Swanson (D) August 1, 1910
Jonathan P. Dolliver (R) Died October 15, 1910 Lafayette Young (R) November 12, 1910
Alexander S. Clay (D) Died November 10, 1910. Successor was appointed. Joseph M. Terrell (D) November 17, 1910
West Virginia
Stephen B. Elkins (R) Died January 4, 1911. Successor was appointed. Davis Elkins (R) January 9, 1911
Charles J. Hughes Jr. (D) Died January 11, 1911. Vacant until next Congress
West Virginia
Davis Elkins (R) Successor was elected. Clarence W. Watson (D) February 1, 1911
North Dakota
William E. Purcell (D) Successor was elected. Asle Gronna (R) February 2, 1911

House of Representatives[edit]

  • replacements: 12
  • deaths: 12
  • resignations: 6
  • contested elections: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 21
District Vacator Reason for Vacancy Successor
Louisiana 2nd Vacant Rep. Robert C. Davey died during previous congress Samuel L. Gilmore (D) March 30, 1909
Ohio 21st Vacant Rep. Theodore E. Burton resigned during previous congress James H. Cassidy (R) April 20, 1909
Illinois 6th William Lorimer (R) Resigned June 17, 1909 after being elected to the U.S. Senate William Moxley (R) November 23, 1909
Washington 2nd Francis W. Cushman (R) Died July 6, 1909 William W. McCredie (R) November 2, 1909
Virginia 4th Francis R. Lassiter (D) Died October 31, 1909 Robert Turnbull (D) March 8, 1910
Philippines Resident Commissioner Pablo Ocampo Term ended November 22, 1909 Manuel L. Quezon (Unionist) November 23, 1909
Missouri 6th David A. De Armond (D) Died November 23, 1909 Clement C. Dickinson (D) February 1, 1910
Georgia 2nd James M. Griggs (D) Died January 5, 1910 Seaborn Roddenbery (D) February 6, 1910
Massachusetts 14th William C. Lovering (R) Died March 11, 1910 Eugene Foss (D) January 4, 1911
New York 32nd James B. Perkins (R) Died February 4, 1910 James S. Havens (D) April 19, 1910
Texas 3rd Gordon J. Russell (D) Resigned June 14, 1910 after being appointed judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Robert M. Lively (D) July 23, 1910
Tennessee 1st Walter P. Brownlow (R) Died July 8, 1910 Zachary D. Massey (R) November 8, 1910
Louisiana 2nd Samuel L. Gilmore (D) Died July 18, 1910 H. Garland Dupré (D) November 8, 1910
Massachusetts 4th Charles Q. Tirrell (R) Died July 31, 1910 John J. Mitchell (D) November 8, 1910
Pennsylvania 5th William W. Foulkrod (R) Died November 13, 1910 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 2nd Joel Cook (R) Died December 15, 1910 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Massachusetts 14th Eugene Foss (D) Resigned January 4, 1911 after being elected Governor of Massachusetts Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 24th John K. Tener (R) Resigned January 16, 1911 after being elected Governor of Pennsylvania Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 19th John M. Reynolds (R) Resigned January 17, 1911 after being elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania Seat remained vacant until next Congress
North Dakota 2nd Asle Gronna (R) Resigned February 11, 1911 after being elected to the U.S. Senate Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Maine 1st Amos L. Allen (R) Died February 20, 1911 Seat remained vacant until next Congress


Lists of committees and their party leaders.


House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]



House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]