United States House of Representatives elections, 1890

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United States House of Representatives elections, 1890
United States
1888 ←
November 4, 1890[Note 1] → 1892

All 332 seats to the United States House of Representatives
167 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  CharlesFrederickCrisp.jpg Thomas Brackett Reed - Brady-Handy.jpg
Leader Charles Frederick Crisp Thomas Brackett Reed
Party Democratic Republican
Last election 152 seats 179 seats
Seats won 238[1][Note 2] 86[1][Note 2]
Seat change Increase 86 Decrease 93

  Third party
  Younger Tom Watson.gif
Leader Thomas E. Watson
Party Populist
Last election 0 seats
Seats won 8[1][Note 2]
Seat change Increase 8

Speaker before election

Thomas Reed
Republican

Elected Speaker

Charles Crisp
Democratic

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held in 1890 for members of the 52nd Congress, taking place in the middle of President Benjamin Harrison's term.

A stagnant economy which became worse after the Panic of 1890, combined with a lack of support for then Representative William McKinley's (defeated in the election) steep tariff act, which favored large industries at the expense of consumers, led to a sharp defeat for Harrison's Republican Party, giving a large majority to the Democratic Party and presaging Harrison's defeat in 1892. The Republican-controlled Congress was highly criticized for its lavish spending, and it earned the unflattering nickname of The Billion Dollar Congress. Democrats promised to cut the outlandish budget.

Furthermore, aggressive Republican promotion of controversial English-only education laws enacted by Wisconsin and Illinois in 1889, accompanied by a surge in nativist and anti-Catholic sentiment within the state parties, had greatly hollowed out the party's support base in these former strongholds. A rare multi-confessional alliance of mainly German clergy rallied their flocks in defense of language and faith to the Democratic Party, which tore through incumbent Republican majorities in both states, capturing a total of 11 formerly Republican seats between them alone.[2] Bitterly divisive struggles over temperance laws had also been alienating immigrants from the increasingly prohibitionist Republican Party across the Midwest more broadly. Dramatic losses in the previous year's gubernatorial elections in Iowa and Ohio (which would lose another 14 Republican congressional seats between them during this election) were due in no small part to wet immigrant communities, especially Germans, expressing their resentment toward Republican efforts to ban or otherwise curtail alcohol consumption by throwing their support behind the Democratic candidates.[3]

This election also saw the Populist Party, a coalition of farmers and laborers who wanted to overhaul the nation's financial system, make a small mark on Congress.

Election summaries[edit]

238 8 86
Democratic P Republican
State Type Total
seats
Democratic Republican Populist
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Alabama District 8 8 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Arkansas District 5 5 Increase 2 0 Decrease 1 0 Decrease 1[Note 3]
California District 6 2 Steady 4 Steady 0 Steady
Colorado At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Connecticut District 4 3 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Delaware At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Florida District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Georgia District 10 10 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Idaho[Note 4] At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District 20 14 Increase 7 6 Decrease 7 0 Steady
Indiana District 13 11 Increase 1 2 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Iowa District 11 6 Increase 5 5 Decrease 5 0 Steady
Kansas District 7 0 Steady 2 Decrease 5 5 Increase 5
Kentucky District 11 10 Increase 1 1 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Louisiana District 6 6 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Maine[Note 4] District 4 0 Steady 4 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District 6 6 Increase 3 0 Decrease 3 0 Steady
Massachusetts District 12 7 Increase 5 5 Decrease 5 0 Steady
Michigan District 11 8 Increase 6 3 Decrease 6 0 Steady
Minnesota District 5 3 Increase 3 1 Decrease 4 1 Increase 1
Mississippi District 7 7 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri District 14 14 Increase 4 0 Decrease 4 0 Steady
Montana At-large 1 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Nebraska District 3 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 3 2 Increase 2
Nevada At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
New Hampshire District 2 2 Increase 2 0 Decrease 2 0 Steady
New Jersey District 7 5 Increase 2 2 Decrease 2 0 Steady
New York District 34 23 Increase 8 11 Decrease 8 0 Steady
North Carolina District 9 8 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
North Dakota At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Ohio District 21 14 Increase 9 7 Decrease 9 0 Steady
Oregon[Note 4] At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District 28 11 Increase 4 17 Decrease 4 0 Steady
Rhode Island District 2 2 Increase 2 0 Decrease 2 0 Steady
South Carolina District 7 7 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
South Dakota At-large 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee District 10 8 Increase 1 2 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Texas District 11 11 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont[Note 4] District 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Virginia District 10 10 Increase 4 0 Decrease 4 0 Steady
Washington At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
West Virginia District 4 4 Increase 2 0 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Wisconsin District 9 8 Increase 6 1 Decrease 6 0 Steady
Wyoming[Note 4] At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Total 332 238[1]
71.7%
Increase 74 86[1]
25.9%
Decrease 83 8[1]
2.4%
Increase 9
House seats
Democratic
  
71.69%
Republican
  
25.90%
Populist
  
2.41%

The previous election of 1888 saw the election of one Labor Party representative in Arkansas.

House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80.1-100% Democratic
 
  80.1-100% Republican
  60.1-80% Democratic
  60.1-80% Populist
  60.1-80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
 
  Up to 60% Republican
Net gain in party representation
  6+ Democratic gain
 
  6+ Republican gain
  3-5 Democratic gain
  3-5 Populist gain
  3-5 Republican gain
  1-2 Democratic gain
  1-2 Populist gain
  1-2 Republican gain
  no net change

Early election dates[edit]

In 1890, five states, with 9 seats among them, held elections early:

Idaho and Wyoming held elections for both the outgoing 51st Congress and the incoming 52nd Congress in 1890, having been admitted that year, and held future elections on the standard election day.

Separate races[edit]

Complete returns[edit]

California[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
California 1 Vacant Democratic gain. Thomas J. Geary (Democratic) 49.3%
John A. Barham (Republican) 48.8%
L. B. Scranton (Prohibition) 1.9%
California 2 Marion Biggs Democratic 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
Anthony Caminetti (Democratic) 49%
George I. Blanchard (Republican) 48.6%
J. S. Witherell (Prohibition) 2.4%
California 3 Joseph McKenna Republican 1884 Incumbent re-elected. Joseph McKenna (Republican) 55.4%
John P. Irish (Democratic) 42.5%
O. O. Felkner (Prohibition) 2.1%
California 4 William W. Morrow Republican 1884 Incumbent retired.
Republican hold.
John T. Cutting (Republican) 49.2%
Robert Ferral (Democratic) 45.1%
Thomas V. Cator (Socialist) 5.6%
Joseph Rowell (Prohibition) 0.2%
California 5 Thomas J. Clunie Democratic 1888 Incumbent lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Eugene F. Loud (Republican) 52.8%
Thomas J. Clunie (Democratic) 45.9%
E. F. Howe (Prohibition) 1.3%
California 6 William Vandever Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Republican hold.
William W. Bowers (Republican) 51.1%
W. J. Curtis (Democratic) 44.1%
O. R. Dougherty (Prohibition) 4.8%

Florida[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
Florida 1 Robert H. M. Davidson Democratic 1876 Incumbent lost renomination.
Democratic hold.
Stephen R. Mallory, Jr. (Democratic) 78.5%
Harrison Reed (Republican) 21.5%
Florida 2 Robert Bullock Democratic 1888 Incumbent re-elected. Robert Bullock (Democratic) 58.8%
Joseph Stripling (Republican) 41.2%

Ohio[edit]

The Ohio Legislature redistricted the state between censuses. Coupled with other Democratic gains, this redistricting gave the Democrats a nine-seat net gain.

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates[4]
Ohio 1 Benjamin Butterworth Republican 1884 Incumbent retired.
Republican hold.
Ohio 2 John A. Caldwell Republican 1888 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 3 Elihu S. Williams Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Republican loss.
Henry Lee Morey
Redistricted from the 7th district
Republican 1888 Incumbent lost re-election.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 4 Samuel S. Yoder Democratic 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
Ohio 5 George E. Seney Democratic 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
Ohio 6 Melvin M. Boothman Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 7 William E. Haynes
Redistricted from the 10th district
Democratic 1888 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 8 Robert P. Kennedy Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 9 William C. Cooper Republican 1884 Incumbent retired.
Republican loss.
Joseph H. Outhwaite
Redistricted from the 13th district
Democratic 1884 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 10 Open seat New seat
Republican gain.
Ohio 11 Albert C. Thompson Republican 1886 Lost renomination
Democratic gain.
Ohio 12 Jacob J. Pugsley Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Republican hold.
Ohio 13 Open seat New seat
Democratic gain.
Ohio 14 Charles Preston Wickham Republican 1886 Incumbent retired.
Republican loss.
James W. Owens
Redistricted from the 16th district
Democratic 1888 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 15 Charles H. Grosvenor Republican 1886 Lost renomination
Democratic gain.
Ohio 16 William McKinley
Redistricted from the 18th district
Republican 1886 Incumbent lost re-election.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 17 Open seat New seat
Democratic gain.
Ohio 18 Joseph D. Taylor
Redistricted from the 17th district
Republican 1886 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 19 Ezra B. Taylor Republican 1880 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 20 Martin L. Smyser Republican 1888 Lost renomination
Republican hold.
Ohio 21 Theodore E. Burton Republican 1888 Incumbent lost re-election.
Democratic gain.

South Carolina[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
South Carolina 1 Samuel Dibble Democratic 1882 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
William H. Brawley (Democratic) 84.2%
William D. Crum (Republican) 15.7%
Others 0.1%
South Carolina 2 George D. Tillman Democratic 1878 Incumbent re-elected. George D. Tillman (Democratic) 85.5%
Seymour E. Smith (Republican) 14.3%
Others 0.2%
South Carolina 3 James S. Cothran Democratic 1886 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
George Johnstone (Democratic) 91.4%
John R. Tolbert (Republican) 8.2%
Others 0.4%
South Carolina 4 William H. Perry Democratic 1884 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
George W. Shell (Democratic) 81.9%
J. F. Ensor (Republican) 17.8%
Others 0.3%
South Carolina 5 John J. Hemphill Democratic 1882 Incumbent re-elected. John J. Hemphill (Democratic) 87.1%
G. G. Alexander (Republican) 12.2%
Others 0.7%
South Carolina 6 George W. Dargan Democratic 1882 Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
Eli T. Stackhouse (Democratic) 78.8%
Edmund H. Deas (Republican) 20.5%
Others 0.7%
South Carolina 7 Thomas E. Miller Republican 1888[Note 5] Incumbent lost re-election.
Democratic gain.
William Elliott (Democratic) 44.4%
Thomas E. Miller (Republican) 38.8%
E. M. Brayton (Independent Republican) 16.5%
Others 0.3%

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Five states held early elections between June 3 and October 1.
  2. ^ a b c Dubin (pp. 293–94) counts 235 Democrats, 88 Republicans, and 8 Populists at the opening of the 52nd Congress.
  3. ^ One Labor Party member had been elected in 1888.
  4. ^ a b c d e Elections held early.
  5. ^ After disputed election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Martis, pp. 144–145.
  2. ^ Jensen, Richard J. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888-1896, ch. 5: Education, the Tariff, and the Melting Pot. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971. pp. 122-153.
  3. ^ Jensen, ch. 4: Iowa, Wet or Dry?. pp. 89-121.
  4. ^ Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 592, 593. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]