United States Senate elections, 1872 and 1873

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United States Senate elections, 1872 and 1873
United States
1870 / 1871 ←
Dates vary by state
(And other dates for special elections)
→ 1874 / 1875

24 of the 74 seats in the United States Senate (with special elections)
38 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Republican Democratic
Last election 58 seats 9 seats
Seats before 56 17
Seats won 18 5
Seats after 54 19
Seat change Decrease 2 Increase 2
Seats up 20 3

  Third party
 
Party Liberal Republican
Last election 0 seats
Seats before 1
Seats won 0
Seats after 0
Seat change Decrease 1
Seats up 1

Majority Party before election

Republican Party

Elected Majority Party

Republican Party

The United States Senate elections of 1872 and 1873 were elections which had the Republican Party, while still retaining a commanding majority, lose two seats in the United States Senate. By the beginning of the Congress, however, they'd lost three more: two as defections to the Liberal Republican Party, and one a resignation of Henry Wilson to become U.S. Vice President. These elections also coincided with President Ulysses S. Grant's easy re-election.

As these elections were prior to ratification of the seventeenth amendment, Senators were chosen by State legislatures.

Results summary[edit]

Senate Party Division, 43rd Congress (1873–1875)

  • Majority Party: Republican (50–51)
  • Minority Party: Democratic (19–20)
  • Other Parties: Liberal Republican (3–2)
  • Vacant: (2–1)
  • Total Seats: 74

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

After the January 30, 1872 special election in North Carolina.

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15
Ran
D16
Unknown
D17
Unknown
R48
Unknown
R49
Unknown
R50
Unknown
R51
Retired
R52
Retired
R53
Retired
R54
Retired
R55
Retired
R56
Resigned
LR1
Retired
R47
Ran
R46
Ran
R45
Ran
R44
Ran
R43
Ran
R42
Ran
R41
Ran
R40
Ran
R39
Ran
R38
Ran
Majority →
R28 R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37
Ran
R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19 R18
R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17
R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

Result of the elections[edit]

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15
Hold
D16
Hold
D17
Hold
R48
Hold
R49
Hold
R50
Hold
R51
Hold
R52
Hold
R53
Gain
LR1
Re-elected, new party
V1
R Loss
D19
Gain
D18
Gain
R47
Hold
R46
Hold
R45
Hold
R44
Hold
R43
Re-elected
R42
Re-elected
R41
Re-elected
R40
Re-elected
R39
Re-elected
R38
Re-elected
Majority → R37
Re-elected
R28 R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36
R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19 R18
R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17
R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

Beginning of the next Congress[edit]

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17
R48 R49 R50 LR1 LR2
Changed
LR3
Changed
V1 V2
Resigned
D19 D18
R47 R46 R45 R44 R43 R42 R41 R40 R39 R38
Majority → R37
R28 R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36
R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19 R18
R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17
R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
Key:
D# Democratic
LR# Liberal Republican
R# Republican
V# Vacant

Race summaries[edit]

Special elections during the 42nd Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were seated during 1872 or in 1873 before March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
North Carolina
(Class 2)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Winner elected January 30, 1872.
Democratic gain.
Matt W. Ransom (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Kentucky
(Class 3)
Willis B. Machen Democratic 1872 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected January 21, 1873 to finish the term. Willis B. Machen (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Louisiana William P. Kellogg Republican 1868 Incumbent resigned November 1, 1872 to become Governor of Louisiana.
The seat remained vacant for the remainder of the term.
The seat also remained vacant until January 12, 1876, due to a Senate dispute, see below.[1]
Republican loss.
Pinckney B. S. Pinchback (Republican)
William L. McMillen (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Races leading to the 43rd Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1873; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama George E. Spencer Republican 1868 (Special) Incumbent re-elected in 1872. George E. Spencer (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Arkansas Benjamin F. Rice Republican 1868 (Special) Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Republican hold.
Stephen W. Dorsey (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
California Cornelius Cole Republican 1866 or 1867 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Republican hold.
Aaron A. Sargent (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Connecticut Orris S. Ferry Republican 1866 Incumbent re-elected in 1872 in a new party.
Liberal Republican gain.
Orris S. Ferry (Liberal Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Florida Thomas W. Osborn Republican 1868 (Special) Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Republican hold.
Simon B. Conover (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Georgia Joshua Hill Republican 1867 (Won, but not seated)
1871 (Admitted)
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1873.
Democratic gain.
John Brown Gordon (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Illinois Lyman Trumbull Liberal Republican 1854 or 1855
1861
1867
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Republican gain.
Richard J. Oglesby (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Iowa James Harlan Republican 1855
1857 (Election invalidated)
1857 (Special)
1860
1865 (Resigned)
1866
Incumbent lost renomination.
Winner elected January 17, 1872.[2]
Republican hold.
William B. Allison (Republican)
Joseph C. Knapp (Democratic)
Indiana Oliver P. Morton Republican 1867 Incumbent re-elected in 1873. Oliver P. Morton (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Kansas Samuel C. Pomeroy Republican 1861
1867
Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1873.
Republican hold.
John Ingalls (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Kentucky Willis B. Machen Democratic 1872 (Appointed)
1873 (Special)
Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872.
Democratic hold.
Thomas C. McCreery (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Louisiana Vacant Predecessor had resigned November 1, 1872 to become Governor of Louisiana.
The seat remained vacant for the remainder of the term, see above.
The seat also remained vacant until January 12, 1876, due to a Senate dispute.[1]
Pinckney B. S. Pinchback (Republican)
William L. McMillen (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maryland George Vickers Democratic 1868 (Special) Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872 or in 1873.
Democratic hold.
George R. Dennis (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Missouri Francis Blair Democratic 1871 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Democratic hold.
Lewis V. Bogy (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Nevada James W. Nye Republican 1865
1867
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1873.
Republican hold.
John P. Jones (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New Hampshire James W. Patterson Republican 1866 or 1867 Incumbent lost renomination.
Winner elected in 1872.
Republican hold.
Bainbridge Wadleigh (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York Roscoe Conkling Republican 1867 Incumbent re-elected January 21, 1873. Roscoe Conkling (Republican)
Charles A. Wheaton (Democratic)
William M. Evarts (Republican)
Henry R. Selden (Liberal Republican)
North Carolina John Pool Republican 1868 (Special) Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1872.
Democratic gain.
Augustus Merrimon (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Ohio John Sherman Republican 1861 (Special)
1866
Incumbent re-elected in 1872. John Sherman (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Oregon Henry W. Corbett Republican 1866 or 1867 Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1872.
Republican hold.
John H. Mitchell (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Pennsylvania Simon Cameron Republican 1867 Incumbent re-elected January 21, 1873. Simon Cameron (Republican) 57.14%
William A. Wallace (Democratic) 37.59%
Thomas Marshall (Liberal Republican) 0.75%
Hendrick Wright (Democratic) 0.75%
South Carolina Frederick A. Sawyer Republican 1868 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1872 or 1873.
Republican hold.
John J. Patterson (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Vermont Justin S. Morrill Republican 1866 Incumbent re-elected in 1872. Justin S. Morrill (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Wisconsin Timothy O. Howe Republican 1861
1866
Incumbent re-elected in 1872. Timothy O. Howe (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Elections during the 43rd Congress[edit]

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Massachusetts
(Class 2)
Henry Wilson Republican 1855 (Special)
1859
1865
1871
Incumbent resigned.
Winner elected March 17, 1873.
Republican hold.
George S. Boutwell (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
California
(Class 1)
Eugene Casserly Democratic 1868 Incumbent resigned.
Winner elected December 23, 1873.
Democratic hold.
John S. Hager (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Complete list of races[edit]

New York[edit]

The New York election was held January 21, 1873.[3] Republican Roscoe Conkling had been elected in January 1867 to this seat, and his term would expire on March 3, 1873.

At the State election in November 1871, 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats were elected for a two-year term (1872-1873) in the State Senate. In 1872, a faction of the Republican Party opposed the re-election of President Ulysses S. Grant and the Radical Republicans who supported him, and under the name Liberal Republican Party nominated a joint ticket with the Democratic Party. At the State election in November 1872, 91 Republicans, 35 Democrats and 2 Independents were elected for the session of 1873 to the Assembly. The 96th New York State Legislature met from January 7 to May 30, 1873, at Albany, New York.

The caucus of Republican State legislators met on January 8, State Senator William B. Woodin, of Auburn (25th D.), presided. 18 state senators and 88 assemblymen were present. They re-nominated Conkling unanimously. The caucus of the Democratic State legislators nominated Ex-First Judge of Dutchess County Charles Wheaton.

Roscoe Conkling was the choice of both the Assembly and the State Senate, and was declared elected.

House Republican Democratic Republican Liberal Republican
State Senate
(32 members)
Roscoe Conkling 20 Charles A. Wheaton[4] 5 William M. Evarts 1 Henry R. Selden 1
State Assembly
(128 members)
Roscoe Conkling 92 Charles A. Wheaton 26        

Note: The vote for Ex-U.S. Attorney General William M. Evarts was cast by Norman M. Allen (32nd D.), the vote for Ex-Judge of the New York Court of Appeals Henry R. Selden by Gabriel T. Harrower (27th D.). Allen, Harrower and Abiah W. Palmer (11th D.) were the three Liberal Republicans in the State Senate.

Pennsylvania[edit]

The Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania State Senate, voted on January 21, 1873. Incumbent Republican Simon Cameron, who was elected in 1867, won re-election.[5]

State Legislature Results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Simon Cameron (Inc.) 76 57.14
Democratic William A. Wallace 50 37.59
Liberal Republican Thomas Marshall 1 0.75
Democratic Hendrick Wright 1 0.75
N/A Not voting 5 3.76
Totals 133 100.00%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Taft, et al., pages 483–512
  2. ^ Clark, page 167
  3. ^ Although the votes were cast on January 21, both Houses met in a joint session on January 22 to compare nominations, and declare the result.
  4. ^ Charles A. Wheaton (1834-1886), lawyer, of Poughkeepsie, First Judge of the Dutchess County Court 1863-67
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 21 January 1873" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved December 22, 2013.