United States Senate elections, 1880 and 1881

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United States Senate elections, 1880 and 1881
United States
1878 / 1879 ←
Dates vary by state
(And other dates for special elections)
→ 1882 / 1883

25 of the 76 seats in the United States Senate (with special elections)
39 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Party Republican Democratic Readjuster
Seats before 32 42 0
Seats won 15 9 1
Seats after 37 37 1[1]
Seat change Increase 5 Decrease 5 Increase 1
Seats up 10 14 0

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Party Independent Anti-Monopoly
Seats before 1 1
Seats won 0 0
Seats after 1 0
Seat change Steady Decrease 1
Seats up 0 1

Majority Party before election

Democratic

Elected Majority Party

Republican[1]

The United States Senate election of 1880 and 1881 were elections that conicided with the presidential election of 1880, and had the Democratic Party lose five seats in the United States Senate. The newly elected Readjuster senator caucused with the Republicans, and the Republican Vice President's tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the slightest majority. All of that changed September 19, 1881 when the Vice President ascended to the Presidency and the Senate became evenly-divided.

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

Results summary[edit]

Senate Party Division, 47th Congress (1881–1883)

  • Majority Party: Republican (37)
  • Minority Party: Democratic (37)
  • Other Parties: Independent (1); Readjuster (1)
  • Total Seats: 76

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29
Ran
D30
Ran
D31
Ran
D32
Ran
D33
Ran
D34
Ran
D35
Ran
D36
Ran
D37
Ran
D38
Ran
Majority → D39
Unknown
R29
Unknown
R30
Retired
R31
Retired
R32
Retired
AM1
Retired
I1 D42
Retired
D41
Unknown
D40
Unknown
R28
Unknown
R27
Ran
R26
Ran
R25
Ran
R24
Ran
R23
Ran
R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

After the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29
Re-elected
D30
Re-elected
D31
Re-elected
D33
Re-elected
D33
Hold
D34
Hold
D35
Hold
D36
Gain
D37
Gain
I1
Plurality ↓ RA1
Gain
R29
Hold
R30
Hold
R31
Gain
R32
Gain
R33
Gain
R34
Gain
R35
Gain
R36
Gain
R37
Gain
R28
Hold
R27
Hold
R26
Re-elected
R25
Re-elected
R24
Re-elected
R23
Re-elected
R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
Key:
AM# Anti-Monopoly Party
D# Democratic
I# Independent
RA# Readjuster
R# Republican
V# Vacant

Race summaries[edit]

Elections during the 46th Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were seated during 1880 or in 1881 before March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Georgia
(Class 3)
John B. Gordon Democratic 1873
1879
Incumbent resigned to promote a venture for the Georgia Pacific Railway.
Winner elected May 26, 1880.
Democratic hold.
Joseph E. Brown (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Alabama
(Class 3)
Luke Pryor Democratic 1880 (Appointed) Unknown if interim appointee retired or lost election.
Winner elected November 23, 1880.
Democratic hold.
James L. Pugh (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Michigan
(Class 1)
Henry P. Baldwin Republican 1879 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected January 19, 1881. Henry P. Baldwin (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Races leading to the 47th Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1881; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 1 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
California Newton Booth Anti-Monopoly 1874 Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1880.
Republican gain.
John F. Miller (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Connecticut William W. Eaton Democratic 1874 or 1875 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1881.
Republican gain.
Joseph Roswell Hawley (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Delaware Thomas F. Bayard Democratic 1869
1875
Incumbent re-elected in 1881. Thomas F. Bayard (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Florida Charles W. Jones Democratic 1875 Incumbent re-elected in 1881. Charles W. Jones (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Indiana Joseph E. McDonald Democratic 1874 or 1875 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880 or 1881.
Republican gain.
Benjamin Harrison (Republican)
Joseph E. McDonald (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maine Hannibal Hamlin Republican 1857
1861 (Resigned)
1869
1875
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1881.
Republican hold.
Eugene Hale (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maryland William P. Whyte Democratic 1868 (Appointed)
1869 (Retired)
1874
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1880.
Democratic hold.
Arthur P. Gorman (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Massachusetts Henry L. Dawes Republican 1875 Incumbent re-elected in 1881. Henry L. Dawes (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Michigan Henry P. Baldwin Republican 1881 (Special) Incumbent retired.
Winner elected January 18, 1881.
Republican hold.
Omar D. Conger (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Minnesota Samuel J. R. McMillan Republican 1875 Incumbent re-elected in 1881. Samuel J. R. McMillan (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Mississippi Blanche Bruce Republican 1874 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880.
Democratic gain.
James Z. George (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Missouri Francis Cockrell Democratic 1874 Incumbent re-elected in 1880 or 1881. Francis Cockrell (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Nebraska Algernon Paddock Republican 1875 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880.
Republican hold.
Charles Van Wyck (Republican)
Algernon Paddock (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Nevada William Sharon Republican 1875 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected January 12, 1881.
Democratic gain.
James Graham Fair (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New Jersey Theodore F. Randolph Democratic 1875 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1881.
Republican gain.
William Joyce Sewell (Republican)
Theodore Fitz Randolph (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York Francis Kernan Democratic 1875 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected January 20, 1881.
Republican gain.
Thomas C. Platt (Republican)
Francis Kernan (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Ohio Allen G. Thurman Democratic 1868
1874
Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880.
Republican gain.
John Sherman (Republican)
Allen G. Thurman (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Pennsylvania William A. Wallace Democratic 1875 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected February 23, 1881.
Republican gain.
John I. Mitchell (Republican) 59.76%
William A. Wallace (Democratic) 36.65%
Rhode Island Ambrose Burnside Republican 1874 Incumbent re-elected in 1880. Ambrose Burnside (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Tennessee James E. Bailey Democratic 1877 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880 or 1881.
Democratic hold.
Howell E. Jackson (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Texas Samuel B. Maxey Democratic 1875 Incumbent re-elected in 1881. Samuel B. Maxey (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Vermont George F. Edmunds Republican 1866 (Appointed)
1866 (Special)
1868
1874
Incumbent re-elected in 1880. George F. Edmunds (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Virginia Robert E. Withers Democratic 1875 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1881.
Readjuster gain.
Winner would caucus with the Republicans.
William Mahone (Readjuster)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
West Virginia Frank Hereford Democratic 1877 (Special) Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1880 or 1881.
Democratic hold.
Johnson N. Camden (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Wisconsin Angus Cameron Republican 1875 Incumbent retired.
Winner elected January 26, 1881.
Republican hold.
Philetus Sawyer (Republican) 98
James G. Jenkins (Democratic) 29
C. D. Parker (Democratic) 1
C. C. Washburn (Republican) 2[2]

Elections during the 47th Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were elected in 1881 after March 4; ordered by date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Wisconsin
(Class 3)
Matthew H. Carpenter Republican 1868 or 1869
1875 (Lost)
1879
Incumbent died February 24, 1881.
Winner elected March 14, 1881.
Republican hold.
Angus Cameron (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maine
(Class 2)
James G. Blaine Republican 1876 (Appointed)
1877 (Special)
1877
Incumbent resigned March 5, 1881 to become U.S. Secretary of State.
Winner elected March 18, 1881.
Republican hold.
William P. Frye (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York
(Class 1)
Thomas C. Platt Republican 1881 Incumbent resigned May 16, 1881 to protest federal appointments in New York.
Winner elected July 27, 1881.
Republican hold.
Warner Miller (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York
(Class 3)
Roscoe Conkling Republican 1881 Incumbent resigned May 16, 1881 to protest federal appointments in New York.
Winner elected July 29, 1881.
Republican hold.
Elbridge G. Lapham (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Rhode Island
(Class 1)
Ambrose Burnside Republican 1874
1880
Incumbent died September 13, 1881.
Winner elected October 5, 1881.
Republican hold.
Nelson W. Aldrich (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Minnesota
(Class 2)
Alonzo J. Edgerton Republican 1881 (Appointed) Interim appointee replaced by successor elected October 30, 1881.
Republican hold.
William Windom (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Virginia
(Class 2)
John W. Johnston Democratic 1871
1877
Incumbent lost re-election for the term beginning March 4, 1883.
Winner elected early December 21, 1881.[3]
Readjuster gain.
Winner caucused with the Republicans.[3]
Harrison H. Riddleberger (Readjuster)
John W. Johnston (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Complete list of races[edit]

Nevada[edit]

On January 12, 1881, James Graham Fair (Republican) was elected.[4]

New York[edit]

The New York election was held January 18, 1881, by the New York State Legislature. Democrat Francis Kernan had been elected in January 1875 to this seat, and his term would expire on March 3, 1881. At the State election in November 1879, 25 Republicans and 7 Democrats were elected for a two-year term (1880-1881) in the State Senate. At the State election in November 1880, 81 Republicans and 47 Democrats were elected for the session of 1881 to the Assembly. The 104th State Legislature met from January 4, 1881, on at Albany, New York.

The caucus of Republican State legislators met on January 13, State Senator Dennis McCarthy presided. All but one of the legislators were present, only State Senator Edward M. Madden (13th D.) was absent. The caucus nominated Ex-Congressman Thomas C. Platt for the U.S. Senate. Platt was a friend of the other U.S. Senator from New York, Roscoe Conkling, and belonged to the Stalwart faction. The opposing Half-Breeds (in the press sometimes referred to as the "anti-machine men") at first wanted to nominate Chauncey M. Depew, but he withdrew before balloting. The majority of the Half-Breeds, led by President pro tempore of the State Senate William H. Robertson, then supported Platt, a minority voted for Sherman S. Rogers, the defeated Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1876. Congressman Richard Crowley was supported by a faction led by Speaker of the State Assembly George H. Sharpe, allied with Governor Alonzo B. Cornell. U.S. Vice President William A. Wheeler, and Congressmen Elbridge G. Lapham and Levi P. Morton also received votes.

1881 Republican caucus for United States Senator result
Office Candidate First ballot
U.S. Senator Thomas C. Platt 54
Richard Crowley 26
Sherman S. Rogers 10
William A. Wheeler 10
Elbridge G. Lapham 4
Levi P. Morton 1

The caucus of the Democratic State legislators met on January 17, State Senator Charles A. Fowler (14th D.) presided. They re-nominated the incumbent U.S. Senator Francis Kernan by acclamation.

Thomas C. Platt was the choice of both the State Senate and the Assembly, and was declared elected.

1881 United States Senator election result
House Republican Democrat
State Senate
(32 members)
Thomas C. Platt 25 Francis Kernan 6
State Assembly
(128 members)
Thomas C. Platt 79 Francis Kernan 44

Notes:

  • The votes were cast on January 18, but both Houses met in a joint session on January 19 to compare nominations, and declare the result.
  • State Senator Stevens (Dem., 22nd D.) was absent and did not vote.

Pennsylvania[edit]

The Pennsylvania election was held on thirty separate dates from January to February 1881. On February 23, 1881, John I. Mitchell was elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[5] The Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, convened on January 27, 1881, to elect a Senator to serve the term beginning on March 4, 1881. Thirty-five ballots were recorded on thirty separate dates spanning from January 27 to February 23, 1881. The results of the thirty-fifth and final ballot of both houses combined are as follows:

State Legislature Results[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John I. Mitchell 150 59.76
Democratic William A. Wallace (Inc.) 92 36.65
N/A Not voting 7 2.79
N/A Other 2 0.80
Totals 251 100.00%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Readjuster caucused with the Republicans, and the Republican Vice President's tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the slightest majority.
  2. ^ "Blue Book for the State of Wisconsin". 1883. p. 463. 
  3. ^ a b Jones Salmon, Emily. "Harrison H. Riddleberger (1843–1890)". Encyclopedia Virginia/Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ The Journal of the Assembly of the Tenth Session of the Legislature of the State of Nevada. Carson City, NV: State Printing Office. 1881. p. 30. 
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 27 January 1881 - 23 February 1881" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  6. ^ "PA US Senate - 1881". OurCampaigns. Retrieved December 22, 2012.