United States Senate elections, 1896 and 1897

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United States Senate elections, 1896 and 1897
United States
← 1894 / 1895 Dates vary by state 1898 / 1899 →

30 of the 90 seats in the U.S. Senate
(as well as special elections)

46 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Republican Democratic
Seats before 44 39
Seats won 15 7
Seats after 46 32
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 7
Seats up 13 14

  Third party Fourth party Fifth party
 
Party Populist Silver Republican Silver
Seats before 4 0 2
Seats won 3 2 1
Seats after 5 2 2
Seat change Increase 1 Increase 2 Steady
Seats up 2 0 1

Majority Party before election

Republican

Elected Majority Party

Republican

Senate composition by State, 55th Congress

The United States Senate elections of 1896 and 1897 were elections in which the Democratic Party lost seven seats in the United States Senate, mostly to smaller third parties.

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

Results summary[edit]

Senate Party Division, 55th Congress (1897–1899)

  • Majority Party: Republican (43)
  • Minority Party: Democratic (33)
  • Other Parties: Populist (5); Silver (5); Silver Republican (2)
  • Total Seats: 90
  • Vacant: 2, later filled by 1 Republican and 1 Democrat.

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9 D8 D7 D6
D16 D17 D18 D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25
D35
Retired
D34
Retired
D33
Unknown
D32
Ran
D31
Ran
D30
Ran
D29
Ran
D28
Ran
D27
Ran
D26
Ran
D36
Retired
D37
Retired
D38
Retired
D39
Retired
V1 P4
Ran
P3
Ran
P2 P1 S2
Ran
Plurality ↓ S1
R36
Ran
R37
Ran
R38
Ran
R39
Ran
R40
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Ran
R43
Retired
R44
Retired
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
R33
Ran
R32
Ran
R31 R30 R29 R28 R27 R26
R16 R17 R18 R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25
R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9 R8 R7 R6
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5

Result of the general elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9 D8 D7 D6
D16 D17 D18 D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25
P3
Re-elected
P4
Hold
P5
Gain
from R
D32
Gain
from R
D31
Hold
D30
Hold
D29
Hold
D28
Hold
D27
Re-elected
D26
Re-elected
P2 P1 S2
Re-elected
S1 SR2
Re-elected
was R
SR1
Gain
from R
R46
Gain
from D
R45
Gain
from D
R44
Gain
from D
V1
D Loss
Majority → V2
R36
Re-elected
R37
Re-elected
R38
Re-elected
R39
Hold
R40
Gain
from D
R41
Gain
from D
R42
Gain
from D
R43
Gain
from D
V3
R Loss
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
R33
Re-elected
R32
Re-elected
R31 R30 R29 R28 R27 R26
R16 R17 R18 R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25
R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9 R8 R7 R6
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5

Beginning of the next Congress[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9 D8 D7 D6
D16 D17 D18 D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25
P4 P5 D33
Gain
D32 D31 D30 D29 D28 D27 D26
P3 P2 P1 S2 S1 SR1 SR2 SR3
Changed
SR4
Changed
V1
Plurality ↓
SR5
Changed
V2
R36 R37 R38 R39 R40 R41 R42 R43
R35 R34 R33 R32 R31 R30 R29 R28 R27 R26
R16 R17 R18 R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25
R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9 R8 R7 R6
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5
Key:
D# Democratic
P# Populist
R# Republican
S# Silver
SR# Silver Republican
V# Vacant

Race summaries[edit]

Elections during the 54th Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were seated during 1896 or in 1897 before March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Utah
(Class 1)
New state Utah became a state January 4, 1896.
New senator elected January 22, 1896.
Republican gain.
Frank J. Cannon (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Utah
(Class 3)
New state Utah became a state January 4, 1896.
New senator elected January 22, 1896.
Republican gain.
Winner did not run for the next term, see below.
Arthur Brown (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Delaware
(Class 2)
New state Legislature had failed to elect.
New senator elected January 19, 1897.
Democratic gain.
Richard R. Kenney (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Elections leading to the 55th Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1897; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
history
Alabama James L. Pugh Democratic 1880 (Special)
1884
1890
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected in 1897.
Democratic hold.
Edmund Pettus (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Arkansas James K. Jones Democratic 1885
1891
Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[1] James K. Jones (Democratic) 114 votes
J. R. Sovereign (Populist) 9 votes
Powell Clayton (Republican) 10 votes[1]
California George Perkins Republican 1895 (Special) Incumbent re-elected January 13, 1897.[2] George Perkins (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Colorado Henry M. Teller Republican 1885
1891
Incumbent re-elected as a Silver Republican January 20, 1897.[3]
Silver Republican gain.
Henry M. Teller (Silver Republican) 92 votes
Judge George W. Allen (Populist) 6 votes.[3]
Connecticut Orville H. Platt Republican 1879
1885
1891
Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[4] Orville H. Platt (Republican)
Unopposed
Florida Wilkinson Call Democratic 1879
1885
1891
Incumbent retired.
Legislature failed to elect.
Democratic loss.
A new senator would later be elected, see below.
None.
Georgia John B. Gordon Democratic 1873
1879
1880 (Resigned)
Unknown
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1896.
Democratic hold.
Alexander S. Clay (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Idaho Fred Dubois Republican 1890 Incumbent lost re-election as a Silver Republican.
Winner elected January 28, 1897.
Populist gain.
Henry Heitfeld (Populist)
Fred Dubois (Silver Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Illinois John M. Palmer Democratic 1890 Incumbent retired.
Winner elected January 20, 1897.[5]
Republican gain.
William E. Mason (Republican) 125 votes
Altgeld (Democratic) 77 votes[5]
Indiana Daniel W. Voorhees Democratic 1877 (Appointed)
1879 (Special)
1885
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected January 20, 1897.[6]
Republican gain.
Charles W. Fairbanks (Republican) 85 votes
Daniel W. Voorhees (Democratic) 58 votes
Leroy Templeton (Populist) 6 votes[6]
Iowa William B. Allison Republican 1872
1878
1884
1890
Incumbent re-elected January 22, 1896.[7] William B. Allison (Republican) 79 votes
Washington I. Babb (Democratic) 25 votes
Frank Q. Stuart 1 vote[7]
Kansas William A. Peffer Populist 1891 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected January 27, 1897.[8]
Populist hold.
William A. Harris (Populist)
William A. Peffer (Populist)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Kentucky Joseph Blackburn Democratic 1884
1890
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected in 1897.
Republican gain.
William J. Deboe (Republican)
Joseph Blackburn (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Louisiana Newton C. Blanchard Democratic 1894 (Appointed)
1894 (Special)
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected May 28, 1896.[9]
Democratic hold.
Samuel D. McEnery (Democratic) 3-vote majority
Denegree (Citizen's League)[9]
Maryland Charles Hopper Gibson Democratic 1891 (Appointed)
1892 (Special)
Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
New senator elected January 22, 1896.[10]
Republican gain.
George L. Wellington (Republican) 63 votes
Phillips Lee Goldsborough (Republican) 1 vote
John Water Smith (Democratic) 24 votes
John R. Pattison (Democratic) 7 votes
James E. Elegood 1 vote[10]
Missouri George G. Vest Democratic 1879
1885
1891
Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[11] George G. Vest (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Nevada John P. Jones Silver 1873
1879
1885
1891
Incumbent re-elected January 26, 1897.[12] John P. Jones (Silver) 40
McMillan (Republican) 4
Fitzgerald 1[12]
New Hampshire Jacob Gallinger Republican 1891 Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[13] Jacob Gallinger (New Hampshire)
Unopposed
New York David B. Hill Democratic 1891 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected January 20, 1897.
Republican gain.
Thomas C. Platt (Republican) 147 votes
David B. Hill (Democratic) 42 votes
Henry George (Independent Democratic) 4 votes
North Carolina Jeter Pritchard Republican 1894 (Special) Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[14] Jeter Pritchard (Republican) 88 votes
Thompson (Populist) 43 votes
Doughton (Democratic) 33 votes[14]
North Dakota Henry C. Hansbrough Republican 1891 Incumbent re-elected January 20, 1897.[15] Henry C. Hansbrough (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Ohio Calvin S. Brice Democratic 1890 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected January 14, 1896.[16]
Republican gain.
Joseph B. Foraker (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Oregon John H. Mitchell Republican 1885 (Late)
1890
Incumbent lost re-election.
Legislature failed to elect.
Republican loss.
A new senator would later be elected, see below.
John H. Mitchell (Republican)
Pennsylvania J. Donald Cameron Republican 1877 (Special)
18789
1885
1891
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected January 19, 1897.
Republican hold.
Boies Penrose (Republican) 83.00%
Chauncey F. Black (Democratic) 15.42%
John Wanamaker (Republican) 0.40%
South Carolina John L. M. Irby Democratic 1884 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected January 26, 1897.[17]
Democratic hold.
Joseph Earle (Democratic)
Unopposed[17]
South Dakota James H. Kyle Populist 1891 Incumbent re-elected February 18, 1897.[18] James H. Kyle (Populist)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Utah Arthur Brown Republican 1896 (New state) Incumbent retired.
New senator elected February 3, 1897.[19]
Democratic gain.
Joseph Lafayette Rawlins (Democratic) 32 votes
Moses Thatcher 29 votes
Henderson 1 votes
Brown 1 vote
Vermont Justin S. Morrill Republican 1866
1872
1878
1884
1890
Incumbent re-elected in 1896. Justin S. Morrill (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Washington Watson C. Squire Republican 1889
1891
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected January 29, 1897.[20]
Silver Republican gain.
George Turner (Silver Republican) 67 votes[20]
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Wisconsin William F. Vilas Democratic 1890 Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected January 26, 1897.[17]
Republican gain.
John C. Spooner (Republican)
Edward S. Bragg (Gold Democratic)
W.C. Silverthorn (Silver Democratic)[17]

Elections during the 55th Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were elected in 1897 after March 4; ordered by date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Ohio
(Class 1)
John Sherman Republican 1861 (Special)
1866
1872
1877 (Resigned)
1881
1886
1892
Incumbent resigned March 4, 1897.
New senator elected March 5, 1897.
Republican hold.
Mark Hanna (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Florida
(Class 3)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect, see above.
New senator elected May 14, 1897.[21]
Democratic gain.
Stephen Mallory II (Democratic) 53 votes
Chipley 44 votes
Call 1 vote[21]
Oregon
(Class 3)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect, see above.
New senator elected May 15, 1897.
Republican gain.
Joseph Simon (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Complete list of races[edit]

New York[edit]

The election in New York was held on January 19, 1897 by the New York State Legislature. Democrat David B. Hill had been elected to this seat in 1891, and his term would expire on March 3, 1897. At the State election in November 1895, 36 Republicans and 14 Democrats were elected for a three-year term (1896-1898) in the State Senate. At the State election in November 1896, 114 Republicans and 36 Democrats were elected for the session of 1897 to the Assembly. The 120th New York State Legislature met from January 6 to April 24, 1897, at Albany, New York.

The Republican caucus met on January 14. 149 State legislators attended, and State Senator Cornelius R. Parsons (43rd D.), Ex-Mayor of Rochester, presided. The caucus nominated the Republican boss Thomas C. Platt, who had been briefly a U.S. Senator in 1881, on the first ballot.

1897 Republican caucus for United States Senator result
Candidate First ballot
Thomas C. Platt 142
Joseph H. Choate 7

The Democratic caucus met on January 18. 46 State legislators attended, but 5 walked out before the roll was called, after making speeches against Hill. The incumbent U.S. Senator David B. Hill was re-nominated.

1897 Democratic caucus for United States Senator result
Candidate First ballot
David B. Hill 36
Wilbur F. Porter[22] 3
Robert C. Titus 2

Thomas C. Platt was the choice of both the Assembly and the State Senate, and was declared elected. Four anti-Hill Democrats voted for Labor leader Henry George who later the same year ran for Mayor of New York as a "Jefferson Democrat" but died a few days before the election.

1897 United States Senator election result
House Republican Democrat
State Senate
(50 members)
Thomas C. Platt 35 David B. Hill 11 Henry George 2
State Assembly
(150 members)
Thomas C. Platt 112 David B. Hill 31 Henry George 2

Note: The votes were cast on January 19, but both Houses met in a joint session on January 20 to compare nominations, and declare the result.

Pennsylvania[edit]

The election in Pennsylvania was held January 19, 1897. Boies Penrose was elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[23] Incumbent Republican J. Donald Cameron, who was elected in an 1877 special election and subsequently re-elected in 1879, 1885, and 1891, was not a candidate for re-election. The Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, convened on January 19, 1897, to elect a new Senator to fill the term beginning on March 4, 1897. The results of the vote of both houses combined are as follows:

State Legislature Results[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Boies Penrose 210 83.00
Democratic Chauncey F. Black 39 15.42
Republican John Wanamaker 1 0.40
N/A Not voting 3 1.19
Totals 253 100.00%

South Carolina[edit]

The election in South Carolina was a unanimous election of the Democratic nominee on January 26, 1897. The Democratic primary election was held on August 26, 1896 and September 9. The Democratic Party of South Carolina organized primary elections for the U.S. Senate beginning in 1896 and the General Assembly would confirm the choice of the Democratic voters. Conservative Democratic Joseph H. Earle won the Democratic primary and was elected by the General Assembly for a six-year term.

In 1896, Governor of South Carolina John Gary Evans entered the first ever election in the state of South Carolina for the U.S. Senate. He had the backing of Senator Ben Tillman and much of the farming interests in the state. However, the farmers' movement had largely run its course and the Tillmanite reform movement had angered a considerable number of voters in the state. Conservative Joseph H. Earle and Newberry native John T. Duncan announced their candidacy's in opposition to Governor Evans. In the primary on August 26 Evans emerged as the frontrunner, but did not garner over 50% of the vote and was forced to face Earle in a runoff election. Those who had voted for Duncan threw their support to Earle and it provided him with the margin he needed for victory over Evans.

South Carolina U.S. Senate Primary Election, 1896
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Gary Evans 38,802 49.6
Democratic Joseph H. Earle 31,092 39.8
Democratic John T. Duncan 8,327 10.6
South Carolina U.S. Senate Primary Election Runoff, 1896
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Joseph H. Earle 42,915 52.0 +12.2
Democratic John Gary Evans 39,576 48.0 -1.6

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jones in Arkansas.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "Perkins Re-elected in California.". The New York Times. January 13, 1897. p. 12. 
  3. ^ a b "Teller in Colorado.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "Platt in Connecticut.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  5. ^ a b "Mason in Illinois.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  6. ^ a b "Fairbanks in Indiana.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  7. ^ a b Clark, p. 238.
  8. ^ "Peffer's Successor Chosen.". The New York Times. January 28, 1897. p. 1. 
  9. ^ a b "M'ENERY ELECTED SENATOR.". The New York Times. May 29, 1896. p. 5. 
  10. ^ a b "WELLINGTON IS ELECTED". The New York Times. January 23, 1896. p. 5. 
  11. ^ "Vest in Missouri.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  12. ^ a b "Jones of Nevada Re-elected.". The New York Times. January 27, 1897. p. 3. 
  13. ^ "Gallinger in New Hampshire.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  14. ^ a b "PRITCHARD IN NORTH CAROLINA.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  15. ^ "Hansbrough in North Dakota.". The New York Times. January 21, 1897. p. 2. 
  16. ^ "Foraker will succeed Brice: Ohio's Republican Legislators Vote Solidly for the Ex-Governor" (PDF). The New York Times. January 14, 1896. 
  17. ^ a b c d "TWO SENATORS ELECTED.". The New York Times. January 27, 1897. p. 3. 
  18. ^ "SENATOR KYLE RE-ELECTED.". The New York Times. February 19, 1897. p. 3. 
  19. ^ "Joseph L. Rawlins". Sacramento Daily Union. February 4, 1897. 
  20. ^ a b "TURNER ELECTED SENATOR.". The New York Times. January 30, 1897. p. 1. 
  21. ^ a b "MALLORY ELECTED SENATOR.". The New York Times. May 15, 1897. p. 12. 
  22. ^ Wilbur F. Porter (b. ca. 1841), lawyer, five times Mayor of Watertown, ran for Governor in 1896
  23. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 19 January 1897" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 

References[edit]