1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections

1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1848 / 49 August 5, 1850 – November 4, 1851 1852 / 53 →

All 233 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
117 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  LinnBoyd.jpg Edward Stanly by Brady.jpg
Leader Linn Boyd Edward Stanly
Party Democratic Whig
Leader's seat Kentucky 1st North Carolina 8th
Last election 115 seats 104 seats
Seats won 117 81
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 23
Popular vote 1,142,783 1,105,286
Percentage 43.31% 41.89%
Swing Decrease 0.85% Decrease 2.95%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Unionist Southern Rights
Last election Pre-creation Pre-creation
Seats won 14[a] 8[b]
Seat change Increase 14 Increase 8
Popular vote 123,727 109,060
Percentage 4.69% 4.13%
Swing New Party New Party

  Fifth party Sixth party
 
Party Free Soil Independent
Last election 8 seats 0 seats
Seats won 7 4[c]
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 4
Popular vote 82,221 70,262
Percentage 3.12% 2.79%
Swing Decrease 5.54% Increase 1.03%

Speaker before election

Howell Cobb
Democratic

Elected Speaker

Linn Boyd
Democratic

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 32nd Congress were held at various dates in different states from August 1850 to November 1851. The Democrats gained 17 seats, increasing their majority relative to the rival Whigs, who lost 22 seats.

Whig President Millard Fillmore, who succeeded to the Presidency in July 1850 after the death of Zachary Taylor, lacked a strong political base. Sectionalism and slavery were increasingly prominent, but not yet politically critical, issues. The Compromise of 1850 was a short-term success in beginning the constructive disposal of the Mexican Cession, but the admission of California as the 31st state augured a future free-soil West. Lingering Southern unhappiness with the results of the Compromise and a sense of foreboding helped motivate later sectional and political conflict over Kansas.

The Unionist Party, formed in support of the Compromise of 1850, gained 10 seats in the South, as did the States' Rights Party. The abolitionist Free Soil Party lost five seats and was reduced to four Representatives, all in New England.

Election summaries[edit]

130 7 10 86
Democratic [d] [e] Whig
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Free Soil States' Rights Unionist Whig
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Iowa District August 5, 1850 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri District August 5, 1850 5 2 Decrease3 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Increase3
Vermont District September 3, 1850 4 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Steady
Maine District September 9, 1850 7 5 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Steady
Florida At-large October 7, 1850 1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Steady
Ohio District October 8, 1850 21 11[f] Steady 1 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 9 Increase1
Pennsylvania District October 8, 1850 24[g] 15 Increase6 0 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 9 Decrease4
South Carolina District October 14–15, 1850 7 7 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District November 5, 1850
(Election Day)[h]
7 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Steady
Michigan District 3 1 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Increase1
New Jersey District 5 4 Increase3 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Decrease3
New York District 34 17 Increase16 0 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 17 Decrease15
Wisconsin District 3 2[f] Increase1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
Massachusetts District November 11, 1850 10[i] 1 Increase1 2 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady 7 Decrease1
Delaware At-large November 12, 1850 1 1 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Decrease1
Late elections (after the March 4, 1851 beginning of the term)
New Hampshire District March 11, 1851 4 2 Steady 0 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Increase1
Rhode Island District April 2, 1851 2 1 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Decrease1
Connecticut District April 7, 1851 4 3 Increase1 0 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Steady
Alabama District August 4, 1851 7 4 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Increase1 2 Steady
Arkansas At-large August 4, 1851 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Indiana District August 4, 1851 10 8 Steady 0 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Increase1
Kentucky District August 4, 1851 10 5 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 5 Decrease1
Texas District August 4, 1851 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
North Carolina District August 7, 1851 9 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 6 Steady
Tennessee District August 7, 1851 11 7[f] Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 4 Steady
California At-large September 3, 1851 2[j] 2 Increase1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District October 1, 1851 6 2 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 4[k] Increase1
Georgia District October 6, 1851 8 0 Decrease4 0 Steady 2 Increase2 6 Increase6 0 Decrease4
Virginia District October 23, 1851 15 13 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Steady
Mississippi District November 3–4, 1851 4 0 Decrease4 0 Steady 1 Increase1 3 Increase3 0 Steady
Louisiana District November 4, 1851 4 2 Decrease1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Increase1
Total 233 130[l]
55.8%
Increase17 4
1.7%
Decrease5 3
1.3%
Increase3 10
4.3%
Increase10 86[k]
36.9%
Decrease22
House seats
Democratic
55.79%
Free Soil
1.72%
Unionist
4.29%
Whig
36.91%
Others
1.29%

One district in Massachusetts had been vacant in the 31st Congress. No new seats were added. The previous election had 1 Know-Nothing and 1 Independent

Special elections[edit]

31st Congress[edit]

32nd Congress[edit]

Alabama[edit]

Arkansas[edit]

California[edit]

California's members were elected late, at-large statewide, September 3, 1851. There were nevertheless seated with the rest of the House at the beginning of the first session.

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
California at-large
2 seats on a general ticket
George W. Wright Independent 1849 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Edward Gilbert Democratic 1849 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.

Connecticut[edit]

Delaware[edit]

Florida[edit]

Florida's single at-large member was elected October 7, 1850.

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
Florida at-large Edward C. Cabell Whig 1846 Incumbent re-elected.

Georgia[edit]

Illinois[edit]

Indiana[edit]

Iowa[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Maine[edit]

Maryland[edit]

Massachusetts[edit]

Michigan[edit]

Mississippi[edit]

Missouri[edit]

New Hampshire[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

New York[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

Ohio[edit]

Pennsylvania[edit]

Rhode Island[edit]

South Carolina[edit]

Tennessee[edit]

Texas[edit]

Vermont[edit]

Virginia[edit]

Wisconsin[edit]

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates[3]
Wisconsin 1 Charles Durkee Free Soil 1848 Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY Charles Durkee (Free Soil) 57.23%
  • Andrew E. Elmore (Democratic) 42.47%
Wisconsin 2 Orsamus Cole Whig 1848 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Wisconsin 3 James Duane Doty Democratic 1848 Incumbent won re-election as an independent.
Independent Democratic gain.

Non-voting delegates[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Delegate Party First elected Results Candidates
Minnesota Territory Henry Hastings Sibley Democratic 1848 (Wisconsin Territory: Special)
1849 (Wisconsin Territory: Eliminated)
1849 (Minnesota Territory)
Incumbent re-elected.
New Mexico Territory New seat New seat created.
New delegate elected.
Democratic gain.
Oregon Territory Samuel Thurston Democratic 1849 (New seat) Incumbent died April 9, 1851.
New delegate elected June 2, 1851.[4]
Democratic hold.
Utah Territory New seat New seat created.
New delegate elected.
Independent gain.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes two Unionist Whigs, three Unionist Democrats, and nine Unionists.
  2. ^ Includes one Secessionist Democrat, one Secessionist Whig, three Southern Rights Democrats, and three Southern Rightists.
  3. ^ Includes two Independent Democrats, one Benton Democrat and one Independent Whig.
  4. ^ Free Soil had 4 seats and States' Rights had 3.
  5. ^ Unionist had 10 seats.
  6. ^ a b c Includes one Independent Democrat.
  7. ^ There was 1 Know-Nothing in the 31st Congress.
  8. ^ In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors.[1] Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for Congressional elections as well.
  9. ^ One seat, Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, had been vacant during the entire 31st Congress.
  10. ^ There was 1 Independent in the 31st Congress.
  11. ^ a b Includes 1 Independent Whig.
  12. ^ Includes three Independent Democrats from Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721
  2. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=115023
  3. ^ "Wisconsin Congressional election 1850 / Official". Wisconsin Argus. December 17, 1850. p. 2. Retrieved May 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Documents/elections/history-officials.pdf

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]