United States Senate elections, 1850 and 1851

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United States Senate elections, 1850 and 1851
United States
← 1848 / 1849 Various dates 1852 / 1853 →

21 of the 62 seats in the United States Senate (with special elections)
32 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Party Democratic Whig Free Soil
Last election 33 seats 25 seats 1 seats
Seats before 35 25 2
Seats won 12 4 0
Seats after 33 22 2
Seat change Decrease 2 Decrease 3 Steady
Seats up 14 7 0

Majority Party before election

Democratic

Elected Majority Party

Democratic

The United States Senate elections of 1850 and 1851 were elections which had the Democratic Party lose seats, but retain a majority in the United States Senate.

As this election was prior to ratification of the seventeenth amendment, Senators were chosen by State legislatures.

Results summary

Senate Party Division, 32nd Congress (1851–1853)

  • Majority Party: Democratic (34–35)
  • Minority Party: Whig Party (21–23)
  • Other Parties: Free Soiler (2–3)
  • Total Seats: 62

Change in Senate composition

Before the elections

D1
D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11
D21 D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12
D22 D23
Ran
D24
Ran
D25
Ran
D26
Ran
D27
Ran
D28
Ran
D29
Ran
D30
Ran
D31
Ran
Majority → D32
Ran
W22
Unknown
W23
Unknown
W24
Retired
FS1 FS2 D36
Retired
D35
Unknown
D34
Unknown
D33
Ran
W21
Ran
W20
Ran
W19
Ran
W18
Ran
W17 W16 W15 W14 W13 W12
W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11
W1

As a result of the elections

D1
D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11
D21 D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12
D22 D23
Re-elected
D24
Re-elected
D25
Re-elected
D26
Re-elected
D27
Re-elected
D28
Re-elected
D29
Re-elected
D30
Hold
D31
Hold
Majority → D32
Gain
V1
W Loss
V2
W Loss
FS1 FS2 V3
D Loss
V4
D Loss
V5
D Loss
D34
Gain
D33
Gain
W21
Gain
W20
Gain
W19
Hold
W18
Re-elected
W17 W16 W15 W14 W13 W12
W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11
W1

At the beginning of the first session, December 1, 1851

D1
D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11
D21 D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12
D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30 D31
Majority → D32
W22
Gain
W23
Gain
FS1 FS2 FS3
Gain
V1 V2 D34
Hold
D33
W21 W20 W19 W18 W17 W16 W15 W14 W13 W12
W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11
W1
Key:
D# Democratic
FS# Free Soil
W# Whig
V# Vacant

Race summaries

Elections during the 31st Congress

In these elections, the winners were seated during 1850 or in 1851 before March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Maryland
(Class 1)
David Stewart Whig 1849 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
Winner elected January 12, 1850.
Whig hold.
Winner was elected to the next term, see below.
Thomas Pratt (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Massachusetts
(Class 1)
Robert C. Winthrop Whig 1850 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost election to finish the term.
Winner elected February 1, 1851.
Democratic gain.
Winner was not elected to the next term, see below.
Robert Rantoul, Jr. (Democratic)
Robert C. Winthrop (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Races leading to the 32nd Congress

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1851; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 1 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Connecticut Roger Sherman Baldwin Whig 1847 (Appointed)
1848 (Special)
Unknown if incumbent ran for re-election or retired.
Legislature failed to elect.
Whig loss
Seat would not be filled until 1852.
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
California John C. Frémont Democratic 1850 Incumbent lost re-election.
Legislature failed to elect.
Democratic loss.
Seat would not be filled until 1852.
John C. Frémont (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Delaware John Wales Whig 1849 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1851.
Democratic gain.
James A. Bayard, Jr. (Democratic)
John Wales (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Florida David Levy Yulee Democratic 1845 Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1851.
Democratic hold.
Stephen Mallory (Democratic)
David Levy Yulee (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Indiana Jesse D. Bright Democratic 1844 Incumbent re-elected in 1850. Jesse D. Bright (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maine Hannibal Hamlin Democratic 1848 (Special) Incumbent re-elected in 1851. Hannibal Hamlin (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maryland Thomas Pratt Whig 1850 (Special) Incumbent re-elected in 1851. Thomas Pratt (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Massachusetts Robert Rantoul, Jr. Democratic 1851 (Special) Unknown if incumbent ran for re-election or retired.
Legislature failed to elect.
Democratic loss.
Seat would later be filled on April 24, 1851, see below.
Charles Sumner (Free Soil)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Michigan Lewis Cass Democratic 1844 or 1845
1848 (Resigned)
1849 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected in 1850 or 1851. Lewis Cass (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Mississippi Jefferson Davis Democratic 1847 (Appointed)
1848 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected in 1850. Jefferson Davis (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Missouri Thomas H. Benton Democratic 1821
1827
1833
1839
1845
Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1851.
Whig gain.
Henry S. Geyer (Whig)
Thomas H. Benton (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New Jersey William L. Dayton Whig 1848 (Democratic)
? (Special)
1845
Incumbent lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1851.
Democratic gain.
Robert F. Stockton (Democratic)
William L. Dayton (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York Daniel S. Dickinson Democratic 1844 (Appointed)
1845
Incumbent lost re-election.
Legislature failed to elect.
Democratic loss.
Seat would later be filled on March 19, 1851, see below.
Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic)
Many, see below
Ohio Thomas Ewing Whig 1850 (Appointed) Incumbent lost election to the next term.
Legislature failed to elect.
Whig loss.
Seat would later be filled on March 15, 1851, see below.
Thomas Ewing (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Pennsylvania Daniel Sturgeon Democratic 1840
1845
Incumbent retired.
Winner elected January 14, 1851.
Democratic hold.
Richard Brodhead (Democratic)
Many, see below
Rhode Island Albert C. Greene Whig 1844 or 1845 Incumbent retired.
Winner elected in 1850 or 1851.
Democratic gain.
Charles T. James (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Tennessee Hopkins L. Turney Democratic 1844 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1851.
Whig gain.
James C. Jones (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Texas Thomas J. Rusk Democratic 1846 Incumbent re-elected in 1851. Thomas J. Rusk (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Vermont Samuel S. Phelps Whig 1839
1845
Unknown if incumbent retired or lost re-election.
Winner elected in 1850.
Whig hold.
Solomon Foot (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Virginia James M. Mason Democratic 1847 (Special) Incumbent re-elected in 1850. James M. Mason (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Wisconsin Henry Dodge Democratic 1848 Incumbent re-elected in 1851. Henry Dodge (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Elections during the 32nd Congress

In these elections, the winners were elected in 1851 after March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Ohio
(Class 1)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Winner elected late March 15, 1851 on the 37th ballot.[1]
Whig gain.
Benjamin Wade (Whig)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
New York
(Class 1)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Winner elected late March 19, 1851.
Whig gain.
Hamilton Fish (Whig)
Many, see below
Massachusetts
(Class 1)
Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
Winner elected April 24, 1851.
Free Soil gain.
Charles Sumner (Free Soil)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Complete list of races

Massachusetts

In 1851, Democrats gained control of the legislature in coalition with the Free Soilers. However, the legislature deadlocked on this Senate race, as Democrats refused to vote for Charles Sumner (the Free Soilers' choice).

New York

The election in New York was held on February 4 and March 18 and 19, 1851. Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) had been elected in 1845 to this seat, and his term would expire on March 3, 1851. The Whig Party in New York was split in two opposing factions: the Seward/Weed faction (the majority, opposed to the Compromise of 1850) and the "Silver Grays" (supporters of President Millard Fillmore and his compromise legislation, led by Francis Granger whose silver gray hair originated the faction's nickname). The opposing factions of the Democratic Party in New York, the "Barnburners" and the "Hunkers", had reunited at the State election in November 1850, and managed to have almost their whole State ticket elected, only Horatio Seymour was defeated for Governor by a plurality of 262 votes.

At the State election in November 1849, 14 Seward Whigs, 3 Silver Gray Whigs and 15 Democrats were elected for a two-year term (1850–1851) in the State Senate. At the State election in November 1850, a Whig majority was elected to the Assembly for the session of 1851. The 74th New York State Legislature met from January 7 to April 17, and from June 10 to July 11, 1851, at Albany, New York.

Ex-Governor of New York Hamilton Fish was the candidate of the Whig Party, but was also a close friend of Henry Clay who was one of the leaders of the Fillmore faction in Washington, D.C. He was thus considered the only viable compromise candidate. The Silver Grays asked Fish to pledge his support for the Compromise, but Fish refused to make any comment, saying that he did not seek the office, and that the legislators should vote guided by Fish's known political history. Fish had earlier stated his opposition against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 but was believed to support most of the remainder of the Compromise. Nevertheless, Silver Gray State Senator James W. Beekman declared that he would not vote for Fish for personal reasons, a dislike stemming from the time when they were fellow students at Columbia University.

The State Legislature met on February 4, the legally prescribed day, to elect a U.S. Senator. In the Assembly, Fish received a majority of 78 to 49. In the State Senate the vote stood 16 for Fish and 16 votes for a variety of candidates, among them Beekman's vote for Francis Granger. After a second ballot with the same result, Beekman moved to adjourn, which was carried by the casting vote of the lieutenant governor, and no nomination was made.

On February 14, Senator George B. Guinnip offered a resolution to declare John Adams Dix elected to the U.S. Senate. On motion of Senator George R. Babcock, the resolution was laid on the table, i.e. consideration was postponed.

On February 15, Guinnip again offered a resolution to declare John Adams Dix elected to the U.S. Senate. Senator Stephen H. Johnson offered an amendment to this resolution, declaring Daniel S. Dickinson elected. On motion of Senator Marius Schoonmaker, the resolution was laid on the table too.

On March 18, when two Democratic State Senators were absent, having gone to New York City, the Whigs persuaded the Democrats in a 14-hour session to re-open the U.S. Senate election, and in the small hours of March 19 Fish was nominated by a vote of 16 to 12 (Beekman, Johnson (both Whigs), Thomas B. Carroll and William A. Dart (both Democratic) did not vote).

Fish was the choice of both the Assembly and the Senate, and was declared elected.

Candidate Party Senate
(32 members)
February 4
(first ballot)
Senate
(32 members)
February 4
(second ballot)
Assembly
(128 members)
February 4
Senate
(32 members)
March 19
Assembly
(128 members)
March 19
Hamilton Fish Whig 16 16 78 16 68
John Adams Dix Democratic 1 1 29 6 6
James T. Brady Democratic 7
Horatio Seymour Democratic 1 1 4 1
Francis Granger Whig 1 1 2 1
Aaron Ward Democratic 1 1 1
Daniel S. Dickinson Democratic 1 1 1
Arphaxed Loomis Democratic 1 1 1
Amasa J. Parker Democratic 1 1 1
David Buel Jr. Democratic 1 1
Augustus C. Hand Democratic 1 1
John Hunter Democratic 1 1
John Fine Democratic 1 1
Levi S. Chatfield Democratic 1 1
John Tracy Democratic 1 1
Abraham Bockee Democratic 1 1
George Rathbun Democratic 1 1
Timothy Jenkins Democratic 1 1
William L. Marcy Democratic 1
Washington Irving 1
John L. Riker 1
Erastus Corning Democratic 1
Levi S. Chatfield Democratic 1
George Wood 1
Daniel Lord 1
James S. Wadsworth Democratic 1
William C. Bouck Democratic 1

Ohio

Incumbent Senator Thomas Corwin (Whig) resigned July 20, 1850 to become U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Thomas Ewing (Whig) was appointed July 20, 1850 to finish the term. Benjamin Wade (Whig) was elected late on March 15, 1851 on the 37th ballot over Ewing.[1]

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania election was held January 14, 1851. Richard Brodhead was elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to the United States Senate.[2]

State Legislature Results[2][3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Brodhead 76 57.14
Whig Andrew W. Loomis 12 9.02
Whig Alexander Brown 11 8.27
Whig Samuel Purviance 4 3.01
Whig Samuel Calvin 4 3.01
Whig Thomas M. T. McKennan 4 3.01
Whig John Sergeant 4 3.01
Whig George Chambers 3 2.26
Whig John Dickey 2 1.50
Whig James Pollock 2 1.50
Whig John Allison 1 0.75
Whig William Darlington 1 0.75
Whig Townsend Haines 1 0.75
Whig Charles Pitman 1 0.75
Whig Daniel M. Smyser 1 0.75
Whig Thomas White 1 0.75
Whig David Wilmot 1 0.75
N/A Not voting 3 2.26
Totals 133 100.00%

See also

References

  • Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present, via Senate.gov
  • The New York Civil List compiled in 1858 (see: pg. 63 for U.S. Senators [gives wrong date for election "November 19"]; pg. 137 for State Senators 1851; pg. 240ff for Members of Assembly 1851)
  • Members of the 32nd United States Congress
  • Hamilton Fish by Amos Elwood Corning (pages 35ff)
  • Result Assembly: Journal of the Assembly (74th Session) (1851; Vol. I, pg. 268f and 662)
  • Result Senate: Journal of the Senate (74th Session) (1851; pg. 136f and 322)
  • The Papers of Henry Clay (Vol. 10; page 859)
  • The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party by Michael F. Holt (pages 649f)
  • Pennsylvania Election Statistics: 1682-2006 from the Wilkes University Election Statistics Project
  1. ^ a b Taylor, William Alexander; Taylor, Aubrey Clarence (1899). Ohio statesmen and annals of progress: from the year 1788 to the year 1900 . State of Ohio. p. 240. 
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 14 January 1851" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "PA US Senate 1851". OurCampaigns. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
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