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1862 and 1863 United States House of Representatives elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1862 and 1863 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1860 / 61 June 2, 1862 – November 3, 1863[a] 1864 / 65 →

All 184 seats[b] in the U.S. House of Representatives
93 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Galusha Grow Samuel Cox
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Pennsylvania 14th
(lost re-election)
Ohio 7th
Last election 108 seats 45 seats
Seats won 85 72
Seat change Decrease 23 Increase 27

  Third party Fourth party
Francis Thomas of Maryland - photo portrait seated.jpg
Leader Francis Thomas
Party Unionist Independent Republican
Leader's seat Maryland 4th
Last election 28 seats 0 seats
Seats won 25 2
Seat change Decrease 3 Increase 2

Speaker before election

Galusha Grow (defeated)

Elected Speaker

Schuyler Colfax

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held during President Abraham Lincoln's first term at various dates in different states from June 1862 to November 1863. Republicans lost 22 seats and the majority, while Democrats gained 28.

The Civil War to date had been only weakly successful for the Union, but had wrought major, disruptive change in the size and reach of the Federal Government, which before the war had been small and little seen beyond post offices, customs houses in ports, and scattered military posts. The Republican Party was also relatively new, yet had led the Union down a radical path of rapid industrialization and destructive total war.

Voters turned on the Administration. Points of dissatisfaction included failure to deliver a speedy victory at times verging on military incompetence, rising inflation, new taxes, rumors of corruption, suspension of habeas corpus, conscription or the draft law, and racist fear of a future in which larger numbers of free African-Americans would compete for jobs and depress wages. For example, expressing a typical sentiment, the Cincinnati Gazette editorialized that voters "are depressed by the interminable nature of this war, as so far conducted, and by the rapid exhaustion of the national resources without progress."[1]

Short of a majority, Republicans retained control with the support of the Unionist Party. In September 1862, President Lincoln warned the South that he planned by executive order, and as a war measure, to liberate all slaves in rebelling states as of January 1, 1863. The popularity of emancipation varied by region. It was more popular in New England and areas near the Great Lakes, and less popular in cities with large immigrant populations and in the southern portion of the North. Democrats hailed the elections as a repudiation of emancipation, but the results did not alter Lincoln's plan or hamper prosecution of the war.[2]

In Lincoln's home district of Springfield, Illinois, John T. Stuart, a Democrat and one of Lincoln's former law partners, defeated the Republican incumbent. Racism, including fear of an influx freed slaves and a desire by white voters to prevent black suffrage, helped drive the result.[3] The sitting House Speaker, Galusha Grow of Pennsylvania, also lost re-election. He would return to the House in 1894.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
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  • ✪ Reconstruction and 1876: Crash Course US History #22
  • ✪ 3D Stereoscopic Photos of Pennsylvania Congressmen During the American Civil War (1860's)
  • ✪ 6th November 1860: Abraham Lincoln elected 16th President of the USA
  • ✪ Captain Robert Smalls of the first Black liberation Army
  • ✪ Louisiana Radical: James Longstreet and Reconstruction (Lecture)


Episode 21: Reconstruction Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. History and huzzah! The Civil War is over! The slaves are free! Huzzah! That one hit me in the head? It’s very dangerous, Crash Course. So when you say, “Don’t aim at a person,” that includes myself? The roller coaster only goes up from here, my friends. Huzzah! Mr. Green, Mr. Green, what about the epic failure of Reconstruction? Oh, right. Stupid Reconstruction always ruining everything intro So after the Civil War ended, the United States had to reintegrate both a formerly slave population and a formerly rebellious population back into the country, which is a challenge that we might’ve met, except Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and we were left with Andrew “I am the Third Worst President Ever” Johnson. I’m sorry, Abe, but you don’t get to be in the show anymore. So, Lincoln’s whole post-war idea was to facilitate reunion and reconciliation, and Andrew Johnson’s guiding Reconstruction principle was that the South never had a right to secede in the first place. Also, because he was himself a Southerner, he resented all the elites in the South who had snubbed him, AND he was also a racist who didn’t think that blacks should have any role in Reconstruction. TRIFECTA! So between 1865 and 1867, the so-called period of Presidential Reconstruction, Johnson appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state conventions to establish new all-white governments. And in their 100% whiteness and oppression of former slaves, those new governments looked suspiciously like the old confederate governments they had replaced. And what was changing for the former slaves? Well, in some ways, a lot. Like, Fiske and Howard universities were established, as well as many primary and secondary schools, thanks in part to The Freedman’s Bureau, which only lasted until 1870, but had the power to divide up confiscated and abandoned confederate land for former slaves. And this was very important because to most slaves, land ownership was the key to freedom, and many felt like they’d been promised land by the Union Army. Like, General Sherman’s Field Order 15, promised to distribute land in 40 acre plots to former slaves. But that didn’t happen, either through the Freedman’s Bureau or anywhere else. Instead, President Johnson ordered all land returned to its former owners. So the South remained largely agricultural with the same people owning the same land, and in the end, we ended up with sharecropping. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The system of sharecropping replaced slavery in many places throughout the South. Landowners would provide housing to the sharecroppers--no, Thought Bubble, not quite that nice. There ya go--also tools and seed, and then the sharecroppers received, get this, a share of their crop--usually between a third and a half, with the price for that harvest often set by the landowner. Freed blacks got to control their work, and plantation owners got a steady workforce that couldn’t easily leave, because they had little opportunity to save money and make the big capital investments in, like, land or tools. By the late 1860s, poor white farmers were sharecropping as well--in fact, by the Great Depression, most sharecroppers were white. And while sharecropping certainly wasn’t slavery, it did result in a quasi-serfdom that tied workers to land they didn’t own--more or less the opposite of Jefferson’s ideal of the small, independent farmer. So, the Republicans in Congress weren’t happy that this reconstructed south looked so much like the pre-Civil War south, so they took the lead in reconstruction after 1867. Radical Republicans felt the war had been fought for equal rights and wanted to see the powers of the national government expanded. Few were as radical as Thaddeus “Tommy Lee Jones” Stephens who wanted to take away land from the Southern planters and give it to the former slaves, but rank-and-file Republicans were radical enough to pass the Civil Rights Bill, which defined persons born in the United States as citizens and established nationwide equality before the law regardless of race. Andrew Johnson immediately vetoed the law, claiming that trying to protect the rights of African Americans amounted to discrimination against white people, which so infuriated Republicans that Congress did something it had never done before in all of American history. They overrode the Presidential veto with a 2/3rds majority and the Civil Rights Act became law. So then Congress really had its dander up and decided to amend the Constitution with the 14th amendment, which defines citizenship, guarantees equal protection, and extends the rights in the Bill of Rights to all the states (sort of). The amendment had almost no Democratic support, but it also didn’t need any, because there were almost no Democrats in Congress on account of how Congress had refused to seat the representatives from the “new” all-white governments that Johnson supported. And that’s how we got the 14th amendment, arguably the most important in the whole Constitution. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Oh, straight to the mystery document today? Alright. The rules here are simple. I guess the author of the Mystery Document and try not to get shocked. Alright let’s see what we’ve got today. Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the police jury of the parish of St. Landry, That no negro shall be allowed to pass within the limits of said parish without special permit in writing from his employer. Sec. 4. . . . Every negro is required to be in the regular service of some white person, or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said negro.. Sec. 6. . . . No negro shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people, without a special permission in writing from the president of the police jury. . . . Gee, Stan, I wonder if the President of the Police Jury was white. I actually know this one. It is a Black Code, which was basically legal codes where they just replaced the word “slave” with the word “negro.” And this code shows just how unwilling white governments were to ensure the rights of new, free citizens. I would celebrate not getting shocked, but now I am depressed. So, okay, in 1867, again over Johnson’s veto, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act, which divided the south into 5 military districts and required each state to create a new government, one that included participation of black men. Those new governments had to ratify the 14th amendment if they wanted to get back into the union. Radical Reconstruction had begun. So, in 1868, Andrew Johnson was about as electable in the U.S. as Jefferson Davis, and sure enough he didn’t win. Instead, the 1868 election was won by Republican and former Union general Ulysses S. Grant. But Grant’s margin of victory was small enough that Republicans were like, “Man, we would sure win more elections if black people could vote.” Which is something you hear Republicans say all the time these days. So Congressional Republicans pushed the 15th Amendment, which prohibited states from denying men the right to vote based on race, but not based on gender or literacy or whether your grandfather could vote. So states ended up with a lot of leeway when it came to denying the franchise to African Americans, which of course they did. So here we have the federal government dictating who can vote, and who is and isn’t a citizen of a state, and establishing equality under the law--even local laws. And this is a really big deal in American history, because the national government became, rather than a threat to individual liberty, “the custodian of freedom,” as Radical Republican Charles Sumner put it. So but with this legal protection, former slaves began to exercise their rights. They participated in the political process by direct action, such as staging sit-ins to integrate street-cars, by voting in elections, and by holding office. Most African Americans were Republicans at the time, and because they could vote and were a large part of the population, the Republican party came to dominate politics in the South, just like today, except totally different. Now, Southern mythology about the age of radical Reconstruction is exemplified by Gone with the Wind, which of course tells the story of northern Republican dominance and corruption by southern Republicans. Fortune seeking northern carpetbaggers, seen here, as well as southern turncoat scalawags dominated politics and all of the African American elected leaders were either corrupt or puppets or both. Yeah, well, like the rest of Gone with the Wind, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. There were about 2,000 African Americans who held office during Reconstruction, and the vast majority of them were not corrupt. Consider for example the not-corrupt and amazingly-named Pinckney B.S. Pinchback, who from 1872 to 1873 served very briefly in Louisiana as America’s first black governor. And went on to be a senator and a member of the House of Representatives. By the way, America’s second African American governor, Douglas Wilder of Virginia was elected in 1989. Having African American officeholders was a huge step forward in term of ensuring the rights of African Americans because it meant that there would be black juries and less discrimination in state and local governments when it came to providing basic services. But in the end, Republican governments failed in the South. There were important achievements, especially a school system that, while segregated, did attempt to educate both black and white children. And even more importantly, they created a functioning government where both white and African American citizens could participate. According to one white South Carolina lawyer, “We have gone through one of the most remarkable changes in our relations to each other that has been known, perhaps, in the history of the world.” That’s a little hyperbolic, but we are America after all. (libertage) It’s true that corruption was widespread, but it was in the North, too. I mean, we’re talking about governments. And that’s not why Reconstruction really ended: It ended because 1. things like schools and road repair cost money, which meant taxes, which made Republican governments very unpopular because Americans hate taxes, and 2. White southerners could not accept African Americans exercising basic civil rights, holding office or voting. And for many, the best way to return things to the way they were before reconstruction was through violence. Especially after 1867, much of the violence directed toward African Americans in the South was politically motivated. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 and it quickly became a terrorist organization, targeting Republicans, both black and white, beating and murdering men and women in order to intimidate them and keep them from voting. The worst act of violence was probably the massacre at Colfax, Louisiana where hundreds of former slaves were murdered. And between intimidation and emerging discriminatory voting laws, fewer black men voted, which allowed white Democrats to take control of state governments in the south, and returned white Democratic congressional delegations to Washington. These white southern politicians called themselves “Redeemers” because they claimed to have redeemed the south from northern republican corruption and black rule. Now, it’s likely that the South would have fallen back into Democratic hands eventually, but the process was aided by Northern Republicans losing interest in Reconstruction. In 1873, the U.S. fell into yet another not-quite-Great economic depression and northerners lost the stomach to fight for the rights of black people in the south, which in addition to being hard was expensive. So by 1876 the supporters of reconstruction were in full retreat and the Democrats were resurgent, especially in the south. And this set up one of the most contentious elections in American history. The Democrats nominated New York Governor (and NYU Law School graduate) Samuel Tilden. The Republicans chose Ohio governor (and Kenyon College alumnus) Rutherford B. Hayes. One man who’d gone to Crash Course writer Raoul Meyer’s law school. And another who’d gone to my college, Kenyon. Now, if the election had been based on facial hair, as elections should be, there would’ve been no controversy, but sadly we have an electoral college here in the United States, and in 1876 there were disputed electoral votes in South Carolina, Louisiana, and, of course, Florida. Now you might remember that in these situations, there is a constitutional provision that says Congress should decide the winner, but Congress, shockingly, proved unable to accomplish something. So they appointed a 15 man Electoral Commission--a Super-Committee, if you will. And there were 8 Republicans on that committee and 7 Democrats, so you will never guess who won. Kenyon College’s own Rutherford B. Hayes. Go Lords and Ladies! And yes, that is our mascot. Shut up. Anyway in order to get the Presidency and win the support of the supercommittee, Hayes’ people agreed to cede control of the South to the Democrats and to stop meddling in Southern affairs and also to build a transcontinental railroad through Texas. This is called the Bargain of 1877 because historians are so good at naming things and it basically killed Reconstruction. Without any more federal troops in Southern states and with control of Southern legislatures firmly in the hands of white democrats the states were free to go back to restricting the freedom of black people, which they did. Legislatures passed Jim Crow laws that limited African American’s access to public accommodations and legal protections. States passed laws that took away black people’s right to vote and social and economic mobility among African Americans in the south declined precipitously. However, for a brief moment, the United States was more democratic than it had ever been before. And an entire segment of the population that had no impact on politics before was now allowed to participate. And for the freedmen who lived through it, that was a monumental change, and it would echo down to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes called the second reconstruction. But we’re gonna end this episode on a downer, as we are wont to do here at Crash Course US History because I want to point out a lesser-known legacy of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction amendments and laws that were passed granted former slaves political freedom and rights, especially the vote, and that was critical. But to give them what they really wanted and needed, plots of land that would make them economically independent, would have required confiscation, and that violation of property rights was too much for all but the most radical Republicans. And that question of what it really means to be “free” in a system of free market capitalism has proven very complicated indeed. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Café. Every week there’s a new caption for the libertage. You can suggest those in comments where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thank you for watching Crash Course. Don’t forget to subscribe. And as we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome. reconstruction -


Election summaries

The eight Representatives remaining from Tennessee and Virginia in the 37th Congress were absent from the 38th Congress. Other seceded states remained unrepresented, leaving 58 vacancies[4] Upon admission, West Virginia was allotted three Representatives [5] and during the second session one seat was added for the new state of Nevada.[6]

Reapportionment transpired according to the 1860 Census, under the 1850 Apportionment Act[7] providing a total of 233 seats. A later Act added eight seats,[8] increasing the total to 241.

72 2 85 25
Democratic IR Republican Unionist
State Type Date ↑ Total seats
Democratic Independent
Republican Unionist[c]
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Oregon At-large June 2, 1862 1 Steady 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
Maine Districts September 8, 1862 5 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 4 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Indiana Districts October 14, 1862 11 Steady 7 Increase 3 0 Steady 4 Decrease 3 0 Steady
Iowa Districts 6 Increase 4 0 Steady 0 Steady 6 Increase 4 0 Steady
Ohio Districts 19 Decrease 2 14 Increase 6 0 Steady 5 Decrease 8 0 Steady
Pennsylvania Districts 24 Decrease 1 12 Increase 6 2 Increase 2 10 Decrease 9 0 Steady
Delaware At-large November 1, 1862 1 Steady 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Decrease 1
Massachusetts Districts 10 Decrease 1 0 Steady 0 Steady 10 Steady 0 Decrease 1
Illinois Districts November 4, 1862
(Election Day)[d]
14 Increase 5 9 Increase 4 0 Steady 5 Increase 1 0 Steady
Kansas At-large 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Michigan Districts 6 Increase 2 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 5 Increase 1 0 Steady
Minnesota Districts 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri Districts 9 Increase 2 0 Decrease 5 0 Steady 1 Steady 8 Increase 7
New Jersey Districts 5 Steady 4 Increase 1 0 Steady 1 Decrease 1 0 Steady
New York Districts 31 Decrease 2 17 Increase 7 0 Steady 14 Decrease 9 0 Steady
Wisconsin Districts 6 Increase 3 3 Increase 3 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
Late elections (after the March 4, 1863 beginning of the term)
New Hampshire Districts March 10, 1863 3 Steady 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 2 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Rhode Island Districts April 1, 1863 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 2 Increase 2 0 Decrease 2
Connecticut Districts April 6, 1863 4 Steady 1 Decrease 1 0 Steady 3 Increase 1 0 Steady
Kentucky Districts August 3, 1863 9 Decrease 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady 0 Steady 9 Steady
Vermont Districts September 1, 1863 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
California At-large September 2, 1863 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
West Virginia[e] Districts October 22, 1863 3 Increase3 0 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Increase 3
Maryland Districts November 3, 1863 5 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 0 Steady 4 Decrease 2
Secessionist States
Alabama Districts None 6 Decrease 1
Arkansas Districts None 3 Increase 1
Florida At-large None 1 Steady
Georgia Districts None 7 Decrease 1
Louisiana Districts None 5 Increase 1 Decrease 2
Mississippi Districts None 5 Steady
North Carolina Districts None 7 Decrease 1
South Carolina Districts None 4 Decrease 2
Tennessee Districts None 8 Decrease 2 Decrease 3
Texas Districts None 4 Increase 2
Virginia Districts None 11[f] Decrease 2 Decrease 5
Total[b] 184 Increase 3 72 Increase 27 2 Increase 2 85 Decrease 25 25 Decrease 5
58 Vacancies[g] 39.1% 1.1% 46.2% 13.6%
House seats
Independent Republican


Note: From statehood to 1866, California's representatives were elected state-wide at-large, with the top two vote-getters winning election from 1849 to 1858. In 1860, when California gained a seat, the top three vote-getters were elected.

District Incumbent Party Results Candidates
California at-large
Plural district with 3 seats
Timothy Phelps Republican Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
Aaron A. Sargent Republican Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
Frederick F. Low Republican Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.


District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates[9]
Ohio 1 George H. Pendleton Democratic 1856 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 2 John A. Gurley Republican 1858 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 3 Clement Vallandigham Democratic 1858 (Contested) Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 4 William Allen Democratic 1858 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
Ohio 5 New district New district.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 6 Chilton A. White Democratic 1860 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 7 Richard A. Harrison Unionist 1861 (Special) Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic loss.
Samuel S. Cox
Redistricted from the 12th district
Democratic 1856 Incumbent re-elected.
Samuel Shellabarger
Redistricted from the 8th district
Republican 1860 Incumbent lost renomination.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 8 New district New district.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 9 Warren P. Noble Democratic 1860 Incumbent re-elected.
Samuel T. Worcester
Redistricted from the 13th district
Republican 1861 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican loss.
Ohio 10 James M. Ashley
Redistricted from the 5th district
Republican 1858 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 11 Valentine B. Horton Republican 1860 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 12 Carey A. Trimble
Redistricted from the 10th district
Republican 1858 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 13 New district New district.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
  • Green tickY John O'Neill (Democratic) 56.8%
  • George B. Wright (Republican) 43.2%
Ohio 14 Harrison G. O. Blake Republican 1859 (Special) Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 15 Robert H. Nugen Democratic 1860 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
James R. Morris
Redistricted from the 17th district
Democratic 1860 Incumbent re-elected.
William P. Cutler
Redistricted from the 16th district
Republican 1860 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican loss.
Ohio 16 New district New district.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
Ohio 17 New district New district.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 18 Sidney Edgerton Republican 1858 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
Ohio 19 Albert G. Riddle Republican 1860 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.

See also


  1. ^ Excluding states admitted after the start of Congress.
  2. ^ a b Including late elections.
  3. ^ Including Unconditional Unionists.
  4. ^ In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform date for choosing presidential electors (see: Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721). Congressional elections were unaffected by this law, but the date was gradually adopted by the states for Congressional elections as well.
  5. ^ New state.
  6. ^ Subsequently, 3 seats were transferred to the new state of West Virginia.
  7. ^ After 3 seats were reassigned from Virginia to West Virginia.


  1. ^ Nevins (1960), 6:318-22, quote on p. 322.
  2. ^ Voegeli (1963).
  3. ^ Tap (1993).
  4. ^ Dubin, p. 197.
  5. ^ 12 Stat. 633
  6. ^ 13 Stat. 32
  7. ^ Stat. 432
  8. ^ 12 Stat. 353
  9. ^ Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio. I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 150, 151.


External links

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