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1864 and 1865 United States House of Representatives elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1864 and 1865 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1862 / 63 June 5, 1864 – November 7, 1865[Note 1] 1866 →

All 193[Note 2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
97 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Schuyler Colfax portrait.jpg
Leader Schuyler Colfax James Brooks
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Indiana-9th New York-8th
Last election 87 seats 72 seats
Seats won 137[Note 3] 38
Seat change Increase 50 Decrease 34

  Third party
Francis Thomas of Maryland - photo portrait seated.jpg
Leader Francis Thomas
Party Unionist
Leader's seat Maryland-4th
Last election 25 seats
Seats won 18
Seat change Decrease 7

Speaker before election

Schuyler Colfax

Elected Speaker

Schuyler Colfax

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held in 1864 to elect Representatives to the 39th United States Congress. The election coincided with the presidential election of 1864, in which President Abraham Lincoln was re-elected.

In the midst of the American Civil War, the opposition Democrats were divided between the Copperheads, a group that demanded an immediate negotiated settlement with the Confederate States of America, and the War Democrats, who supported the war. The Democrats lacked a coherent message, and Lincoln's Republican Party gained 50 seats, increasing their majority over the Democrats. The National Union Party (formerly known as the Unionists) lost seven seats, retaining control of 18 seats (some classify the Representatives as including 13 Unconditional Unionists and five Unionists), all from the border states of Maryland, Tennessee, and Kentucky, as well as West Virginia.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ MOOC | The Election of 1866 | The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1865-1890 | 3.4.5
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  • ✪ The Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson (1992)
  • ✪ Reflections on America's Greatest Leader
  • ✪ Reconstruction and 1876: Crash Course US History #22


>> Well, okay, let's go back to the 14th Amendment. Congress passes it. It's got to go out to three-quarters, it's got to be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The 14th Amendment becomes the issue, you might say, in the congressional elections of 1866. In that year, in that summer, fall, Andrew Johnson, unlike other presidents, takes a leading role in supporting candidates, mostly Democrats, who are in favor of his Reconstruction policy. He tries to form a new political coalition. He has something called the National Union Convention. But very few Republicans are willing to go with him. Most of the people now backing Johnson are Democrats, North and South. Johnson's effort to mobilize support in the North is injured by riots, race riots that break out in the South in the summer of 1866, leading to scores of deaths of African Americans, and of some white people, too. In Memphis, there's the Memphis riot which leads to 50 deaths, virtually all blacks, in a kind of an attack on black homes and black schools. Even worse, the New Orleans riot in the summer of 1866. These are images of the New Orleans riot. People, often police, shooting at black people. The inside of the convention hall. What happened in New Orleans was, if you remember when I was talking about Louisiana in the Civil War, the Reconstruction of Louisiana in the Civil War. They had this constitutional convention, it abolished slavery, didn't give any rights to blacks, but it said it, it authorized the president of the convention to reconvene if desired. And in 1866, with Confederates, basically in control of Louisiana, the old constitutional convention tries to reconvene. And the meeting of that leads to a riot where armed whites are assaulting the building, including the local police now allied with these, you know, ex-Confederates. And something like 40 people are killed, several hundred wounded. And again, the image of the South in Northern eyes that these riots portray, is one -- you know, that they are not willing to accept the results of the Civil War, that there is this violence against African Americans. Local authorities are not willing to do anything about it. The army has to be sent in to put down the violence. And these things really undermine whatever support there was for Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policy. Johnson breaks with tradition and goes into the North campaigning for congressional candidates who will support his policy. This is unprecedented. The so called "swing around the circle." He travels all around the North, support -- But it turns into an utter disaster. Johnson starts exchanging epithets with people in the audience. People yell things out at him. He starts yelling curses back at them. [laughter] Bantering with the crowd. He's not very dignified as a president, so to speak. He tells the Northern people they're ignorant, they don't really know what's going on in Congress. He becomes more and more self-pitying. He starts comparing himself with Jesus Christ, saying people want kill -- he's willing to sacrifice himself for the nation. [laughter] And by the time the swing around the circle is over, whatever support Johnson had has evaporated. Here's an image of an anti-Johnson, here's an image of, someone wrote on a placard of Johnson, you see, "I am king," and put a little crown on his head. This is a Democratic cartoon. It's from the governor's election in California. This is the Republican candidate for Governor, I believe. But this is overt use of racism in the campaign. It's kind of hard to see. I think it's reproduced in my book, I can't remember. You've got the governor and you've got a black -- this is negro suffrage and what's to come -- you've got the governor, you've got a black guy, on top of him is a Chinese, on top of him is sort of a Native American, you see, with an arrow. And then someone is bringing along a monkey, saying, well, if these guys can vote, let's give monkeys the right to vote. So this is, you see, the absolute overt racism as, you know, the critique of the Radical policy of black -- black suffrage will lead to all these other disasters if followed. Well, the result of the elections, of course, is that the Republicans sweep to way beyond two-thirds control of both houses of Congress, rendering Johnson totally irrelevant. And this leaves the question of the 14th Amendment up in the air, because to get three-quarters of the states, some Southern states are going to have to ratify the 14th Amendment. There are a few leading Southerners, one guy we'll talk about next week, James Alcorn, one of the leading planters of Mississippi, says, you know, it looks like the Northern public actually doesn't support Andrew Johnson, and we better really be prudent here. Why don't we ratify the 14th Amendment. Because Congress had said, if the South ratifies the 14th Amendment, Southern states, they can come back into the Union. And Alcorn says, let's do that, we really have no alternative. But most Southern leaders say, absolutely not, the 14th Amendment is a complete violation of all our liberties. And so, legislature after legislature in the South rejects the 14th Amendment, by overwhelming majorities. In the South Carolina legislature, only one member votes in favor of ratification. In Georgia, only two. The whole South, only 20 or 30, where 700 or 800 legislators vote against it. And they are egged on by Democrats in the North, and they're egged on by Johnson. Johnson keeps saying, don't ratify the 14th Amendment, and they'll never enact black suffrage. He keeps telling the South, don't worry, don't worry. Of course, it happens, two months after he starts saying this, it does happen. And so he's completely out of touch with political reality by this time.


Election summaries

One new seat was added for the new State of Nevada[1] and 8 vacancies were filled by the readmission of Tennessee, the first secessionist state to be readmitted. Three former Confederate States held elections in 1865 that were rejected by Congress.

137 18 38
Republican Unionist Democratic
State Type Date Total
Republican Democratic Unionist[Note 4]
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Oregon At-large June 5, 1864 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont District September 6, 1864 3 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Maine District September 11, 1864 5 5 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Indiana District October 10, 1864 11 9 Increase 5 2 Decrease 5 0 Steady
Nevada[Note 5] At-large 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 0 Steady
Ohio District 19 17 Increase 12 2 Decrease 12 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District 24 16 Increase 4 8 Decrease 4 0 Steady
West Virginia District October 22, 1864 3 0 Steady 0 Steady 3 Steady
California District[Note 6] November 8, 1864
(Election Day)[Note 7]
3 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District +
1 at-large
14 11 Increase 6 3 Decrease 6 0 Steady
Iowa District 6 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Kansas At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District 5 0 Steady 2 Increase 1 3 Decrease 1
Massachusetts District 10 10 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Michigan District 6 6 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Minnesota District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri District 9 8[Note 3] Increase 7 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 8
New Jersey District 5 2 Increase 1 3 Decrease 1 0 Steady
New York District 31 21 Increase 7 10 Decrease 7 0 Steady
Wisconsin District 6 5 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
1865 elections
New Hampshire District March 14, 1865 3 3 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Connecticut District April 3, 1865 4 4 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Rhode Island District April 5, 1865 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee[Note 8] District August 3, 1865[Note 9] 8 0 Steady 0 Steady 8 Increase 8
Kentucky District August 7, 1865 9 0 Steady 5 Increase 5 4 Decrease 5
Nevada At-large November 7, 1865 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Secessionist States not yet readmitted
Alabama District 6
Arkansas District 3
Florida At-large November 29, 1865[Note 10] 1
Georgia District 7
Louisiana District 5
Mississippi District October 2, 1865[Note 10] 5
North Carolina District November 9, 1865[Note 10] 7
South Carolina District 4
Texas District 4
Virginia District 8
Total[Note 2] 193
50 vacancies[Note 11]
137[Note 3]
Increase46 38
Decrease31 18
Decrease 6
House seats

Of the rejected elections, Florida's and Mississippi's claimants' parties are unknown, while North Carolina elected 4 Union and 3 Conservative Representatives.


Note: This was the first election in which California elected representatives from congressional districts.

District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
California 1
New seat
Cornelius Cole
Redistricted from the at-large district.
Republican 1863 Unknown if incumbent retired or lost renomination.
New member elected.
Donald C. McRuer (Republican) 58.2%
Joseph B. Crockett (Democratic) 41.8%
California 2
New seat
William Higby
Redistricted from the at-large district.
Republican 1863 Incumbent re-elected. William Higby (Republican) 61.3%
James W. Coffroth (Democratic) 38.7%
California 3
New seat
Thomas B. Shannon
Redistricted from the at-large district.
Republican 1863 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
John Bidwell (Republican) 55.8%
Jackson Temple (Democratic) 44.2%


On October 31, 1864, the new state of Nevada elected Republican Henry G. Worthington to finish the term ending March 3, 1865.

District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
Nevada at-large New state New member elected October 31, 1864.
Republican gain.
Henry G. Worthington (Republican) 9,776 votes
Other 6,552 votes[2]

Worthington was not renominated for the next term, however, and on November 7, 1865, Republican Delos R. Ashley was elected for the term that had already begun but would not formally meet until December 4, 1865.

District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
Nevada at-large Henry G. Worthington Republican 1864 (New state) Incumbent lost renomination.[2]
New member elected November 7, 1865.
Republican hold.
Delos R. Ashley (Republican) 3,691 votes
Henry K. Mitchell 2,215 votes[3]


District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates[4]
Ohio 1 George H. Pendleton Democratic 1856 Incumbent retired to run for U.S. Vice President.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 2 Alexander Long Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost renomination.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 3 Robert C. Schenck Republican 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 4 John F. McKinney Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 5 Francis C. Le Blond Democratic 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 6 Chilton A. White Democratic 1860 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 7 Samuel S. Cox Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 8 William Johnston Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 9 Warren P. Noble Democratic 1860 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 10 James M. Ashley Republican 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 11 Wells A. Hutchins Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 12 William E. Finck Democratic 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 13 John O'Neill Democratic 1862 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 14 George Bliss Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 15 James R. Morris Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 16 Joseph W. White Democratic 1882 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Republican gain.
Ohio 17 Ephraim R. Eckley Republican 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 18 Rufus P. Spalding Republican 1862 Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio 19 James A. Garfield Republican 1862 Incumbent re-elected.

Non-voting members

Montana Territory

The dates of the elections are speculative, but are presumed to be in 1864[5] and then 1865.[6]

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
Montana Territory at-large New seat New seat.
New delegate elected to the term ending March 3, 1865.
Democratic gain.
District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
Montana Territory at-large Samuel McLean Democratic 1864 Incumbent re-elected to the term starting March 4, 1865.

See also


  1. ^ Excludes states admitted after the start of Congress.
  2. ^ a b Including late elections.
  3. ^ a b c Includes 1 Independent Republican, John R. Kelso, elected to MO-04.
  4. ^ Including Unconditional Unionists.
  5. ^ New state.
  6. ^ Changed from at-large.
  7. ^ Although "An Act to establish a uniform time for holding elections for electors of President and Vice President in all the States of the Union (28th Congress, 2nd Session, Chapter 1, 5 Stat. 721, enacted January 23, 1845) was only for presidential elections, the date was gradually adopted by the states for Congressional elections.
  8. ^ Readmitted state.
  9. ^ Not admitted until July 24, 1866.
  10. ^ a b c Rejected election.
  11. ^ There were a total of 50 vacancies remaining, after the readmission of Tennessee.


  1. ^ 14 Stat. 391
  2. ^ a b History of Nevada, p. 87.
  3. ^ History of Nevada, p. 88–89.
  4. ^ Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio. I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 195, 196.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b


External links

This page was last edited on 17 January 2020, at 19:37
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