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1871 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1871 United States Senate election in Massachusetts
← 1865 January 17, 1871 1873 (special) →

Majority vote of each house needed to win
Henry Wilson, VP of the United States.jpg
John Quincy AdamsII.jpg
Nominee Henry Wilson John Quincy Adams II
Party Republican Democratic
Senate 35 4
Percentage 87.5% 10.0%
House 188 32
Percentage 84.3% 14.35%

Senator before election

Henry Wilson

Elected Senator

Henry Wilson

The 1871 United States Senate election in Massachusetts was held on January 17, 1871. Incumbent Republican Senator Henry Wilson was re-elected easily to a third term as a member of the Republican Party. Wilson would not finish the term, since he was elected Vice President of the United States in 1872.

At the time, Massachusetts elected United States Senators by a majority vote of each separate house of the Massachusetts General Court, the House and the Senate.


At the time, the Massachusetts legislature was dominated the Republican Party, whose members held nearly every seat.

Republican caucus

On January 16, the Republican Party convened in a caucus to renominated Wilson for his third term.

1871 Republican Senate caucus[1][2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry Wilson 108 76.60%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 22 15.60%
Republican George S. Boutwell 11 7.80%
Total votes 141 100.00%

A caucus opposed to Wilson voted against a motion to nominate Wendell Phillips by 6 votes to 3.[1][2]

Election in the House

On January 17, the House voted for Wilson's re-election and sent the vote to the Senate for ratification.

1871 U.S. Senate election in the House[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry Wilson 188 84.30%
Democratic John Quincy Adams II 32 14.35%
Republican Wendell Phillips 10 4.48%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 10 4.48%
Unknown John Wells Brown[a] 1 0.45%
Total votes 223 100.00%
  1. ^ There is a possibility this vote was recorded incorrectly, and was actually cast for the abolitionist and writer William Wells Brown, a resident of Boston at the time. If so, Brown would be the first black man to receive a vote for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

Election in the Senate

On January 20, the State Senate convened and ratified Wilson's re-election by an overwhelming margin.

1871 U.S. Senate election in the Senate[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry Wilson 35 87.50%
Democratic John Quincy Adams II 4 10.00%
Republican Wendell Phillips 1 2.50%
Total votes 40 100.00%


  1. ^ a b "Re-nomination of Senator Wilson by the Republican Caucus". The Hartford Daily Courant. 17 Jan 1871. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b "Senator Wilson Renominated". The Cincinnati Daily Enquirer. 17 Jan 1871. p. 1.
  3. ^ a b "Re-election of Senator Wilson". The Hartford Daily Courant. 18 Jan 1871. p. 3.
This page was last edited on 24 May 2020, at 17:17
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