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31st United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

31st United States Congress
30th ←
→ 32nd
March 4, 1849 – March 4, 1851
Senate PresidentMillard Fillmore (W)
until July 9, 1850
from July 9, 1850
Senate President pro temDavid R. Atchison (D)
William R. King (D)
House SpeakerHowell Cobb (CU)
Members62 senators
233 members of the House
2 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House Majoritynone: Democratic plurality
Special: March 5, 1849 – March 23, 1849
1st: December 3, 1849 – September 30, 1850
2nd: December 2, 1850 – March 4, 1851

The Thirty-first United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1849, to March 4, 1851, during the 16 months of the Zachary Taylor presidency and the first eight months of the administration of Millard Fillmore's. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Sixth Census of the United States in 1840. The Senate had a Democratic majority, while there was a Democratic plurality in the House.

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Major events

Major legislation

States admitted and territories organized

Party summary


During this Congress, two Senate seats were added for the new state of California.

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Free Soil
End of the previous congress 36 0 23 1 60 0
Begin 33 2 25 0 60 0
End 36 24 62
Final voting share 58.1% 3.2% 38.7% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 34 2 21 0 57 5

House of Representatives

During this Congress, two House seats were added for the new state of California.

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Free Soil
End of the previous congress 1 111 0 114 1 2 229 1
Begin 1 113 9 107 0 0 230 1
End 112 108 1 231
Final voting share 0.4% 48.5% 3.9% 46.8% 0.4% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 0 128 3 85 0 17 233 0


President of the SenateMillard Fillmore
President of the Senate
Millard Fillmore


House of Representatives


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and Representatives by district.

Skip to House of Representatives, below


Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, facing re-election in 1850; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, facing re-election in 1852; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, facing re-election in 1854.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • replacements: 5
  • deaths: 1
  • resignations: 3
  • seats from newly admitted states: 2
  • interim appointments: 4
  • Total seats with changes: 8
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
James Shields (D) Senate voided election March 6, 1849, as Sen. Shields was determined not to have been a US citizen for the number of years required by the Constitution.
Incumbent was re-elected October 27, 1849, having by then qualified.
James Shields (D) Seated December 3, 1849
Reverdy Johnson (W) Resigned March 7, 1849, having been appointed United States Attorney General David Stewart (W) Appointed December 6, 1849
Benjamin Fitzpatrick (D) Sen. Dixon Lewis successor elected November 30, 1849 Jeremiah Clemens (D) Elected November 30, 1849
David Stewart (W) Successor elected January 12, 1850 Thomas Pratt (W) Elected January 12, 1850
South Carolina
John C. Calhoun (D) Died March 31, 1850 Franklin H. Elmore (D) Appointed April 11, 1850
South Carolina
Franklin H. Elmore (D) Died May 29, 1850 Robert W. Barnwell (D) Appointed June 4, 1850
Thomas Corwin (W) Resigned July 20, 1850, after being appointed United States Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Ewing (W) Appointed July 20, 1850
Daniel Webster (W) Resigned July 22, 1850, after being appointed United States Secretary of State Robert C. Winthrop (W) Appointed July 30, 1850
New state California admitted to the Union September 9, 1850.
The first Senator was elected September 10, 1850.
John C. Frémont (D) Elected September 10, 1850
New state California admitted to the Union September 9, 1850.
The first Senator was elected September 10, 1850.
William M. Gwin (D) Elected September 10, 1850
South Carolina
Robert W. Barnwell (D) Successor elected December 18, 1850 Robert Rhett (D) Elected December 18, 1850
Robert C. Winthrop (W) Successor elected February 1, 1851 Robert Rantoul, Jr. (W) Elected February 1, 1851

House of Representatives

  • replacements: 11
  • deaths: 8
  • resignations: 5
  • contested election:1
  • seats from newly admitted states: 2
  • Total seats with changes: 16

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Minnesota Territory At-large Vacant Seat remained vacant after territory became organized at end of previous congress Henry H. Sibley Seated July 7, 1849
Vermont 3rd George Perkins Marsh (W) Resigned some time in 1849 James Meacham (W) Seated December 3, 1849
Ohio 6th Rodolphus Dickinson (D) Died March 20, 1849 Amos E. Wood (D) Seated December 3, 1849
Virginia 15th Alexander Newman (D) Died September 8, 1849 Thomas Haymond (W) Seated November 8, 1849
Georgia 1st Thomas B. King (W) Resigned March 3, 1850 Joseph W. Jackson (D) Seated March 4, 1850
Iowa 1st William Thompson (D) Seat declared vacant June 29, 1850, after contested election. House ruled neither candidate entitled to seat and forced special election Daniel F. Miller (W) Seated December 20, 1850
Massachusetts 1st Robert C. Winthrop (W) Resigned July 30, 1850, after being appointed to the US Senate Samuel A. Eliot (W) Seated August 22, 1850
Louisiana 2nd Charles M. Conrad (W) Resigned August 17, 1850, after being appointed United States Secretary of War Henry A. Bullard (W) Seated December 5, 1850
New Hampshire 3rd James Wilson (W) Resigned September 9, 1850 George W. Morrison (D) Seated October 8, 1850
California At-large California admitted into the Union September 9, 1850, and seat remained vacant until September 11, 1850 Edward Gilbert (D) Seated September 11, 1850
California At-large California admitted into the Union September 9, 1850, and seat remained vacant until September 11, 1850 George W. Wright (I) Seated September 11, 1850
Pennsylvania 15th Henry Nes (W) Died September 10, 1850 Joel B. Danner (D) Seated December 2, 1850
Pennsylvania 11th Chester P. Butler (W) Died October 5, 1850 John Brisbin (D) Seated November 13, 1850
Louisiana 3rd John H. Harmanson (D) Died October 24, 1850 Alexander G. Penn (D) Seated December 30, 1850
Ohio 6th Amos E. Wood (D) Died November 19, 1850 John Bell (W) Seated January 7, 1851
Texas 1st David S. Kaufman (D) Died January 31, 1851 Vacant Not filled this term


Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Joint committees




House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ a b This is the date the member was seated or an oath administered, not necessarily the same date her/his service began.


  1. ^ Jenkins, Jeffery A.; Stewart III, Charles (April 2001). Sophisticated Behavior and Speakership Elections: The Elections of 1849 and 1855–56. Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL. p. 29. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2019, at 02:58
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