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55th United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

55th United States Congress
54th ←
→ 56th
March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1899
Senate PresidentGarret Hobart (R)
Senate President pro temWilliam P. Frye (R)
House SpeakerThomas B. Reed (R)
Members90 senators
357 members of the House
3 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityRepublican
Special: March 4, 1897 – March 10, 1897
1st: March 15, 1897 – July 24, 1897
2nd: December 6, 1897 – July 8, 1898
3rd: December 5, 1898 – March 3, 1899

The Fifty-fifth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1897, to March 4, 1899, during the first two years of William McKinley's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eleventh Census of the United States in 1890. Both chambers had a Republican majority. There was one African-American member, George Henry White, a Republican from the state of North Carolina.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Kevin Beasley's Raw Materials | Art21 "New York Close Up"


[DRUMMING] [KEVIN BEASLEY] --There's not going to be a beginning... [DRUMMING] --I think that's enough to start. [DRUMMING] [CLAP] So right now, I've been putting a lot of energy into an exhibition at the Whitney, which is my first major solo exhibition here in the city. The project is multiple parts. There is a sound installation, that is rooted around a cotton gin motor, and three large sculptural works. The work really comes out of an experience I had at a family reunion in Valentines, Virginia, in the summer of 2011. I drove down from New Haven. The property has a meandering road that leads to the house. I look up, and I see the fields are planted. I stopped the car and I looked, and I was like, "Whoa, what is that?" And I rolled the window down, and I saw that it was cotton. It struck me in a way that I couldn't quite wrap my head around. Emotionally, it was too heavy. Mentally, it was too heavy. I felt like I hadn't reconciled something. I was like, "Why am I so mad at this plant?" This plant is not doing anything other than growing and being beautiful. I felt like, okay, there's a lot of unpacking that has to happen. --You know, I want to actually point to this cotton here. --This here has all been ginned. --This is all cotton from Virginia, --Valentines, Virginia. Using cotton, raw cotton, as a material is really important, because as materially-oriented as I am, it's all because there is a context for those materials. For the exhibition, there will be three large sculptural works. I've been calling them slabs, because of their relationship to architecture. They're made from wildly different materials. --This is a sweater. --It's a Yale cotton, --really nice, preppy sweater. --And then these are some durags, some blue ones. --For this they're going to represent a river, --or some sort of flowing water. Every material has some sort of history or life that it's lived. They become ways of telling stories. --This is a collar from my cap and gown, when I graduated from Yale. When I think about cotton, it takes me everywhere. You think about politics. You think about social relationships you have. You think about economics. Reparations. It all just unfolds and is laid out. These pages come from an atlas of the Transatlantic slave trade. It's remarkable that these records have been kept for so long and in such detail. But it's also indicative of trade and commerce. You keep track of every single thing, every movement, because there's money and there's capital involved. But these were bodies. Being a Black person in this current state, that’s what you're encouraged to do-- is to move on. Like, "Ok, there's been time." "There's been space," right? It's a false narrative. But it also is one that you feel the pressure from. That to me is an essential aspect of making sculpture. You have to deal with its materiality. These works, I think, they demand that. They demand you to confront them, because they're confronting you. [DRUMMING] [DRUMS STOP, SILENCE] I was searching for a cotton gin. I had cotton, and I was thinking, maybe I could make t-shirts, or I can make garments. I went on eBay, searching for a small hand-held, hand-cranked thing, and the first thing I came across was an ad for this large cotton gin motor. I felt like it was telling me what I needed to do. The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1794. What it does is it separates the fibers from the seeds, which was the most time-consuming part for slaves. People thought that it would decrease the number of slaves. But it actually had the opposite effect, because more land was acquired, plantations got larger. It actually increased the number of slaves. The cotton gin motor is encased in a sound-proof glass chamber, and primarily came out of this decision to be able to experience and see the motor running, and not hear it. That came out of a conversation with the former owner, where, when I asked him about what it sounded like, he couldn't articulate. He didn't have the words to really describe that sound. It was really something that you had to experience for yourself. --Okay. Sound has always been important to me. It has increasingly become a way for me to process the world. Sound is just as physical and tactile as any other material. [PROCESSED SOUND OF COTTON GIN MOTOR] [SILENCE] How do you deliver that physicality, or that tactility of something you can't see, or something that you don't feel in a traditional way? [PROCESSED SOUND OF COTTON GIN MOTOR] It shakes your insides. You feel the vibrations. Do people want to sit and listen to this? Do they want to take the time to consider what that sound is, and where it is coming from? I'm interested in people asking what their relationship is to this material-- to see a wall of cotton that comes from a really specific place, the American South-- just to think about what their relationship is to that, and how do they feel implicated, if at all. Are we really taking the time to process and understand these things? So I think setting up a scenario where people can take the time is as much as I can really offer.


Major events

Major legislation

Treaties ratified

Party summary

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


Senate composition by state   2 Democrats (12 states)   2 Republicans (14 states)   2 Silver (1 state)   1 Democrat and 1 Republican (9 states)   1 Republican and 1 Silver-Republican (4 states)   1 Republican and 1 Populist (4 states)   1 Populist and 1 Silver-Republican (1 state)
Senate composition by state
  2 Democrats (12 states)
  2 Republicans (14 states)
  2 Silver (1 state)
  1 Democrat and 1 Republican (9 states)
  1 Republican and 1 Silver-Republican (4 states)
  1 Republican and 1 Populist (4 states)
  1 Populist and 1 Silver-Republican (1 state)
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of the previous congress 40 4 44 0 2 90 0
Begin 33 5 43 5 2 88 2
End 34 44 900
Final voting share 37.8% 5.6% 48.9% 5.6% 2.2%
Beginning of the next congress 26 4 51 3 2 86 4

House of Representatives

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant


End of the previous congress 94 9 252 0 1 0 356 1
Begin 124 22 206 1 3 1 357 0
End 207 358
Final voting share 34.6% 6.1% 57.8% 0.3% 0.8% 0.3%
Beginning of the next congress 163 6 183 0 2 1 355 2



House of Representatives


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and Representatives are listed 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, requiring re-election in 1898; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1900; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1902.

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: 5
  • resignations: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 8
Vacator Reason for vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
John Sherman (R) Resigned March 4, 1897 to become U.S. Secretary of State.
Elected to fill remainder of term.
Mark Hanna (R) March 5, 1897
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor elected May 14, 1897.[1]
Stephen R. Mallory (D) May 15, 1897
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor elected May 15, 1897.
Joseph Simon (R) May 15, 1897
South Carolina
Joseph H. Earle (D) Died May 20, 1897.
Successor was appointed and subsequently elected.
John L. McLaurin (D) June 1, 1897
Isham G. Harris (D) Died July 8, 1897.
Successor was appointed and subsequently elected.
Thomas B. Turley (D) July 20, 1897
James Z. George (D) Died August 14, 1897.
Successor was appointed and subsequently elected.
Hernando Money (D) October 8, 1897
Edward C. Walthall (D) Died April 21, 1898.
Successor was appointed and subsequently elected.
William V. Sullivan (D) May 31, 1898
Justin S. Morrill (R) Died December 28, 1898.
Successor was appointed.
Jonathan Ross (R) January 11, 1899

House of Representatives

  • replacements: 14
  • deaths: 10
  • resignations: 9
  • contested election: 3
  • Total seats with changes: 23
District Previous Reason for change Subsequent Date of successor's installation
Pennsylvania 25th Vacant Rep.-elect James J. Davidson died before being seated. Showalter was elected to finish term. Joseph B. Showalter (R) April 20, 1897
Missouri 1st Vacant Rep.-elect Richard P. Giles died before being seated. Lloyd was elected to finish term. James T. Lloyd (D) June 1, 1897
Maine 3rd Seth L. Milliken (R) Died April 18, 1897 Edwin C. Burleigh (R) June 21, 1897
Indiana 4th William S. Holman (D) Died April 22, 1897. Francis M. Griffith (D) December 6, 1897
South Carolina 6th John L. McLaurin (D) Resigned May 31, 1897 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate James Norton (D) December 6, 1897
Illinois 6th Edward D. Cooke (R) Died June 24, 1897 Henry S. Boutell (R) November 23, 1897
Massachusetts 1st Ashley B. Wright (R) Died August 14, 1897 George P. Lawrence (R) November 2, 1897
New York 3rd Francis H. Wilson (R) Resigned September 30, 1897 to become Postmaster of Brooklyn, New York Edmund H. Driggs (D) December 6, 1897
Alabama 4th Thomas S. Plowman (D) Lost contested election February 9, 1898 William F. Aldrich (R) February 9, 1898
Virginia 4th Sidney P. Epes (D) Lost contested election March 23, 1898 Robert T. Thorp (R) March 23, 1898
Massachusetts 13th John Simpkins (R) Died March 27, 1898 William S. Greene (R) May 31, 1898
Virginia 2nd William A. Young (D) Lost contested election April 26, 1898 Richard A. Wise (R) April 26, 1898
Mississippi 2nd William V. Sullivan (D) Resigned May 31, 1898 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate Thomas Spight (D) July 5, 1898
Ohio 19th Stephen A. Northway (R) Died September 8, 1898 Charles W. F. Dick (R) November 8, 1898
Mississippi 6th William F. Love (D) Died October 16, 1898 Frank A. McLain (D) December 12, 1898
Pennsylvania 23rd William A. Stone (R) Resigned November 9, 1898 to run for Governor of Pennsylvania William H. Graham (R) November 29, 1898
New York 34th Warren B. Hooker (R) Resigned November 10, 1898 after being appointed judge for the New York Supreme Court Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Tennessee 4th Benton McMillin (D) Resigned January 6, 1899 after being elected Governor of Tennessee Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New Jersey 4th Mahlon Pitney (R) Resigned January 10, 1899 after being elected to the New Jersey Senate Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Maine 2nd Nelson Dingley Jr. (R) Died January 13, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Texas 9th Joseph D. Sayers (D) Resigned January 16, 1899 after being elected Governor of Texas Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New York 2nd Mahlon Pitney (R) Died February 26, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Texas 4th John W. Cranford (D) Died March 3, 1899 Seat remained vacant until next Congress


Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (6 links), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, on the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives

Joint committees

  • Alcohol in the Arts (Select)
  • Conditions of Indian Tribes (Special)
  • Disposition of (Useless) Executive Papers
  • Investigate Charities and Reformatory Institutions in the District of Columbia




House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ a b "MALLORY ELECTED SENATOR". The New York Times. May 15, 1897. p. 12.
  • 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 2 May 2019, at 05:29
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