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5th United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

5th United States Congress
4th ←
→ 6th
Congress Hall exterior.jpg

March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1799
Members32 senators
106 representatives
Senate MajorityFederalist
Senate PresidentThomas Jefferson (DR)
House MajorityFederalist
House SpeakerJonathan Dayton (F)
Special: March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1797
1st: May 15, 1797 – July 10, 1797
2nd: November 13, 1797 – July 16, 1798
Special: July 17, 1798 – July 19, 1798
3rd: December 3, 1798 – March 3, 1799

The 5th 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 at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1799, during the first two years of John Adams' presidency. In the context of the Quasi-War with France, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by congress. The Acts were overwhelmingly supported by the Federalists and mostly opposed by the Democratic-Republicans. Some Democratic-Republicans, such as Timothy Bloodworth, said they would support formally going to war against France but they opposed the Alien and Sedition Acts which Bloodworth and others believed were unconstitutional.[1]

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the First Census of the United States in 1790. Both chambers had a Federalist majority.

Major events

Major legislation

Territories organized

Treaties ratified

Party summary

Details on changes are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 11 21 32 0
Begin 9 22 31 1
Final voting share 29.0% 71.0%
Beginning of next congress 9 22 31 1

House of Representatives

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 59 47 106 0
Begin 49 56 105 1
End 50 1060
Final voting share 47.2% 52.8%
Beginning of next congress 46 60 106 0
President of the Senate Thomas Jefferson
President of the Senate Thomas Jefferson



House of Representatives


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and representatives are listed by district.


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 began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1802; Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1798; and Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1800.

House of Representatives

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of this Congress


There were 9 resignations, 2 deaths, 1 expulsion, 1 late selection, and 2 elections to replace appointees. Neither party had a net gain of seats.

Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Vacant Tennessee failed to elect a Senator on time William Cocke (DR) Appointed May 15, 1797
William Blount (DR) Expelled July 8, 1797 Joseph Anderson (DR) Elected September 26, 1797
William Cocke (DR) Interim appointment until September 26, 1797 Andrew Jackson (DR) Elected September 26, 1797
Rhode Island
William Bradford (F) Resigned sometime in October, 1797 Ray Greene (F) Elected November 13, 1797
Isaac Tichenor (F) Resigned October 17, 1797 Nathaniel Chipman (F) Elected October 17, 1797
John Henry (F) Resigned December 10, 1797 James Lloyd (F) Elected December 11, 1797
New York
Philip John Schuyler (F) Resigned January 3, 1798 John Sloss Hobart (F) Elected January 11, 1798
John Vining (F) Resigned January 19, 1798 Joshua Clayton (F) Elected January 19, 1798
Andrew Jackson (DR) Resigned sometime in April, 1798 Daniel Smith (DR) Appointed October 6, 1798
New York
John Sloss Hobart (F) Resigned April 16, 1798 William North (F) Appointed May 5, 1798
Joshua Clayton (F) Died August 11, 1798 William H. Wells (F) Elected January 17, 1799
New York
William North (F) Interim appointment until August 17, 1798 James Watson (F) Elected August 17, 1798
New Jersey
John Rutherfurd (F) Resigned November 26, 1798 Franklin Davenport (F) Appointed December 5, 1798
South Carolina
John Hunter (DR) Resigned November 26, 1798 Charles Pinckney (DR) Elected December 6, 1798
Henry Tazewell (DR) Died January 24, 1799 Vacant Not filled in this Congress

House of Representatives

There were 9 resignations and 3 deaths. The Federalists had a 1-seat net loss and the Democratic-Republicans had a 1-seat net gain.

District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Vermont 2 Vacant Daniel Buck (F) had been re-elected, but declined to serve.
Successor elected May 23, 1797.[4]
Lewis R. Morris (F) May 24, 1797
Rhode Island at-large Elisha Potter (F) Resigned sometime in 1797.
Successor elected August 29, 1797.[4]
Thomas Tillinghast (F) Seated November 13, 1797
South Carolina 1 William L. Smith (F) Resigned July 10, 1797.
Successor elected September 4–5, 1797.[4]
Thomas Pinckney (F) Seated November 23, 1797
Massachusetts 11 Theophilus Bradbury (F) Resigned July 24, 1797.
Successor elected August 4, 1797.[4]
Bailey Bartlett (F) Seated November 27, 1797
New Hampshire at-large Jeremiah Smith (F) Resigned July 26, 1797.
Successor elected August 28, 1797.[4]
Peleg Sprague (F) Seated December 15, 1797
Connecticut at-large James Davenport (F) Died August 3, 1797.
Successor elected September 18, 1797.[4]
William Edmond (F) Seated November 13, 1797
Tennessee at-large Andrew Jackson (DR) Resigned sometime in September 1797 to become U.S. Senator.
Successor elected September 26, 1797.[5]
William C.C. Claiborne (DR) Seated November 23, 1797
Pennsylvania 5 George Ege (F) Resigned sometime in October 1797.
Successor elected October 10, 1797.[4]
Joseph Hiester (DR) Seated December 1, 1797
Pennsylvania 4 Samuel Sitgreaves (F) Resigned sometime in 1798.
Successor elected October 9, 1798.[4]
Robert Brown (DR) Seated December 4, 1798
North Carolina 10 Nathan Bryan (DR) Died June 4, 1798.
Successor elected August 2, 1798.[4]
Richard Dobbs Spaight (DR) Seated December 10, 1798
Pennsylvania 1 John Swanwick (DR) Died July 31, 1798.
Successor elected October 9, 1798.[4]
Robert Waln (F) Seated December 3, 1798
Connecticut at-large Joshua Coit (F) Died September 5, 1798.
Successor elected October 22, 1798.[4]
Jonathan Brace (F) Seated December 3, 1798
Virginia 9 William Giles (DR) Resigned October 2, 1798.
Successor elected November 1, 1798.[4]
Joseph Eggleston (DR) Seated December 3, 1798


Lists of committees and their party leaders.


House of Representatives

Joint committees



House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  1. ^ The Presidency of John Adams by Ralph A. Brown, University Press of Kansas, 1975
  2. ^ The Reign of Witches: The Struggle Against the Alien and Sedition Laws, 1789-1800 by Elizabeth Lawson
  3. ^ "Executive Journal (Fourteenth session)". Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Library of Congress. June 7, 1797. p. 244.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Date cited is the election date, but the winner in some cases "took" his seat on a later date. See Dubin, Michael J. (1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. ISBN 0786402830.
  5. ^ Election date, but winner was seated later. See Archived March 11, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  • 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 21 June 2022, at 18:42
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