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United States House election, 1866

 

United States House election, 1866

United States House of Representatives elections, 1866
United States
1864 ←
June 4, 1866 - September 6, 1867[1]
→ 1868

All 224[2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
113 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Leader Schuyler Colfax Samuel Marshall Nathaniel Boyden
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Indiana-9th Illinois-11th North Carolina-6th
Last election 134 seats 41 seats 0 seats
Seats won 174[3] 48 2
Seat change Increase 40 Increase 7 Increase 2

Speaker before election

Schuyler Colfax
Republican

Elected Speaker

Schuyler Colfax
Republican

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held in 1866 to elect Representatives to the 40th United States Congress.

The elections occurred just one year after the American Civil War, in which the Union defeated the Confederacy, ended.

The 1866 elections were a decisive event in the early Reconstruction era, in which President Andrew Johnson faced off against the Radical Republicans in a bitter dispute over whether Reconstruction should be lenient or harsh toward the vanquished South.

Most of the congressmen from the former Confederate states were either prevented from leaving the state or were arrested on the way to the capital. A Congress consisting of mostly Radical Republicans sat early in the Capitol and aside from the delegation from Tennessee who were allowed in, the few Southern Congressmen who arrived were not seated.

Background

Johnson, a War Democrat, had been elected Vice President in the 1864 presidential election as the running mate of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. (The Republicans had chosen not to re-nominate Hannibal Hamlin for a second term as Vice President).

Lincoln and Johnson ran together under the banner of the National Union Party, which brought together Republicans (with the exception of some hard-line abolitionist Radical Republicans who backed John C. Frémont, who eventually dropped out of the race after brokering a deal with Lincoln) and the War Democrats (the minority of Democrats who backed Lincoln's prosecution of the war, as opposed to the Peace Democrats, or Copperheads, who favored a negotiated settlement with the Confederates).

After the assassination of Lincoln, Johnson became President. He immediately became embroiled in a dispute with the Radical Republicans over the conditions of Reconstruction; Johnson favored a lenient Reconstruction, while Radical Republicans wanted to continue the military occupation of the South and force Southern states to give freedmen (the newly freed slaves) civil rights (and the right to vote).

Campaign and results

Johnson stumped the country in a public speaking tour known as the Swing Around the Circle; he generally supported Democrats but his speeches were poorly received.

The Republicans won in a landslide, capturing enough seats to override Johnson's vetoes. Only the border states of Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky voted for Democrats. Recently Reconstructed Tennessee sent a Republican delegation. The other 10 ex-Confederate states did not vote. As a percentage of the total number of seats available in the House of Representatives, the Republican majority attained in the election of 1866 has never been exceeded in any subsequent Congress. The Democratic Party was able to achieve similar success only in the political environment of the era of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Election summaries

Seven former Confederate States were readmitted during this Congress, filling 32 vacancies. There remained 19 vacancies at the end of the 40th Congress, 17 in the three states that had not yet been readmitted, and one each in Georgia and Kentucky. Georgia was readmitted to the House but not to the Senate

174 2 48
Republican C Democratic
State Type Date Total
seats
Republican Democratic Others
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Delaware At-large November 6, 1866
(Election Day)[4]
1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District +
1 at-large
14 11 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
Kansas At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District 5 1 Increase 1 3 Increase 1 1[5] Decrease 2[6]
Massachusetts District 10 10 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Michigan District 6 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Minnesota District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri District 9 8 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Nevada At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
New Jersey District 5 3 Increase 1 2 Decrease 1 0 Steady
New York District 31 21[3] Increase 1 10 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Wisconsin District 6 5 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Indiana District October 9, 1866 11 8 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
Iowa District October 9, 1866 6 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Maine District September 10, 1866 5 5 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Nebraska At-large October 9, 1866 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Ohio District October 9, 1866 19 16 Decrease 1 3 Increase 1 0 Steady
Oregon At-large June 4, 1866 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District October 9, 1866 24 18 Increase 3 6 Decrease 3 0 Steady
Vermont District September 4, 1866 3 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
West Virginia District October 25, 1866 3 3 Increase 3 0 Steady 0 Decrease 3[6]
1867 elections
California District September 6, 1867 3 1 Decrease 2 2 Increase 2 0 Steady
Connecticut District April 1, 1867 4 1 Decrease 3 3 Increase 3 0 Steady
Kentucky District May 4, 1867 9[7] 1 Increase 1 7 Increase 2 0 Decrease 4[8]
New Hampshire District March 12, 1867 3 3 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Rhode Island District April 3, 1867 2 2 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee District August 3, 1867 8 8 Increase 8 0 Steady 0 Decrease 8[9]
Readmitted States
Alabama District February 4-8, 1868 6 6 Increase 6 0 Steady 0 Steady
Arkansas District March 13, 1868 3 3 Increase 3 0 Steady 0 Steady
Florida At-large May 5, 1868 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady 0 Steady
Georgia District April 23, 1868 7[7] 4 Increase 4 2 Increase 2 0 Steady
Louisiana District April 8, 1868 5 4 Increase 4 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
North Carolina District April 23, 1868 7 6 Increase 6 0 Steady 1[5] Increase 1
South Carolina District April 14-16, 1868 4 4 Increase 4 0 Steady 0 Steady
Secessionist States not yet readmitted
Mississippi District 5
Texas District October 15, 1866[10] 4
Virginia District 8
Total[2] 224
19 vacancies[11]
174[3]
77.7%
Increase 40 48
21.4%
Increase 7 2[12]
0.9%
Decrease 16[13]
House seats
Republican
  
77.68%
Democratic
  
21.43%
Conservative
  
0.89%

The party affiliations of the 4 Representatives elected in Texas' rejected elections are unknown.

List of races

California

District Incumbent Party Elected Result Candidates
California 1 Donald C. McRuer Republican 1864 Retired
Democratic gain
Samuel Beach Axtell (D) 57.3%
Timothy G. Phelps (R) 42.7%
California 2 William Higby Republican 1862 Re-elected William Higby (R) 52.1%
James W. Coffroth (D) 47.9%
California 3 John Bidwell Republican 1864 Retired
Democratic gain
James A. Johnson (D) 50.6%
Chancellor Hartson (R) 49.4%

Ohio

Democrats gained one seat this election in Ohio. It was later contested and awarded to the Republican for a net gain of zero.

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates[14]
Ohio 1 Benjamin Eggleston Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 2 Rutherford B. Hayes Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 3 Robert C. Schenck Republican 1862 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 4 William Lawrence Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 5 Francis C. Le Blond Democratic 1862 Retired
Democratic hold
Template:Plainlist
Ohio 6 Reader W. Clarke Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 7 Samuel Shellabarger Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 8 James Randolph Hubbell Republican 1864 Retired
Republican hold
Template:Plainlist
Ohio 9 Ralph P. Buckland Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 10 James M. Ashley Republican 1862 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 11 Hezekiah S. Bundy Republican 1864 Retired
Republican hold
Template:Plainlist
Ohio 12 William E. Finck Democratic 1862 Retired
Democratic hold
Template:Plainlist
Ohio 13 Columbus Delano Republican 1864 Lost Re-election
Democratic gain
Template:Plainlist
Ohio 14 Martin Welker Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 15 Tobias A. Plants Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 16 John Bingham Republican 1864 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 17 Ephraim R. Eckley Republican 1862 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 18 Rufus P. Spalding Republican 1862 Re-elected Template:Plainlist
Ohio 19 James A. Garfield Republican 1862 Re-elected Template:Plainlist

References

Sources

  • Howard K. Beale. The Critical Year (1930)
  • Patrick W Riddleberger. 1866, the critical year revisited (1979)
  • Hans L. Trefousse. Andrew Johnson: A Biography 1989.
  • (1875) large collection of speeches and primary documents, 1865–1870, complete text online. [The copyright has expired.]


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