United States Senate special election in Pennsylvania, 1901

The 1901 United States Senate special election in Pennsylvania was held on January 15, 1901, after the regularly scheduled legislative election in January—April 1899 failed to elect a Senator. Former Senator Matthew Quay, who had left the Senate for nearly two years because of the political stalemate, was again elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to the United States Senate.[1][2]


Republican Matthew Quay was re-elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, in the 1893 election. With Sen. Quay's term expiring on March 4, 1899, the General Assembly convened on January 18, 1899, to elect a Senator for the next term. Between January 18 and April 19, 1899, seventy-nine ballots were recorded in an attempt to elect a Senator. Instead, the legislature adjourned sine die without electing a Senator due to a dispute between Sen. Quay's political machine and an anti-Quay faction within the Republican Party, along with Democratic Party opposition.[1]

Sen. Quay's term expired on March 4, 1899. Since a Senator had not been elected for the successive term, the seat was vacated. At the time, Quay was under indictment for misuse of funds. He was acquitted, after which Governor William Stone appointed Quay to the vacated Senate seat (a power the Governor did not legally have until the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913). The Senate refused to recognize Quay's appointment, and the seat remained vacant until a Senator could be officially elected (which would ultimately be Quay himself, after a nearly two-year hiatus). This incident, among others, would later be cited by supporters of the 17th Amendment, which mandated the direct election of U.S. Senators.[1]


The Pennsylvania General Assembly convened on January 15, 1901, for a special election to elect a Senator to serve out the remainder of the term that began on March 4, 1899. The results of the vote of both houses combined are as follows:

State Legislature Results[2][3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matthew Quay 130 51.18%
Democratic James M. Guffey 56 22.05%
Republican John Dalzell 34 13.39%
Republican Charles E. Smith 12 4.72%
Republican George Franklin Huff 7 2.76%
Republican John Stewart 3 1.18%
Socialist John H. Harris 1 0.39%
Republican William McConway 1 0.39%
Republican Henry C. McCormick 1 0.39%
Republican Marlin Olmsted 1 0.39%
Prohibition Silas C. Swallow 1 0.39%
Republican Charles Tubbs 1 0.39%
N/A Not voting 6 2.36%
Totals 254 100.00%


  1. ^ a b c "U.S. Senate Election - 1899". Wilkes University. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 15 January 1901". Wilkes University. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "PA US Senate - Special Election". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 

External links

Preceded by
Pennsylvania U.S. Senate election (Class I)
Succeeded by
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.