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36th United States Congress

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United States Capitol

The Thirty-sixth 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, 1859 to March 3, 1861, during the last two years of the administration of U.S. President James Buchanan.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Seventh Census of the United States in 1850. The Senate had a Democratic majority, and the House had a Republican plurality.

Dates of sessions

March 4, 1859 - March 3, 1861

  • Special session of the Senate: March 4, 1859 - March 10, 1859
  • First session: December 5, 1859 - June 26, 1860
  • Special session of the Senate: June 26, 1860 - June 28, 1860
  • Second session: December 3, 1860 - March 3, 1861
  • Previous congress: 35th Congress
  • Next congress: 37th Congress

Party summary

Kansas was newly admitted to the Union and first represented as a state in this Congress. South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas declared their secession from the Union during this Congress and withdrew their representatives.

In this session, the Republican party had its first plurality in the House, but was four members short of a majority; until Southern Democrats began withdrawing near the end of the term. 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

TOTAL members: 66

House of Representatives

TOTAL members: 238

Leadership

Senate

House of Representatives

Major events

Events of 1859, 1860 and 1861

Major legislation

List of United States federal legislation in the 36th Congress

Membership highlights by chamber

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

Senate

See also: 36th United States Congress/Senators

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 the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1862; Class 2 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1864; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1860.

House of Representatives

See also: 36th United States Congress/Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide on the general ticket or otherwise at-large, are preceded by an "A/L," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

Many of the congressional district numbers are linked to articles describing the district itself. Since the boundaries of the districts have changed often and substantially, the linked article may only describe the district as it exists today, and not as it was at the time of this Congress.

Delegates

Kansas Territory
Nebraska Territory
New Mexico Territory
Utah Territory
Washington Territory



Membership detail by Chamber/Party

The list below is arranged by chamber, then by political party. Members are shown in alphabetical order.

Senate

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six year terms with each Congress.

Democratic
A-F
G-O
P-Z
Republican
A-F
G-O
P-Z
American

House of Representatives

Members of the House of Representatives were elected by popular vote, variously to single member districts or at-large.

Democratic
A-B-C
D-E-F
G-H-I
J-K-L
M-N-O
P-Q-R
S-T-U-V
W-X-Y-Z
Republican
A-B-C
D-E-F
G-H-I
J-K-L
M-N-O
P-Q-R
S-T-U-V
W-X-Y-Z
Anti-Lecompton Democratic
A-O
P-Z
Independent
A-F
G-O
P-Z
Independent Democratic
A-F
G-Z
American

Membership Changes

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

Senate
  • replacements: 3
  • deaths: 1
  • resignations: 1
  • interim appointments: 1
  • withdrawals: 13
  • Total seats with changes: 17
House of Representatives
  • deaths: 4
  • resignations: 3
  • contested election: 1
  • withdrawals: 28
  • Total seats with changes: 41

Officers

Senate
Other
House of Representatives

Notes