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37th United States Congress

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United States Capitol

The Thirty-seventh 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, 1861 to March 3, 1863, during the first two years of the first administration of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Seventh Census of the United States in 1850. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

Dates of sessions

March 4, 1861 - March 3, 1863

  • Special session of the Senate: March 4, 1861 – March 28, 1861
  • First session: July 4, 1861 – August 6, 1861
  • Second session: December 2, 1861 - July 17, 1862
  • Third session: December 1, 1862 - March 3, 1863
  • Previous congress: 36th Congress
  • Next congress: 38th Congress

Party summary

Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee seceded from the Union during this Congress.

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: 50

House of Representatives

TOTAL members: 183

Leadership

Senate
House of Representatives

Major events

Events of 1861, 1862 and 1863

Major legislation

List of United States federal legislation in the 37th Congress

Secession

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

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 reelection in 1862; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1864; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1866.

Alabama
  • 2: vacant
  • 3: vacant
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
  • 1: vacant
  • 3: vacant
Georgia
  • 2: vacant
  • 3: vacant
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
  • 2: vacant
  • 3: vacant
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
  • 1: vacant
  • 2: vacant
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
  • 2: vacant
  • 3: vacant
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
Wisconsin

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide "at-large," are preceded by an "A/L," and the names of those elected from districts, 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.

Alabama
  • All seats vacant
Arkansas
  • All seats vacant
California [7]
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
  • All seats vacant
Georgia
  • All seats vacant
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
  • All seats vacant
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
  • All seats vacant
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
  • All seats vacant
Tennessee
Texas
  • All seats vacant
Vermont
Virginia
Wisconsin

Delegates

Colorado Territory
Dakota Territory
Kansas Territory
Nevada Territory
New Mexico Territory
Utah Territory
Washington Territory

Membership detail by state

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 reelection in 1862; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1864; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1866.

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.

The list below is arranged by state, then by chamber. Senators are shown in order of seniority, House members in district order.

Alabama

Senate
  • 2: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
  • 3: vacant
House of Representatives (7 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Arkansas

Senate
House of Representatives (2 seats)
  • all seats vacant

California

Senate
House of Representatives (3 seats) [8]

Connecticut

Senate
House of Representatives (4 seats)

Delaware

Senate
House of Representatives (1 seat)

Florida

Senate
  • 1: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
  • 3: vacant
House of Representatives (1 seat)
  • all seats vacant

Georgia

Senate
  • 2: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
  • 3: vacant
House of Representatives (8 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Illinois

Senate
House of Representatives (9 seats)

Indiana

Senate
House of Representatives (11 seats)

Iowa

Senate
House of Representatives (2 seats)

Kansas

Senate
House of Representatives (1 seat)

Kentucky

Senate
House of Representatives (10 seats)

Louisiana

Senate
  • 2: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
  • 3: vacant
House of Representatives (4 seats)
  • 1: Benjamin F. Flanders (1816-1896), Unionist ...credentials accepted, seated February 23, 1863.
  • 2: Michael Hahn (1830-1886), Unionist ...credentials accepted, seated February 17, 1863.

Maine

Senate
House of Representatives (6 seats)

Maryland

Senate
House of Representatives (6 seats)

Massachusetts

Senate
House of Representatives (11 seats)

Michigan

Senate
House of Representatives (4 seats)

Minnesota

Senate
House of Representatives (2 seats)

Mississippi

Senate
  • 1: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
  • 2: vacant …seat declared vacant, March 14, 1861, state having seceded.
House of Representatives (5 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Missouri

Senate
House of Representatives (7 seats)

New Hampshire

Senate
House of Representatives (3 seats)

New Jersey

Senate
House of Representatives (5 seats)

New York

Senate
House of Representatives (33 seats)

North Carolina

Senate
House of Representatives (8 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Ohio

Senate
House of Representatives (21 seats)

Oregon

Senate
House of Representatives (1 seat)

Pennsylvania

Senate
House of Representatives (25 seats)

Rhode Island

Senate
House of Representatives (2 seats)

South Carolina

Senate
House of Representatives (6 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Tennessee

Senate
House of Representatives (10 seats)
  • 2: Horace Maynard (1814-1882), Unionist ...special election, seated December 2, 1861.
  • 3: George W. Bridges (1825-1873), Unionist ...special election, seated February 25, 1863.
  • 4: Andrew J. Clements (1832-1913), Unionist ...special election, seated January 13, 1862.

Texas

Senate
House of Representatives (2 seats)
  • all seats vacant

Vermont

Senate
House of Representatives (3 seats)

Virginia

Senate
House of Representatives (13 seats)

Wisconsin

Senate
House of Representatives (3 seats)

Delegates

Colorado Territory
Dakota Territory
Nebraska Territory
Nevada 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
Unionist
A-F
G-O
P-Z

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
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
Constitutional Unionist
Independent Democratic
Union
Unionist
A-F
G-O
P-Z

Membership Changes

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

Senate
  • replacements: 12
  • deaths: 4
  • resignations: 4
  • expulsions: 9
  • withdrawals: 4
  • vacancy: 11
  • interim appointments: 4
  • seats from newly admitted states: 2
  • Total seats with changes: 20
House of Representatives
  • replacements: 19
  • deaths: 4
  • resignations: 13
  • expulsions: 3
  • contested election: 3
  • Total seats with changes: 23

Officers

Senate
Other
House of Representatives

Notes

  1. The text of Virginia's Ordinance of Secession.
  2. Virginia turned over its military to the Confederate States June 8, 1861 and the Constitution of the Confederate States was ratified on June 19, 1861.
  3. The text of Arkansas' Ordinance of Secession.
  4. The text of North Carolina's Ordinance of Secession.
  5. The text of Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession.
  6. The Tennessee legislature ratified an agreement to enter a military league with the Confederate States on May 7, 1861. Tennessee voters approved the agreement on June 8, 1861.
  7. All representatives were elected statewide on a general ticket.
  8. all representatives were elected statewide on a general ticket