25th United States Congress

The Twenty-fifth 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, 1837, to March 4, 1839, during the first two years of Martin Van Buren's presidency.

The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fifth Census of the United States in 1830. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.

25th United States Congress
24th ←
→ 26th
March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1839
Senate PresidentRichard M. Johnson (D)
Senate President pro temWilliam R. King (D)
House SpeakerJames K. Polk (D)
Members52 senators
242 members of the House
3 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House MajorityDemocratic
Special: March 4, 1837 – March 10, 1837
1st: September 4, 1837 – October 16, 1837
2nd: December 4, 1837 – July 9, 1838
3rd: December 3, 1838 – March 3, 1839

Major events

Jackson and Van Buren, 1837
The modern balaam and his ass, an 1837 caricature placing the blame for the Panic of 1837 and the perilous state of the banking system on outgoing President Andrew Jackson, shown riding a donkey, while President Martin Van Buren comments approvingly.

Major legislation

  • [Data unknown/missing.]

Territories organized

Party summary


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress (Jacksonian)
52 0
Begin 35 17 0 52 0
End 16 1
Final voting share 67.3% 30.8% 1.9%
Beginning of the next congress 28 19 0 47 5

House of Representatives

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of the previous congress 14 (Jacksonian)
7 (Anti-Jacksonian)
0 241 1
Begin 7 121 7 100 0 235 0
End 114 105 2332
Final voting share 3.0% 48.9% 3.0% 45.1% 0.0%
Non-voting members 0 2001 3 0
Beginning of the next congress 6 124 0 109 2 241 1


President of the Senate
Richard M. Johnson


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.

Skip to House of Representatives, below


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 1838; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1840; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1842.

William Rufus DeVane King 1839 portrait
President pro tempore
William R. King

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

25 us house membership
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80.1-100% Democratic
  80.1-100% Whig
  60.1-80% Democratic
  60.1-80% Whig
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Whig
Speaker of the House
James Polk

Changes in membership

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


  • Replacements: 6
    • Democrats: no net change
    • Whigs: no net change
  • Deaths: 1
  • Resignations: 6
  • Total seats with changes: 7
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Richard E. Parker (D) Resigned March 4, 1837, after accepting a seat on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals William H. Roane (D) Elected March 14, 1837
John McKinley (D) Resigned April 22, 1837, after being appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Clement C. Clay (D) Elected June 19, 1837
John P. King (D) Resigned November 1, 1837 Wilson Lumpkin (D) Elected November 22, 1837
Joseph Kent (W) Died November 24, 1837 William D. Merrick (W) Elected January 4, 1838
John Black (W) Resigned January 22, 1838 James F. Trotter (D) Appointed January 22, 1838
Felix Grundy (D) Resigned July 4, 1838, after being appointed United States Attorney General Ephraim H. Foster (W) Elected September 17, 1838
James F. Trotter (D) Resigned July 10, 1838 Thomas H. Williams (D) Appointed November 12, 1838, and subsequently elected

House of Representatives

  • Replacements: 16
    • Democrats: 5-seat net loss
    • Whigs: 5-seat net gain
  • Deaths: 9
  • Resignations: 6
  • Contested election:1
  • Total seats with changes: 20
District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Mississippi At-large Vacant Rep-elect Claiborne presented credentials July 18, 1837 John F. H. Claiborne (D) Seated July 18, 1837
Mississippi At-large Vacant Rep-elect Gholson presented credentials July 18, 1837 Samuel J. Gholson (D) Seated July 18, 1837
Pennsylvania 3rd Francis J. Harper (D) Died March 18, 1837 Charles Naylor (W) Seated June 29, 1837
Tennessee 4th James I. Standifer (W) Died August 20, 1837 William Stone (W) Seated September 14, 1837
Ohio 17th Elisha Whittlesey (W) Resigned October 20, 1837 Charles D. Coffin (W) Seated December 20, 1837
Mississippi At-large John F. H. Claiborne (D) Seat declared vacant February 5, 1838 Seargent S. Prentiss (W) Seated May 30, 1838
Mississippi At-large Samuel J. Gholson (D) Seat declared vacant February 5, 1838 Thomas J. Word (W) Seated May 30, 1838
Pennsylvania 9th Henry A. P. Muhlenberg (D) Resigned February 9, 1838, after being appointed Minister to Austrian Empire George M. Keim (D) Seated March 17, 1838
Maine 3rd Jonathan Cilley (D) Killed in a duel February 24, 1838, by Rep. William J. Graves Edward Robinson (W) Seated April 28, 1838
Maine 5th Timothy J. Carter (D) Died March 14, 1838 Virgil D. Parris (D) Seated May 29, 1838
Maryland 4th Isaac McKim (D) Died April 1, 1838 John P. Kennedy (W) Seated April 25, 1838
Virginia 13th John M. Patton (D) Resigned April 7, 1838 Linn Banks (D) Seated April 28, 1838
Alabama 3rd Joab Lawler (W) Died May 8, 1838 George W. Crabb (W) Seated October 5, 1835
Ohio 19th Daniel Kilgore (D) Resigned July 4, 1838 Henry Swearingen (D) Seated December 3, 1838
Ohio 16th Elisha Whittlesey (W) Resigned July 9, 1838 Joshua R. Giddings (W) Seated December 3, 1838
New York 22nd Andrew D. Bruyn (D) Died July 27, 1838 Cyrus Beers (D) Seated December 3, 1838
New York 29th William Patterson (W) Died August 14, 1838 Harvey Putnam (W) Seated November 7, 1838
Iowa Territory At-large New seat Iowa Territory seated its first delegate September 10, 1838 George Wallace Jones (D) Seated September 10, 1838
Massachusetts 2nd Stephen C. Phillips (W) Seat declared vacant September 28, 1838 Leverett Saltonstall (W) Seated December 15, 1838
Maine 1st John Fairfield (D) Resigned December 24, 1838, after being elected Governor of Maine Vacant Not filled this congress
Wisconsin Territory At-large George Wallace Jones (D) Lost contested election January 14, 1839 James D. Doty (D) Seated January 14, 1839
Louisiana 2nd Eleazar W. Ripley (D) Died March 2, 1839 Vacant Not filled this congress


Lists of committees and their party leaders.


House of Representatives

Joint committees



House of Representatives

See also


  • 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

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