33rd United States Congress

The Thirty-third 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, 1853, to March 4, 1855, during the first two years of the administration of U.S. President Franklin Pierce. During this session, the Kansas–Nebraska Act was passed, an act that soon led to the creation of the Republican Party. 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 Democratic majority.

33rd United States Congress
32nd ←
→ 34th
Capitol1846
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1855
Senate PresidentWilliam R. King (D)
until April 18, 1853
Vacant
from April 18, 1853
Senate President pro temDavid R. Atchison (D)
Lewis Cass (D)
Jesse D. Bright (D)
House SpeakerLinn Boyd (D)
Members62 senators
234 members of the House
7 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House MajorityDemocratic
Sessions
Special: March 4, 1853 – April 11, 1853
1st: December 5, 1853 – August 7, 1854
2nd: December 4, 1854 – March 4, 1855

Major events

Gadsden Purchase Cities ZP
Gadsden Purchase (in yellow)

Major legislation

Treaties

Territories organized

Party summary

Senate

Party
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
American
(A)
Democratic
(D)
Free Soil
(F)
Whig
(W)
Other
(O)
End of the previous congress 0 34 4 23 0 61 1
Begin 1 35 2 19 0 57 5
End 38 5 17 611
Final voting share 1.6% 62.3% 8.2% 27.9% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 2 35 2 9 7 55 7

House of Representatives

For the beginning of this congress, the size of the House was increased from 233 seats to 234 seats, following the 1850 United States Census (See 9 Stat. 433).

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic
(D)
Independent
Democratic
(ID)
Free Soil
(FS)
Whig
(W)
Independent
(I)
Other Vacant
End of previous Congress 126 3 3 86 0 14 232 1
Begin 158 1 3 71 1 0 234 0
End 156 2 74
Final voting share 66.7% 0.4% 0.9% 31.6% 0.4% 0.1%
Beginning of next Congress 79 (Opposition coalition)
154
233 1

Leadership

William Rufus DeVane King 1839 portrait
President of the Senate
William R. King

Senate

House of Representatives

Members

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 began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1856; Class 2 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1858; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1854. The United States consisted of 31 states during this Congress.

Skip to House of Representatives, below
David Rice Atchison
Senate President pro tempore
David R. Atchison
JesseDBright
Senate President pro tempore
Jesse D. Bright

House of Representatives

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

33 us house membership
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80.1-100% Democratic
  Up to 60% Whig
  60.1-80% Democratic
  60.1-80% Whig
  Up to 60% Democratic
  80.1-100% Whig
LinnBoyd
House Speaker
Linn Boyd

Changes in membership

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

Senate

State
(class)
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Rhode Island
(2)
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor was elected July 20, 1853.
Philip Allen (D) July 20, 1853
Alabama
(2)
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor elected November 29, 1853.
Clement C. Clay (D) November 29, 1853
Mississippi
(2)
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor elected January 7, 1854.
Albert G. Brown (D) January 7, 1854
Maine
(2)
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor was elected February 10, 1854.
William P. Fessenden (W) February 10, 1854
North Carolina
(2)
Vacant Failure to elect.
Successor was elected December 6, 1854.
David Reid (D) December 6, 1854
Arkansas
(3)
Solon Borland (D) Resigned April 11, 1853, after being appointed U.S. Minister to Nicaragua and other Central American Republics.
Successor appointed July 6, 1853.
Robert W. Johnson (D) July 6, 1853
Louisiana
(3)
Pierre Soulé (D) Resigned April 11, 1853, after being appointed U.S. Minister to Spain.
Successor elected December 5, 1853.
John Slidell (D) December 5, 1853
New Hampshire
(2)
Charles G. Atherton (D) Died November 15, 1853. Jared W. Williams (D) November 29, 1853
Vermont
(3)
Samuel S. Phelps (W) Senate declared not entitled to seat March 16, 1854.
Successor elected October 14, 1854.
Lawrence Brainerd (FS) October 14, 1854
Connecticut
(3)
Truman Smith (W) Resigned May 24, 1854.
Successor was elected May 24, 1854.
Francis Gillette (FS) May 24, 1854
Massachusetts
(2)
Edward Everett (W) Resigned June 1, 1854
Successor was appointed to serve until a new successor was elected.
Julius Rockwell (W) June 3, 1854
New Hampshire
(2)
Jared W. Williams (D) Resigned August 4, 1854. Vacant Not filled this term
New Hampshire
(3)
Moses Norris, Jr. (D) Died January 11, 1855.
Successor appointed January 16, 1855, to finish the term.
John S. Wells (D) January 16, 1855
Massachusetts
(2)
Julius Rockwell (W) Successor elected January 31, 1855. Henry Wilson (FS) January 31, 1855
Iowa
(3)
Augustus C. Dodge (D) Resigned February 22, 1855, after being appointed U.S. Minister to Spain. Vacant Not filled this term

House of Representatives

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Washington Territory at-large Vacant New seat established after Washington became a territory near the end of previous Congress. Seat was vacant until April 12, 1854. Columbia Lancaster (D) Seated April 12, 1854
New York 29th Azariah Boody (W) Resigned on October 13, 1853 Davis Carpenter (W) Seated November 8, 1853
Tennessee 1st Brookins Campbell (D) Died December 25, 1853 Nathaniel G. Taylor (W) Seated March 30, 1854
Pennsylvania 8th Henry A. Muhlenberg (D) Died January 9, 1854 J. Glancy Jones (D) Seated February 4, 1854
Massachusetts 1st Zeno Scudder (W) Resigned March 4, 1854 Thomas D. Eliot (W) Seated April 17, 1854
Kansas Territory at-large New seat New seat established after Kansas became a territory May 30, 1854. Seat was vacant until December 20, 1854. John W. Whitfield (D) Seated December 20, 1854
Nebraska Territory at-large New seat New seat established after Nebraska became a territory May 30, 1854. Seat was vacant until January 5, 1855. Napoleon B. Giddings (D) Seated December 5, 1855
Virginia 11th John F. Snodgrass (D) Died June 5, 1854 Charles S. Lewis (D) Seated December 4, 1854
New York 12th Gilbert Dean (D) Resigned July 3, 1854, after being appointed justice of the Supreme Court of New York Isaac Teller (W) Seated November 7, 1854
New York 22nd Gerrit Smith (FS) Resigned August 7, 1854 Henry C. Goodwin (W) Seated November 7, 1854
Kentucky 3rd Presley Ewing (W) Died September 27, 1854 Francis Bristow (W) Seated December 4, 1854

Committees

Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Senate

House of Representatives

Joint committees

  • Amending the Constitution on Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections
  • Enrolled Bills
  • San Francisco Disaster

Caucuses

Employees

Senate

House of Representatives

See also

References

  • 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

1852 United States elections

The 1852 United States elections elected the members of the 33rd United States Congress. The election marked the end of the Second Party System, as the Whig Party ceased to function as a national party following this election. Democrats won the presidency and retained control of both houses of Congress.

In the presidential election, Democratic former senator Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire defeated Whig General Winfield Scott. Pierce won the popular vote by a margin of seven percent, and dominated the electoral college. John P. Hale of the Free Soil Party also took about five percent of the popular vote. Pierce won on the 49th ballot of the 1852 Democratic National Convention, defeating 1848 nominee Lewis Cass, former Secretary of State James Buchanan, former Secretary of War William L. Marcy, and Senator Stephen A. Douglas frp, Illinois. Incumbent Whig president Millard Fillmore ran for a full term, but the 1852 Whig National Convention chose Scott, another popular general similar to former Whig presidents William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. Fillmore became the first incumbent president to lose his party's presidential nomination. Scott was the last Whig presidential candidate, as the party collapsed during the 1850s. However, this election was also the last time a Democratic candidate would win a majority of the popular and electoral vote until Franklin D. Roosevelt did so in 1932.

In the House, Democrats won several seats, boosting their majority.In the Senate, Democrats won minor gains, maintaining their commanding majority.

1854 United States House of Representatives elections in New York

The 1854 United States House of Representatives elections in New York were held on November 7, 1854, to elect 33 U.S. Representatives to represent the State of New York in the United States House of Representatives of the 34th United States Congress, and two representatives to fill vacancies in the 33rd United States Congress.

Benjamin E. Grey

Benjamin Edwards Grey was a 19th-century U.S. Representative from Kentucky, grandson of Benjamin Edwards.

Born at "Shiloh," near Bardstown, Kentucky, Grey pursued an academic course. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and began practice in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1838 to 1839, and a member of the Kentucky Senate from 1847 to 1851. He was presiding officer of the senate and Acting Lieutenant Governor in 1850.

Grey was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1855). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Thirty-fourth Congress in 1854. He died in Selma, Alabama.

Carriage of Passengers Act of 1855

The Carriage of Passengers Act of 1855 (full name An Act further to regulate the Carriage of Passengers in Steamships and other Vessels) was an act passed by the United States federal government on March 3, 1855, replacing the previous Steerage Act of 1819 (also known as the Manifest of Immigrants Act) and a number of acts passed between 1847 and 1849 with new regulations on the conditions of sea transportation used by passenger ships landing in the United States. The law was passed by the 33rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Franklin Pierce.

Charles Hughes (representative)

Charles Hughes (February 27, 1822 in New Orleans, Louisiana – August 10, 1887 in Sandy Hill, Washington County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Clement S. Hill

Clement Sidney Hill (February 13, 1813 – January 5, 1892) was a United States Representative from Kentucky. He was born near Lebanon, Kentucky. He pursued academic studies and attended St. Mary's College, St. Mary, Kentucky. Later, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1837 and commenced practice in Lebanon, Kentucky.

Hill was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1839. He was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855). After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of law in Lebanon, Kentucky where he died in 1892. He was buried in St. Augustine's Cemetery.

David A. Noble

David Addison Noble (November 9, 1802 – October 13, 1876) was a politician and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan, and had a term in Congress in 1853–1855.

Noble was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He attended a private school in Plainfield and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown in 1825. He studied law in Albany and New York City and was admitted to the bar in 1831. That same year he commenced practice in New York City and then moved to Monroe, Michigan continuing the practice of law.

In Monroe, Noble served as city recorder in 1838, 1839, and 1844–1850, as mayor in 1852 and served two terms as alderman. He was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1847 to 1848. He was also prosecuting attorney and probate judge of Monroe County.

In 1854, Noble was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 2nd congressional district to the 33rd United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1855. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1854 to the Thirty-fourth Congress, losing to Republican Henry Waldron in the general election.

In 1858, Noble was appointed manager of the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad and served four years. He served as a delegate to the 1864 Democratic National Convention.David A. Noble died in Monroe, Michigan and was interred in Woodland Cemetery. He was the father of Henry Shaw Noble and John Savage Noble.

Davis Carpenter

Davis Carpenter (December 25, 1799 – October 22, 1878) was a United States Representative from New York.

Carpenter was born in Walpole, New Hampshire, on December 25, 1799, where he studied medicine. He graduated from Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1824, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Brockport, New York.

Carpenter was elected as a Whig to the 33rd United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Azariah Boody and served from November 8, 1853, to March 3, 1855. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1854 to the 34th United States Congress. He engaged in the practice of medicine in Brockport, New York, where he died there October 22, 1878, and is interred in High Street Cemetery.

Hestor L. Stevens

Hestor Lockhart Stevens (October 1, 1803 – May 7, 1864) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Stevens was born in Lima, New York and attended the common schools. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Rochester, New York. He ranked as major general of militia of western New York.

Stevens later moved to Pontiac, Michigan. In 1852, he was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's newly created 4th congressional district to the 33rd United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1855.

Stevens was not a candidate for re-election in 1854 and resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C. He died in Washington, D.C. and is interred there in Oak Hill Cemetery.

James Maurice

James Maurice (November 7, 1814 – August 4, 1884) was a United States Representative from New York.

John B. Macy

John B. Macy (March 25, 1799 – September 24, 1856) was a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.

Macy was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he received a liberal education. He moved to New York City in 1826 and later in that year to Buffalo, New York. He resided in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1842 to 1845. Macy was one of the founders of Toledo, Ohio, and one of the proprietors of the Rock River Valley Union Railroad (the state line to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin). This line was the beginning of the Chicago and North Western Railway. Macy moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1845 and engaged in the real estate business, acquiring land from Philip Hone, the mayor of New York City. Several street names in Fond du Lac, such as Macy Street, are named for Macy and members of his family. He moved with his family to the town of Empire, Wisconsin, near Lake de Neveu, in 1850. Macy's home, built near what became Highway 45, still stands. Its original outbuildings include a hexagonal library.Macy was elected as a Democrat to represent Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district at the 33rd United States Congress (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855), but was unsuccessful for re-election in 1854 to the 34th Congress. Following his failure to be re-elected, he resumed his former business pursuits.

Macy lost his life in the burning of the steamer Niagara, near Port Washington, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan on September 24, 1856. The Niagara was a sidewheel passenger steamer, one of the luxury vessels known as 'palace steamers', which sailed the Great Lakes in the years from 1844 to 1857. On September 23, 1856, the Niagara left Sheboygan, Wisconsin, for Port Washington. Fire broke out on board at around 4pm, causing the steam engines and the ship's giant paddlewheels to stop. The steamer, which was 4–5 miles offshore, quickly became engulfed in flames and smoke, and the passengers panicked while trying to board the lifeboats. Many jumped overboard into the water, which was reported to be too cold for anyone to survive in it. Despite rescue efforts, over 60 people died in what was one of Wisconsin's deadliest transportation disasters. The wreck of the Niagara lies in 55 feet of water one mile off Belgium, Wisconsin. Macy was last seen on board exclaiming "We're lost! Oh God! We're lost!" His body was never recovered.

List of United States Senators in the 33rd Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 33rd United States Congress listed by seniority, from March 4, 1853, to March 3, 1855.

Order of service is based on the commencement of the senator's first term. Behind this is former service as a senator (only giving the senator seniority within his or her new incoming class), service as vice president, a House member, a cabinet secretary, or a governor of a state. The final factor is the population of the senator's state.Senators who were sworn in during the middle of the Congress (up until the last senator who was not sworn in early after winning the November 1854 election) are listed at the end of the list with no number.

List of United States federal legislation, 1789–1901

This is a chronological, but incomplete, list of United States federal legislation passed by the 1st through 56th United States Congresses, between 1789 and 1901. For the main article on this subject, see List of United States federal legislation. Additional lists can be found at List of United States federal legislation: Congress of the Confederation, List of United States federal legislation, 1901–2001 and List of United States federal legislation, 2001–present.

List of members of the United States House of Representatives in the 33rd Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States House of Representatives during the 33rd United States Congress listed by seniority.

As an historical article, the districts and party affiliations listed reflect those during the 33rd Congress (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855). Current seats and party affiliations on the List of current members of the United States House of Representatives by seniority will be different for certain members.Seniority depends on the date on which members were sworn into office. Since many members are sworn in on the same day, subsequent ranking is based on previous congressional service of the individual and then by alphabetical order by the last name of the congressman.

Committee chairmanship in the House is often associated with seniority. However, party leadership is typically not associated with seniority.

Note: The "*" indicates that the representative/delegate may have served one or more non-consecutive terms while in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.

Michael Walsh (New York)

Michael Walsh (May 4, 1810 – March 17, 1859) was a United States Representative from New York.

Opposition Party (Northern U.S.)

The Opposition Party was a party identification under which Northern, anti-slavery politicians, formerly members of the Democratic and Whig parties, briefly ran in the 1850s. This was in response to the expansion of slavery into the new territories. It was one of the movements which arose from the political chaos in the decade before the Civil War in the wake of the Compromise of 1850. The movement arose before and was quickly subsumed by the coalescence of the Republican Party in 1856.

During the fragmenting of the Second Party System of Jackson Democrats and Clay Whigs, the Democratic efforts to expand slavery into western territories, particularly Kansas, led to organized political opposition, which coalesced in Congress as the "Opposition Party." As the Whig Party disintegrated, many local and regional parties grew up, some ideological, some geographic. When they realized their numbers in Congress, they began to caucus in the same way US political parties had arisen before the Jacksonian national party conventions. Scholars such as Kenneth C. Martis have adopted a convention to explain the Congressional coordination of anti-Pierce and anti-Buchanan factions as the "Opposition Party".

Presley Ewing

Presley Underwood Ewing (September 1, 1822 – September 27, 1854) was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky.

Born in Russellville, Kentucky, Ewing attended the public schools.

He completed preparatory studies.

He was graduated from Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, in 1840 and from the law school of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1843.

He studied theology at the Baptist Seminary at Newton, Massachusetts, in 1845 and 1846.

He returned to Kentucky and practiced law in Russellville.

He served as member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1848 and 1849.

Ewing was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses and served from March 4, 1851, until his death in the town of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, September 27, 1854.

He was interred in Maple Grove Cemetery, Russellville, Kentucky.

Reuben Fenton

(Before 1857)

Republican}} (After 1857)

Reuben Eaton Fenton (July 4, 1819 – August 25, 1885) was an American merchant and politician from New York.

William Wright (United States politician)

William Wright (November 13, 1794 – November 1, 1866) was an American politician who served as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district as a Whig in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847, and represented New Jersey in the United States Senate as a Democrat from 1853 to 1859, and again from 1863 until his death.

United States Congresses (and year convened)

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