37th United States Congress

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 4, 1863, during the first two years of Abraham Lincoln's presidency.[1] 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.

37th United States Congress
36th ←
→ 38th
March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1863
Senate PresidentHannibal Hamlin (R)
Senate President pro temSolomon Foot (R)
House SpeakerGalusha A. Grow (R)
Members50 senators
183 members of the House
7 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityRepublican
Special: March 4, 1861 – March 28, 1861
1st: July 4, 1861 – August 6, 1861
2nd: December 2, 1861 – July 17, 1862
3rd: December 1, 1862 – March 3, 1863

Major events

Two special sessions

The Senate, a continuing body, was called into special session by President Buchanan, meeting in March 4 to March 28, 1861.[1] The border states and Texas were still represented. Shortly after the Senate session adjourned, Fort Sumter was attacked. The immediate results were to draw four additional states[13] "into the confederacy with their more Southern sisters", and Lincoln called Congress into extraordinary session on July 4, 1861. The Senate confirmed calling forth troops and raising money to suppress rebellion as authorized in the Constitution.[14]

Both Houses then duly met July 4, 1861. Seven states which would send representatives held their state elections for Representative over the months of May to June 1861.[15] Members taking their seats had been elected before the secession crisis, during the formation of the Confederate government, and after Fort Sumter.[10]

Once assembled with a quorum in the House, Congress approved Lincoln's war powers innovations as necessary to preserve the Union.[16] Following the July Federal defeat at First Manassas, the Crittenden Resolution[17] asserted the reason for "the present deplorable civil war." It was meant as an address to the nation, especially to the Border States at a time of U.S. military reverses, when the war support in border state populations was virtually the only thing keeping them in the Union.[18]

Following resignations and expulsions occasioned by the outbreak of the Civil War, five states had some degree of dual representation in the U.S and the C.S. Congresses. Congress accredited Members elected running in these five as Unionist (19), Democratic (6), Constitutional Unionist (1) and Republican (1). All ten Kentucky and all seven Missouri representatives were accepted. The other three states seated four of thirteen representatives from Virginia, three of ten Tennesseans, and two of four from Louisiana.[19]

The Crittenden Resolution declared the civil war "… has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the southern States…" and it would be carried out for the supremacy of the Constitution and the preservation of the Union, and, that accomplished, "the war ought to cease". Democrats seized on this document, especially its assurances of no conquest or overthrowing domestic institutions (emancipation of slaves).[18]

John C. Frémont - Brady-Handy
Gen. John C. Fremont
Missouri Emancipation
Timothy O. Howe - Brady-Handy
Sen. Timothy O. Howe
Army accepts Fugitives
David Hunter
Gen. David Hunter
SC-GA-FL Emancipation

Slaves and slavery

Congressional policy and military strategy were intertwined. In the first regular March session, Republicans superseded the Crittenden Resolution, removing the prohibition against emancipation of slaves.[18]

In South Carolina, Gen. David Hunter, issued a General Order in early May 1861 freeing all slaves in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. President Lincoln quickly rescinded the order, reserving this "supposed power" to his own discretion if it were indispensable to saving the Union.[20] Later in the same month without directly disobeying Lincoln's prohibition against emancipation, General Benjamin Butler at Fort Monroe Virginia declared slaves escaped into his lines as "contraband of war", that is, forfeit to their rebel owners.[21] On May 24, Congress followed General Butler's lead, and passed the First Confiscation Act in August, freeing slaves used for rebellion.[22]

In Missouri, John C. Frémont, the 1856 Republican nominee for President, exceeded his authority as a General, declaring that all slaves held by rebels within his military district would be freed.[22] Republican majorities in Congress responded on opening day of the December Session. Sen. Lyman Trumbull introduced a bill for confiscation of rebel property and emancipation for their slaves. "Acrimonious debate on confiscation proved a major preoccupation" of Congress.[18] On March 13, 1862, Congress directed the armies of the United States to stop enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act. The next month, the Congress abolished slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for loyal citizens. An additional Confiscation Act in July declared free all slaves held by citizens in rebellion, but it had no practical effect without addressing where the act would take effect, or how ownership was to be proved.[23]

Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued September 22, 1862.[23] It became the principal issue before the public in the mid-term elections that year for the 38th Congress. But Republican majorities in both houses held (see 'Congress as a campaign machine' below), and the Republicans actually increased their majority in the Senate.[24]

On January 1, 1863, the war measure by executive proclamation directed the army and the navy to treat all escaped slaves as free when entering Union lines from territory still in rebellion. The measure would take effect when the escaped slave entered Union lines and loyalty of the previous owner was irrelevant.[25] Congress passed enabling legislation to carry out the Proclamation including "Freedman's Bureau" legislation.[26] The practical effect was a massive internal evacuation of Confederate slave labor, and augmenting Union Army teamsters, railroad crews and infantry for the duration of the Civil War.

Benjamin F Wade - Brady-Handy
Sen. Ben Wade OH
showed army corruption
Zachariah Chandler
Sen. Z. Chandler MI
made & broke generals

Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War

Congress assumed watchdog responsibilities with this and other investigating committees.

The principle conflict between the president and congress was found in the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Eight thick volumes of testimony were filled with investigations of Union defeats and contractor scandals.

They were highly charged with partisan opinions "vehemently expressed" by chair Benjamin Wade of Ohio, Representative George Washington Julian of Indiana, and Zachariah Chandler of Michigan.[27]

Sen. Chandler, who had been one of McClellan's advocates promoting his spectacular rise,[28] particularly documented criticism of McClellan's Peninsular Campaign with its circuitous maneuvering, endless entrenchment and murderous camp diseases. It led to support for his dismissal.

A congressional committee could ruin a reputation, without itself having any military expertise. It would create the modern Congressional era in which generals fought wars with Congress looking over their shoulders, "and with public opinion following closely behind."[27]

Republican Platform goals

Republican majorities in both houses, apart from pro-union Democrats, and without vacant southern delegations, were able to enact their party platform. These included the Legal Tender Act, February 20, 1862, and increases in the tariff that amounted to protective tariffs. The Homestead Act, May 20, 1862, for government lands, and the Morrill Land Grant Act, July 2, 1862, for universities promoting practical arts in agriculture and mining, had no immediate war purpose. But they would have long range effects, as would the Pacific Railroad Act, July 1, 1862, for a transcontinental railroad.[29]

Treasury innovations were driven by Secretary Salmon P. Chase and necessity of war. The Income Tax of 1861, numerous taxes on consumer goods such as whiskey, and a national currency all began in Civil War Congresses.[29]

Congress as election machinery

Speeches postage-free to District 1960, signature in upper right like 1863.

Member's floor speeches were not meant to be persuasive, but for publication in partisan newspapers. The real audience was the constituents back home. Congressional caucuses organized and funded political campaigns, publishing pamphlet versions of speeches and circulating them by the thousands free of postage on the member's franking privilege. Party congressional committees stayed in Washington during national campaigns, keeping an open flow of subsidized literature pouring back into the home districts.[30]

Nevertheless, like other Congresses in the 1850s and 1860s, this Congress would see less than half of its membership reelected.[31] The characteristic turmoil found in the "3rd Party Period, 1855-1896" stirred political party realignment in the North even in the midst of civil war. In this Congress, failure to gain nomination and loss at the general election together accounted for a Membership turnover of 25%.[32]

This Congress in the generations cycle

Thaddeus Stevens
Rep. Thaddeus Stevens, a "transcendental" idealist

This first Civil War Congress was one of the last with a plurality of members drawn from the "Transcendental" generation born between 1792 and 1821.[33] They accounted for 87% of the national leadership, with 12% from the upcoming Gilded Age, and only 1% from the older Compromise Generation.[34] As an age cohort, they were idealistic and exalted "inner truth" on both sides of the Civil War, with neither side prepared to compromise its principles. Those few Compromisers left with a voice were pushed to the side. Representative Thaddeus Stevens was typical of his Transcendentalist generations northern expression: "Instruments of war are not selected on account of their harmlessness ... lay waste to the whole South."[35]

Major legislation

Transcontinental RR 1944-3c
Transcontinental Railroad, by Act of Congress, July 1, 1861
US $1 1862 Legal Tender
Greenback Dollar featuring U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, "Act of July 11, 1862"

States admitted and seceded and territories organized

States admitted

  • December 31, 1862: West Virginia admitted, Sess. 3, ch. 6, 12 Stat. 633, pending a presidential proclamation. (It became a state on June 20, 1863)

Territories organized or changed


Congress did not accept secession. Most of the Representatives and Senators from states that attempted to secede left Congress; those who took part in the rebellion were expelled.

  • Secessions declared during previous Congress: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.
    • Louisiana Congressional Districts LA 1 and 2, two of its four representatives remained seated in the 37th Congress.[36]
  • Secessions declared during this Congress:

Although secessionist factions passed resolutions of secession in Missouri October 31, 1861,[42] and in Kentucky November 20, 1861,[43] their state delegations in the U.S. Congress remained in place, seven from Missouri and ten from Kentucky.[36] Exile state governments resided with Confederate armies out-of-state, army-elected congressional representatives served as a solid pro-Jefferson Davis administration voting bloc in the Confederate Congress.[44]

Party summary


US Senate 37th congress
Senate at the beginning of the Congress
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 25 26 0 (American)
53 15
Begin 22 29 1 0 52 16
End 12 30 7 4919
Final voting share 24.5% 61.2% 14.3% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 10 31 4 3
48 20

House of Representatives

US House 37th Congress
House of Representatives at the beginning of Congress
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant


End of the previous congress 0 6 56 116 0 32 210 29
Begin 2 44 1 107 23 0 177 63
End 1 45 106 30 18357
Final voting share 0.5% 24.6% 0.5% 57.9% 16.4% 0.0%
Beginning of the next congress 0 72 0 85 9 14 180 61



Hannibal Hamlin, photo portrait seated, c1860-65-retouched-crop
President of the Senate Hannibal Hamlin

House of Representatives


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and Representatives 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, facing re-election in 1862; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, facing re-election in 1864; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, facing re-election in 1866.

Solomon Foot - Brady-Handy
President pro tempore Solomon Foot

House of Representatives

Members of the House of Representatives are listed by their districts.

37 us house membership
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80%+ Democratic
  80%+ Republican
  60+ to 80% Democratic
  60+ to 80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Republican
Galusha A. Grow - Brady-Handy
Speaker of the House
Galusha A. Grow

Changes in membership

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


Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Missouri (3) Vacant Did not take seat until after Congress commenced. Waldo P. Johnson (D) March 17, 1861
Kansas (2) Vacant Election not recognized by US Senate. James H. Lane (R) April 4, 1861
Kansas (3) Vacant Election not recognized by the Senate. Samuel C. Pomeroy (R) April 4, 1861
Pennsylvania (1) Simon Cameron (R) Resigned March 4, 1861, to become Secretary of War.
Successor was elected.
David Wilmot (R) March 14, 1861
North Carolina (2) Thomas Bragg (D) Withdrew[46] March 6, 1861; expelled later in 1861. Vacant thereafter
Ohio (3) Salmon P. Chase (R) Resigned March 7, 1861, to become Secretary of the Treasury.
Successor was elected.
John Sherman (R) March 21, 1861
Texas (1) Louis T. Wigfall (D) Withdrew March 23, 1861. Vacant thereafter
North Carolina (3) Thomas L. Clingman (D) Withdrew[46] March 28, 1861; expelled later in 1861. Vacant thereafter
Virginia (2) Robert M. T. Hunter (D) Withdrew[46] March 28, 1861, and later expelled for support of the rebellion.
Successor was elected.
John S. Carlile (U) July 9, 1861
Virginia (1) James M. Mason (D) Expelled March 28, 1861, for supporting the rebellion.
Successor was elected.
Waitman T. Willey (U) July 9, 1861
Illinois (2) Stephen A. Douglas (D) Died June 3, 1861.
Successor was appointed.
Orville H. Browning (R) June 26, 1861
Texas (2) John Hemphill (D) Expelled sometime in July 1861. Vacant thereafter
Illinois (2) Orville H. Browning (R) Interim appointee lost election to finish the term.
Successor elected January 12, 1863.
William A. Richardson (D) January 30, 1863
Arkansas (2) William K. Sebastian (D) Expelled July 11, 1861. Vacant thereafter
Arkansas (3) Charles B. Mitchel (D) Expelled July 11, 1861. Vacant thereafter
Michigan (2) Kinsley S. Bingham (R) Died October 5, 1861.
Successor was elected.
Jacob M. Howard (R) January 17, 1862
Oregon (2) Edward D. Baker (R) Killed at Battle of Ball's Bluff October 21, 1861.
Successor was appointed.
Benjamin Stark (D) October 29, 1861
Kentucky (3) John C. Breckinridge (D) Expelled December 4, 1861, for supporting the rebellion.
Successor was elected.
Garrett Davis (U) December 23, 1861
Missouri (1) Trusten Polk (D) Expelled January 10, 1862, for supporting the rebellion.
Successor was appointed.
John B. Henderson (U) January 17, 1862
Missouri (3) Waldo P. Johnson (D) Expelled January 10, 1862, for disloyalty to the government.
Successor was appointed.
Robert Wilson (U) January 17, 1862
Indiana (1) Jesse D. Bright (D) Expelled February 5, 1862, on charges of disloyalty.
Successor was appointed.
Joseph A. Wright (U) February 24, 1862
Tennessee (1) Andrew Johnson (D) Resigned March 4, 1862. Vacant thereafter
Rhode Island (1) James F. Simmons (R) Resigned August 15, 1862.
Successor was elected.
Samuel G. Arnold (R) December 1, 1862
New Jersey (1) John R. Thomson (D) Died September 12, 1862.
Successor was appointed.
Richard S. Field (R) November 21, 1862
Oregon (2) Benjamin Stark (D) Retired September 12, 1862, upon election of a successor. Benjamin F. Harding (D) September 12, 1862
Maryland (3) James Pearce (D) Died December 20, 1862.
Successor was appointed.
Thomas H. Hicks (U) December 29, 1862
Indiana (1) Joseph A. Wright (U) Retired January 14, 1863, upon election of a successor. David Turpie (D) January 14, 1863
New Jersey (1) Richard S. Field (R) Retired January 14, 1863, upon election of a successor. James W. Wall (D) January 14, 1863

House of Representatives

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Colorado Territory At-large New seat. Hiram P. Bennett (Conservative R) August 19, 1861
Nevada Territory At-large New seat. John Cradlebaugh (I) December 2, 1861
Dakota Territory At-large New seat. John B. S. Todd (D) December 9, 1861
Louisiana 1st Vacant. Benjamin F. Flanders (U) December 3, 1862
Louisiana 2nd Vacant. Michael Hahn (U) December 3, 1862
Tennessee 3rd Vacant Representative-elect George W. Bridges was arrested by Confederate troops while en route to Washington, D.C. and held prisoner before he escaped. George W. Bridges (U) February 25, 1863
Virginia 1st Vacant. Joseph E. Segar (U) May 6, 1862[45]
California At-large Vacant Low not permitted to take seat, qualified later under special act of Congress, 12 Stat. 411 Frederick F. Low (R) June 3, 1862
Virginia 7th Vacant. Charles H. Upton (U) July 4, 1861[45]
Ohio 7th Thomas Corwin (R) Resigned March 12, 1861, to become Minister to Mexico. Richard A. Harrison (U) July 4, 1861
Ohio 13th John Sherman (R) Resigned March 12, 1861, when elected U.S. Senator. Samuel T. Worcester (R) July 4, 1861
Pennsylvania 12th George W. Scranton (R) Died March 24, 1861. Hendrick B. Wright (D) July 4, 1861
Massachusetts 3rd Charles F. Adams, Sr. (R) Resigned May 1, 1861, to become Ambassador to Great Britain. Benjamin Thomas (U) June 11, 1861
Pennsylvania 2nd Edward Joy Morris (R) Resigned June 8, 1861, to become Minister Resident to Turkey. Charles J. Biddle (D) July 2, 1861
Virginia 11th John S. Carlile (U) Resigned July 9, 1861, to become United States Senator from the loyal faction of Virginia. Jacob B. Blair (U) December 2, 1861
Missouri 3rd John B. Clark (D) Expelled July 13, 1861, for having taken up arms against the Union. William A. Hall (D) January 20, 1862
Oregon At-large Andrew J. Thayer (D) Election was successfully contested July 30, 1861. George K. Shiel (D) July 30, 1861
Missouri 5th John W. Reid (D) Withdrew August 3, 1861, and then expelled December 2, 1861, for having taken up arms against the Union. Thomas L. Price (D) January 21, 1862
Iowa 1st Samuel Curtis (R) Resigned August 4, 1861, to become colonel of the 2nd Iowa Infantry. James F. Wilson (R) October 8, 1861
Massachusetts 5th William Appleton (CU) Resigned September 27, 1861, due to failing health. Samuel Hooper (R) December 2, 1861
Illinois 6th John A. McClernand (D) Resigned October 28, 1861, to accept a commission as brigadier general of volunteers for service in the Civil War. Anthony L. Knapp (D) December 12, 1861
Kentucky 1st Henry C. Burnett (D) Expelled December 3, 1861, for support of secession. Samuel L. Casey (U) March 10, 1862
Kentucky 2nd James S. Jackson (U) Resigned December 13, 1861, to enter the Union Army. George H. Yeaman (U) December 1, 1862
Virginia 7th Charles H. Upton (U) Declared not entitled to seat February 27, 1862. Lewis McKenzie (U) February 16, 1863
Illinois 9th John A. Logan (D) Resigned April 2, 1862, to enter the Union Army. William J. Allen (D) June 2, 1862
Pennsylvania 7th Thomas B. Cooper (D) Died April 4, 1862. John D. Stiles (D) June 3, 1862
Massachusetts 9th Goldsmith F. Bailey (R) Died May 8, 1862. Amasa Walker (R) December 1, 1862
Maine 2nd Charles W. Walton (R) Resigned May 26, 1862, to become associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Thomas A. D. Fessenden (R) December 1, 1862
Wisconsin 2nd Luther Hanchett (R) Died November 24, 1862. Walter D. McIndoe (R) January 26, 1863
Illinois 5th William A. Richardson (D) Resigned January 29, 1863, after being elected to the U.S. Senate. Vacant thereafter



Standing committees of the Senate resolved, Friday, March 8, 1861[47]

Foreign Relations



Military Affairs and Militia

Naval Affairs


Post Offices and Post Roads

Public Lands

Private Land Claims

Indian Affairs


Revolutionary Claims


District of Columbia

Patents and Patent Office

Public Buildings and Grounds


Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate


Engrossed Bills

Enrolled Bills

The Library

Order in the Galleries (Select)

House of Representatives

Members by committee assignments, Congressional Globe, as published July 8, 1861[48] Spellings conform to those found in the Congressional Biographical Dictionary.

Unless otherwise noted, all committees listed are Standing, as found at the Library of Congress[49]





Confiscation of Rebel Property (Select)

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861

District of Columbia



Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861

Expenditures in the State Department

Expenditures in the Treasury Department

Expenditures in the War Department

Expenditures in the Post Office Department

Expenditures in the Interior Department


Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861

Foreign Affairs

Also known as Foreign Relations

Indian Affairs

Invalid Pensions


Lake and River Defences

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861


Listed in the Congressional Globe, but not listed in the Library of Congress summary page


Listed in the Congressional Globe, but not listed in the Library of Congress summary page

Military Affairs

Also known as Military

Military Railroad

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861


Also known as Military Affairs and the Militia

Naval Affairs

Niagara Ship Canal (Select)

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861

Pacific Railroad

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861


Also known as Patents and Patent Office


Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861

Post Offices and Post Roads


Also known as Joint Committee on Printing

Private Land Claims

Public Lands

Public Buildings and Grounds

Public Expenditures

Revised and Unfinished Business

Listed in the Congressional Globe, but not listed in the Library of Congress summary page

Revolutionary Claims

Revolutionary Pensions

Roads and Canals

State of the Union

Listed in Library of Congress summary, but not in Congressional Globe of July 22, 1861


Ways and Means

Joint committees

Enrolled Bills





House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ a b Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress (1774-2005) found online at Congress Profiles: 37th Congress (1861-1863) viewed October 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. 1989. p. 115
  3. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. "The historical atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America: 1861-1865" 1994 ISBN 0-13-389115-1, p. 32.
  4. ^ Heidler, D.S.; Heidler, J.T.; Coles, D.J. (2000). Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social and Military History. p. 441. ISBN 0-393-04758-X.
  5. ^ "The White House Historical Association, "The Great Cause of Union" search on 'habeas corpus'".
  6. ^ "Ordinance of Secession of Arkansas". Csawardept.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Hart, Albert Bushnell; Channing, Edward, eds. (November 1893). Ordinances of Secession and Other Documents. 1860-1861. American History Leaflets Colonial and Constitutional. 12. New York: A. Lovell & Company. OCLC 7759360. Archived from the original on 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  8. ^ "Ordinance of Secession of North Carolina". Csawardept.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "Ordinance of Secession of Virginia". Csawardept.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c Martis, Kenneth C.; et al. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-02-920170-5.
  11. ^ "Ordinance of Secession of Tennessee". Csawardept.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  12. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., p. 115, 117.
  13. ^ Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas
  14. ^ Excerpt from Isaac Bassett's Memoir re-published on the U.S. Senate webpage
  15. ^ McPherson, James M. (2008). Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. The Penguin Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-59420-191-2.
  16. ^ Neely, Mark E., Jr., "Chapter 12. The Civil War" in "The American Congress: the building of a democracy", Julian E. Zelizer, ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004, ISBN 0-618-17906-2, p. 208
  17. ^ Congressional Globe, 37 Cong. 1 sess. p. 233
  18. ^ a b c d Neely, p. 210
  19. ^ Martis, p.115
  20. ^ "Presidential Proclamation May 19, 1862", Abraham Lincoln's response to General Hunter's General Order Number Eleven. abolition was to be outside the police functions of field commanders.
  21. ^ New York Times: "How Slavery Really Ended in America" Viewed November 9, 2011.
  22. ^ a b McPherson, p. 57-58
  23. ^ a b Neely, p. 214
  24. ^ McPherson, p. 142
  25. ^ www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html
  26. ^ Blaine, James G. "Memoir re-published on the National Archives webpage".
  27. ^ a b Neely, p. 212-213
  28. ^ McPherson, p. 76
  29. ^ a b Neely, p. 211
  30. ^ Neely, p. 213
  31. ^ Erickson, Stephen C. (Winter 1995). "The Entrenching of Incumbency: Reelections in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1790-1994". The Cato Journal. Archived from the original on June 23, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  32. ^ Swain, John W., et al., "A New Look at Turnover in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-1998", American Politics Research 2000, (28:435), p. 444, 452.
  33. ^ Strauss, William; Howe, Neil (1991). Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. p. 196. ISBN 0-688-08133-9.
  34. ^ Straus, p. 462
  35. ^ Straus, p. 182
  36. ^ a b c d Martis, Kenneth C., "The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress: 1789-1989" ISBN 0-02-920170-5. p. 114.
  37. ^ The text of Virginia's Ordinance of Secession.
  38. ^ The text of Arkansas's Ordinance of Secession.
  39. ^ The text of North Carolina's Ordinance of Secession.
  40. ^ The text of Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ Missouri Ordinance of Secession Archived 2004-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ Kentucky Ordinance of Secession Archived 2004-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., "The historical atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America: 1861-1865", ISBN 0-13-389115-1, p.92-93.
  45. ^ a b c d e Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, (1774–2005), "Official Annotated Membership Roster by State with Vacancy and Special Election Information for the 37th Congress Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine".
  46. ^ a b c Withdrawal" meant that these senators announced they were withdrawing from the Senate due to their states' decisions to secede from the Union. Their seats were later declared vacant by the Senate, but some seats were actually unfilled since the beginning of this Congress on March 4, 1861.
  47. ^ "Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873". p. 412.
  48. ^ "Congressional Globe". July 8, 1861. pp. 21–22.
  49. ^ "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 37th Congress, Browse by Committee".
  50. ^ a b The Bibliography of Vermont, Gilman, M.D.,The Free Press Association, 1897. p. 320.
  51. ^ Lanman, Charles (1887). Biographical annals of the civil government of the United States. New York: JM Morrison. p. 514.
  52. ^ "US Senate Art & History webpage, "Ashbury Dickens, Secretary of the Senate, 1836-1861"".
  53. ^ "Congressional Biographical Dictionary, 37th Congress" (PDF). p. 162, footnote fn 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2010.


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Hart, Albert Bushnell; Channing, Edward, eds. (November 1893). Ordinances of Secession and Other Documents. 1860-1861. American History Leaflets Colonial and Constitutional. 12. New York: A. Lovell & Company. OCLC 7759360. Archived from the original on 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2017-11-15.

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1860 United States elections

The 1860 United States elections elected the members of the 37th United States Congress. The election took place during the Third Party System, shortly before the start of the Civil War. The Republican Party won control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress, making it the fifth party (following the Federalist Party, Democratic-Republican Party, Democratic Party, and Whig Party) to accomplish that feat. The election is widely considered to be a realigning election.In the Presidential election, Republican former Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois defeated Democratic Vice President John C. Breckinridge (who became the first incumbent Vice President to lose a presidential election) and Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, as well as the Constitutional Union candidate, former Senator John Bell of Tennessee. Lincoln swept the Northern states while Breckinridge carried much of the South, foreshadowing the political alignment of the country throughout the Third Party System. At the 1860 Republican National Convention, Lincoln won on third ballot, defeating Senator William H. Seward of New York and several other candidates. The Democratic Party split its votes after three chaotic conventions. Douglas was nominated at the second Democratic convention, while the Southern Democrats nominated Breckinridge as their own candidate in a third convention. Bell ran on a platform of preserving the union regardless of the status of slavery. Lincoln's victory made him the first Republican President. Lincoln took just under 40 percent of the popular vote, a lower share of the popular vote than any other winning presidential candidate aside from John Quincy Adams's 1824 campaign.

In the House, Republicans retained control of the chamber and won a majority for the first time after several states seceded. Democrats remained the largest minority, but several Congressmen also identified as unionists.In the Senate, Republicans made moderate gains, but Democrats initially retained a majority. They lost that majority shortly after the election when several Southern senators resigned. The Democrats would have the second-largest number of members in the Senate, although many senators identified as unionists rather than Democrats or Republicans.

Anti-Coolie Act

On February 19, 1862, the 37th United States Congress passed An Act to Prohibit the "Coolie Trade" by American Citizens in American Vessels. The act, which would be called the Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 in short, was passed by the California legislature in an attempt to appease rising anger among white laborers about salary competition created by the influx of Chinese immigrants at the height of the California gold rush. The act sought to protect white laborers by imposing a monthly tax on Chinese immigrants seeking to do business in the state of California.

Arizona Organic Act

The Arizona Organic Act was an organic act passed in the United States federal law introduced as H.R. 357 in the second session of the 37th U.S. Congress on March 12, 1862, by Rep. James M. Ashley of Ohio. The Act provided for the creation of the Arizona Territory by the division of the New Mexico Territory into two territories, along the current boundary between New Mexico and Arizona. On February 24, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill once it had been approved by Congress. The bill established a provisional government for the new territory. It abolished slavery in the new Arizona Territory, but did not abolish it in the portion that remained the New Mexico Territory. During the 1850s, Congress had resisted a demand for Arizona statehood because of a well-grounded fear that it would become a slave state.

According to Marshall Trimble, the official historian of Arizona, the Arizona Organic Act can be traced to the Northwest Ordinance. Business people from Ohio had silver mining interests in the Arizona Territory, and they took their request for Arizona territorial status to Congress. The U.S. Civil War was occurring at the time, and the Union needed silver, which Trimble explains as being one of the main reasons for passage of the Act.The New Mexico Territory had a long history of enslavement of Native American people, first by each other and later by Hispanic settlers (cf. Genízaros). Although in 1860 there were relatively few African American slaves in New Mexico, the legislature formally approved of slavery shortly before the Civil War.

During the war, the Confederate States of America established an entity called the Arizona Territory, which had different boundaries from modern Arizona. According to historian Martin Hardwick Hall, invading Confederate troops brought an unknown number of enslaved African Americans into the territory. Historian Donald S. Frazier estimates there were as many as fifty black slaves brought by Confederate officials and troops, in his book Blood & Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest.

Charles W. Walton

For the New York politician, see Charles W. Walton (New York).Charles Wesley Walton (December 9, 1819 – January 24, 1900) was a United States Representative from Maine. He was born in Mexico, Maine where he attended the common schools and was also instructed at home and by private tutors. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in Oxford, Maine in 1841, and commenced practice in Mexico, Maine, in 1843.

Walton also practiced law in Dixfield, Maine and was the attorney for Oxford County, Maine 1847-1851. He moved to Auburn, Maine, in 1855 and continued the practice of law and was the attorney for Androscoggin County, Maine 1857-1860.

Walton was elected as a Republican to the 37th United States Congress and served from March 4, 1861, to May 26, 1862, when he resigned to accept a judicial appointment. He was the associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court 1862-1897 and was not a candidate for reappointment as his last term ended. He resided in Portland, Maine, until his death on January 24, 1900. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Confiscation Act of 1861

The Confiscation Act of 1861 was an act of Congress during the early months of the American Civil War permitting court proceedings for confiscation of any of property being used to support the Confederate independence effort, including slaves.

The bill passed the House of Representatives 60-48 and in the Senate 24-11. Abraham Lincoln was reluctant to sign the act; he felt that, in light of the Confederacy's recent battlefield victories, the bill would have no practical effect and might be seen as a desperate move. He was also worried that it could be struck down as unconstitutional, which would set a precedent that might derail future attempts at emancipation. Only personal lobbying by several powerful Senators persuaded Lincoln to sign the legislation, which he did on August 6, 1861. Due to the fact that the bill was based on military emancipation, no judicial proceedings were required and therefore Lincoln gave Attorney General Edward Bates no instructions on enforcing the bill. Within a year of its passage, tens of thousands of slaves had been freed by the First Confiscation Act.With respect to slaves, the act authorized court proceedings to strip their owners of any claim to them but did not clarify whether the slaves were free. As a result of this ambiguity, these slaves came under Union lines as property in the care of the U.S. government. In response to this situation, General David Hunter, the Union Army military commander of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, issued General Order No. 11 on May 9, 1862 freeing all slaves in areas under his command. Upon hearing of Hunter's action one week later, Lincoln immediately countermanded the order, thus returning the slaves to their former status as property in the care of the federal government.Before the act was passed, Benjamin Franklin Butler had been the first Union general to declare slaves as contraband. Some other Northern commanders followed this precedent, while officers from the border states were more likely to return escaped slaves to their masters. The Confiscation Act was an attempt to set a consistent policy throughout the army.

Crittenden–Johnson Resolution

The Crittenden–Johnson Resolution (also called the Crittenden Resolution and the War Aims Resolution) was a measure passed almost unanimously by the 37th United States Congress on July 25, 1861. The bill was introduced as the War Aims Resolution, but it became better known for its sponsors Representative John J. Crittenden of Kentucky and Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, both slaveholders from border states. The American Civil War had begun on April 12, 1861, with various southern states seceding in the following months. Both houses of Congress passed this resolution days after the First Battle of Bull Run made it clear that the war would not end quickly. It was passed almost unanimously in July, but sentiment shifted so much in the following months that it was defeated by a decisive majority in December.The resolution is sometimes confused with the "Crittenden Compromise," a series of unsuccessful proposals to amend the United States Constitution that were debated after slave states began seceding, in an attempt to prevent the Confederate States of America from leaving the Union. Both measures are sometimes confused with the Corwin Amendment, a proposal to amend the Constitution that was adopted by the 36th Congress which attempted to put slavery and other states' rights under Constitutional protection; it passed Congress but was not ratified by the states.

Edward Haight (politician)

Edward Haight (March 26, 1817 – September 15, 1885) was an American politician and businessman from New York City. He served in Congress during the American Civil War.

Haight was born on Park Place in New York City. He attended the common schools and was employed in a countinghouse early in life. In 1838, he entered the firm of Cromwell, Haight & Co., dry goods importers on Maiden Lane.

In 1839, Haight married Sarah Louise Burgoyne, of Charleston, South Carolina. He moved to Westchester, New York (now in The Bronx, but then in Westchester County) in 1850. He was a director of the National Bank of New York. He organized the Bank of the Commonwealth of New York City in 1856, and was its president until 1870. After 1870, he was in business with his son Edward Jr. in the brokerage firm of Haight & Company on Wall Street.

Haight was elected as a Democrat to the 37th United States Congress (March 4, 1861 - March 3, 1863). He was a War Democrat and in 1862 was an unsuccessful candidate of the Union Party, as the Republican Party was known that year, for reelection to the 38th United States Congress.

Haight died in Westchester, New York. He is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in New York City.

Enrollment Act

The Enrollment Act, 12 Stat. 731, enacted March 3, 1863, also known as the Civil War Military Draft Act, was legislation passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War to provide fresh manpower for the Union Army. A form of conscription, the controversial act required the enrollment of every male citizen and those immigrants who had filed for citizenship between ages twenty and forty-five. Federal agents established a quota of new troops due from each congressional district. In some cities, particularly New York City, enforcement of the act sparked civil unrest as the war dragged on, leading to the New York City draft riots on July 13–16. It replaced the previous Militia Act of 1862.

False Claims Act

The False Claims Act, also called the "Lincoln Law" is an American federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs. It is the federal Government's primary litigation tool in combating fraud against the Government. The law includes a qui tam provision that allows people who are not affiliated with the government, called "relators" under the law, to file actions on behalf of the government (informally called "whistleblowing" especially when the relator is employed by the organization accused in the suit). Persons filing under the Act stand to receive a portion (usually about 15–25 percent) of any recovered damages. As of 2012, over 70 percent of all federal Government FCA actions were initiated by whistleblowers. Claims under the law have typically involved health care, military, or other government spending programs, and dominate the list of largest pharmaceutical settlements. The government recovered $38.9 billion under the False Claims Act between 1987 and 2013 and of this amount, $27.2 billion or 70% was from qui tam cases brought by relators.

List of United States Senators in the 37th Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 37th United States Congress listed by seniority, from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1863.

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 1862 election) are listed at the end of the list with no number.

Mary Hayden Pike

Mary Hayden Pike (née Green) (30 November 1824 – 15 January 1908) American author born in Eastport, Maine to Elijah Dix Green and Hannah Caflin Hayden. She was educated in Calais, Maine and acquired religious convictions at the early age of twelve when she went through baptism in an icy stream. She graduated from the Charlestown Female Seminary (Massachusetts) in 1843. In 1846 she married Frederick A. Pike who later was elected to the 37th United States Congress.

Militia Act of 1862

The Militia Act of 1862, 12 Stat. 597, enacted July 17, 1862, was legislation enacted by the 37th United States Congress during the American Civil War that allowed African-Americans to participate as war laborers and soldiers for the first time since the Militia Act of 1792.

The act created controversy on several fronts. Praised by many abolitionists activists as a first step toward equality, it stipulated that the black recruits could be soldiers or manual laborers. Although black soldiers proved themselves as reputable soldiers, discrimination in pay and other areas remained widespread. According to the Militia Act of 1862, most soldiers of African descent were to receive $10 a month, with an additional reduction of $3 for clothing. Therefore, a black soldier's pay would be almost half as much as the white's wage of $13. According to historian Eric Foner, however, the difference in pay stemmed from the fact that the legislation envisioned blacks mainly as military laborers freeing up whites for combat. Many regiments struggled for equal pay, some refusing any money until June 15, 1864, when Congress vacated that portion of the Militia Act and granted equal pay for all black soldiers.

Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act

The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (37th United States Congress, Sess. 2., ch. 126, 12 Stat. 501) was a federal enactment of the United States Congress that was signed into law on July 8, 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. Sponsored by Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont, the act banned bigamy in federal territories such as Utah and limited church and non-profit ownership in any territory of the United States to $50,000.The act targeted the Mormon practice of plural marriage and the property dominance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Utah Territory. The measure had no funds allocated for enforcement, and Lincoln chose not to enforce this law; instead Lincoln gave Brigham Young tacit permission to ignore the Morrill Act in exchange for not becoming involved with the Civil War. General Patrick Edward Connor, commanding officer of the federal forces garrisoned at Fort Douglas, Utah beginning in 1862, was explicitly instructed not to confront the Mormons over this or any other issue.The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act was amended in 1882 by the Edmunds Act, and then again in 1887 by the Edmunds–Tucker Act.

Enforcement of these acts started in July 1887. The issue went to the Supreme Court in the case Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States that upheld the Edmunds–Tucker Act on May 19, 1890. Among other things, the act disincorporated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Within five months, the LDS Church officially discontinued the practice of plural marriage with the 1890 Manifesto. On October 25, 1893, a congressional resolution authorized the release of assets seized from the LDS Church because, "said church has discontinued the practice of polygamy and no longer encourages or gives countenance to any manner of practices in violation of law, or contrary to good morals or public policy."

Morrill Land-Grant Acts

The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are United States statutes that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges in U.S. states using the proceeds of federal land sales. The Morrill Act of 1862 (7 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.) was enacted during the American Civil War and the Morrill Act of 1890 (the Agricultural College Act of 1890 (26 Stat. 417, 7 U.S.C. § 321 et seq.)) expanded this model.

National Bank Act

The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 were two United States federal banking acts that established a system of national banks, and created the United States National Banking System. They encouraged development of a national currency backed by bank holdings of U.S. Treasury securities and established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as part of the United States Department of the Treasury and a system of nationally chartered banks. The Act shaped today's national banking system and its support of a uniform U.S. banking policy.

Pacific Railroad Acts

The Pacific Railroad Acts were a series of acts of Congress that promoted the construction of a "transcontinental railroad" (the Pacific Railroad) in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies. Although the War Department under then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis was authorized by the Congress in 1853 to conduct surveys of five different potential transcontinental routes from the Mississippi ranging from north to south and submitted a massive twelve volume report to Congress with the results in early 1855, no route or bill could be agreed upon and passed authorizing the Government's financial support and land grants until the secession of the southern states removed their opposition to a central route. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 (12 Stat. 489) was the original act. Some of its provisions were subsequently modified, expanded, or repealed by four additional amending Acts: The Pacific Railroad Act of 1863 (12 Stat. 807), Pacific Railroad Act of 1864 (13 Stat. 356), Pacific Railroad Act of 1865 (13 Stat. 504), and Pacific Railroad Act of 1866 (14 Stat. 66).

The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 began federal government grant of lands directly to corporations; before that act, the land grants were made to the states, for the benefit of corporations.

Revenue Act of 1861

The Revenue Act of 1861, formally cited as Act of August 5, 1861, Chap. XLV, 12 Stat. 292, included the first U.S. Federal income tax statute (see Sec.49). The Act, motivated by the need to fund the Civil War, imposed an income tax to be "levied, collected, and paid, upon the annual income of every person residing in the United States, whether such income is derived from any kind of property, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever [ . . . .]"

The tax imposed was a flat tax, with a rate of 3% on incomes above $800. The Revenue Act of 1861 was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. This Act introduced Federal income tax as a flat rate tax.

The income tax provision (Sections 49, 50 and 51) was repealed by the Revenue Act of 1862. (See Sec.89, which replaced the flat rate with a progressive scale of 3% on annual incomes beyond $600 ($12,742 in 2009 dollars) and 5% on incomes above $10,000 ($212,369 in 2009 dollars) or those living outside the U.S., and perhaps more significantly it was explicitly temporary, specifying termination of income tax in "the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six").

Samuel L. Casey

Samuel Lewis Casey (February 12, 1821 – August 25, 1902) was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky. Born near Caseyville, Kentucky, Casey attended the country schools. He engaged in mercantile pursuits.In 1853, President of the United States Franklin Pierce nominated Casey to be Treasurer of the United States. Casey held this office from April 4, 1853 to December 22, 1859. He served as member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1860 to 1862.Casey was elected as a Unionist to the 37th United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the expulsion of Henry C. Burnett and served as representative of Kentucky's 1st congressional district from March 10, 1862, to March 4, 1863.Casey then retired from active business pursuits. He died in Saint Joseph, Missouri on August 25, 1902. He was cremated and his ashes interred in Caseyville Cemetery, Caseyville, Kentucky.

Tenth Circuit Act of 1863

The Tenth Circuit Act of 1863 (12 Stat. 794) was a federal statute which increased the size of the Supreme Court of the United States from nine justices to ten, and which also reorganized the circuit courts of the federal judiciary. The newly created Tenth Circuit consisted of California and Oregon, and addressed the judicial needs of the newly-created western states. The Act became effective on March 3, 1863, during the Lincoln administration.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the supreme court of the United States shall hereafter consist of a chief justice and nine associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum; and for this purpose there shall be appointed one additional associate justice of said court, with the like powers, and to take the same oaths, perform the same duties, and be entitled to the same salary, as the other associate justices.

United States Congresses (and year convened)

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