The Forty-second 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, 1871, to March 4, 1873, during the third and fourth years of Ulysses S. Grant's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eighth Census of the United States in 1860. Both chambers had a Republican majority.
|42nd United States Congress|
United States Capitol (1877)
|March 4, 1871 – March 4, 1873|
|Senate President||Schuyler Colfax (R)|
|Senate President pro tem||Henry B. Anthony (R)|
|House Speaker||James G. Blaine (R)|
243 members of the House
10 non-voting delegates
|1st: March 4, 1871 – April 20, 1871|
2nd: December 4, 1871 – June 10, 1872
3rd: December 2, 1872 – March 4, 1873
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.
(shading shows control)
|End of the previous congress||12||0||62||74||0|
|Final voting share||23.6%||1.4%||75.0%|
|Beginning of the next congress||19||3||50||72||2|
(shading shows control)
|End of the previous congress||67||0||0||169|| (Conservative)
|Final voting share||40.1%||0.4%||1.2%||58.3%||0.0%|
|Beginning of the next congress||91||0||4||189||
This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.
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 re-election in 1874; Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1876; and Class 3 meant their term ended in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1872.
The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.
The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.
|Vacator||Reason for change||Successor||Date of successor's|
|Virginia (2)||Vacant||Legislature had failed to elect.
Previous incumbent re-elected March 15, 1871.
|John W. Johnston (D)||March 15, 1871|
|Georgia (2)||Vacant||Foster Blodgett presented credentials as Senator-elect, but the Senate declared him not elected.
Successor elected November 14, 1871.
|Thomas M. Norwood (D)||November 14, 1871|
|Mississippi (2)||Vacant||Delayed taking seat in order to serve as Governor of Mississippi||James L. Alcorn (R)||December 1, 1871|
|North Carolina (2)||Vacant||Legislature had failed to elect.
Successor elected January 30, 1872.
|Matt W. Ransom (D)||January 30, 1872|
|Kentucky (3)||Garrett Davis (D)||Died September 22, 1872.
Successor appointed September 27, 1872.
Appointee was later elected January 21, 1873, to finish the term.
|Willis B. Machen (D)||September 27, 1872|
|Louisiana (3)||William P. Kellogg (R)||Resigned November 1, 1872, after being elected Governor of Louisiana||Vacant||Not filled this Congress|
|Massachusetts (2)||Henry Wilson (R)||Resigned March 3, 1873, after being elected U.S. Vice President||Vacant||Not filled this Congress|
|District||Vacator||Reason for change||Successor||Date of successor's|
|District of Columbia At-large||New seat||District of Columbia's At-large district created March 4, 1871, and remained vacant until April 21, 1871||Norton P. Chipman (R)||April 21, 1871|
|Illinois At-large||Vacant||Rep. John A. Logan resigned at the end of the previous congress after being elected to the US Senate||John L. Beveridge (R)||November 7, 1871|
|Michigan 4th||Vacant||Rep. Thomas W. Ferry resigned at the end of the previous congress after being elected to the US Senate||Wilder D. Foster (R)||December 4, 1871|
|Illinois 6th||Burton C. Cook (R)||Resigned August 26, 1871||Henry Snapp (R)||December 4, 1871|
|Louisiana 4th||James McCleery (R)||Died November 5, 1871||Alexander Boarman (LR)||December 3, 1872|
|Massachusetts 9th||William B. Washburn (R)||Resigned December 5, 1871, after being elected Governor of Massachusetts||Alvah Crocker (R)||January 2, 1872|
|Arkansas 3rd||John Edwards (LR)||Lost contested election February 9, 1872||Thomas Boles (R)||February 9, 1872|
|Massachusetts 7th||George M. Brooks (R)||Resigned May 13, 1872, after becoming judge of probate for Middlesex County||Constantine C. Esty (R)||December 2, 1872|
|Texas 3rd||William T. Clark (R)||Lost contested election May 13, 1872||Dewitt C. Giddings (D)||December 13, 1872|
|Ohio 1st||Aaron F. Perry (R)||Resigned July 14, 1872||Ozro J. Dodds (D)||October 9, 1872|
|Georgia 4th||Thomas J. Speer (R)||Died August 18, 1872||Erasmus W. Beck (D)||December 2, 1872|
|Connecticut 1st||Julius L. Strong (R)||Died September 7, 1872||Joseph R. Hawley (R)||December 2, 1872|
|Pennsylvania 13th||Ulysses Mercur (R)||Resigned December 2, 1872, after becoming an assoc. justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania||Frank C. Bunnell (R)||December 24, 1872|
|Illinois At-large||John L. Beveridge (R)||Resigned January 4, 1873, after being elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois||Vacant||Not filled this term|
|South Carolina 2nd||Robert C. De Large (R)||Seat declared vacant January 24, 1873, after election was contested by Christopher C. Bowen||Vacant||Not filled this term|
|Florida At-large||Josiah T. Walls (R)||Lost contested election January 29, 1873||Silas L. Niblack (D)||January 29, 1873|
Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (1 link), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, on the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.
The 1870 United States elections occurred in the middle of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant's first term, during the Third Party System. Members of the 42nd United States Congress were chosen in this election. The election took place during the Reconstruction Era, and many Southerners were barred from voting. It was also the first election after the passage of the 15th Amendment, which prohibits state and federal governments from denying the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (although disenfranchisement would continue). The Republican Party maintained a majority in both houses of Congress, although Democrats picked up several seats in both chambers.
In the House, Democrats won major gains, but Republicans retained a solid majority.In the Senate, Democrats won moderate gains, but Republicans retained a commanding majority.1872 State of the Union Address
The 1872 State of the Union Address was given by Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th United States President, on December 2, 1872. He did not speak it to the 42nd United States Congress, because that was the custom at the time. He said, "In transmitting to you this my fourth annual message it is with thankfulness to the Giver of All Good that as a nation we have been blessed for the past year with peace at home, peace abroad, and a general prosperity vouchsafed to but few peoples." IT was given during the Reconstruction Era, when African Americans were freed.Amnesty Act
The Amnesty Act of 1872 was a United States federal law passed on May 22, 1872 which reversed most of the penalties imposed on former Confederates by the Fourteenth Amendment, adopted on July 9, 1868. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion, or treason. However, the section provided that a two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress could override this limitation. The 1872 act was passed by the 42nd United States Congress and the original restrictive Act was passed by the United States Congress in May 1866.Specifically, the 1872 Act removed voting restrictions and office-holding disqualification against most of the secessionists who rebelled in the American Civil War, except for senators and Representatives of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses and officers in the judicial, military, and naval service of the United States, heads of Departments, and foreign ministers of the United States.In the spirit of the act, then United States President Ulysses S. Grant, by proclamation dated June 1, 1872, directed all district attorneys having charge of proceedings and prosecutions against those who had been disqualified by the Fourteenth Amendment to dismiss and discontinue them, except as to persons who fall within the exceptions named in the act. President Grant also pardoned all but 500 former top Confederate leaders.
The 1872 Act affected over 150,000 former Confederate troops who had taken part in the American Civil War.Benjamin S. Turner
Benjamin Sterling Turner (March 17, 1825, Weldon, North Carolina – March 21, 1894, Selma, Alabama) was an American businessman and politician who served in the United States House of Representatives representing Alabama's 1st congressional district in the 42nd United States Congress.Comstock laws
The Comstock Laws were a set of federal acts passed by the United States Congress under the Grant administration along with related state laws. The "parent" act (Sect. 211) was passed on March 3, 1873, as the Act for the "Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use". This Act criminalized usage of the U.S. Postal Service to send any of the following items:
personal letters with any sexual content or information
or any information regarding the above items.A similar federal act (Sect. 245) of 1909 applied to delivery by interstate "express" or any other common carrier (such as railroad, instead of delivery by the U.S. Postal Service).
In Washington, D.C., where the federal government had direct jurisdiction, another Comstock act (Sect. 312) also made it illegal (punishable by up to 5 years at hard labor), to sell, lend, or give away any "obscene" publication, or article used for contraception or abortion. Section 305 of the Tariff Act of 1922 forbade the importation of any contraceptive information or means.In addition to these federal laws, about half of the states enacted laws related to the federal Comstock laws. These state laws are considered by Dennett to also be "Comstock laws".
The laws were named after their chief proponent, Anthony Comstock. Comstock received a commission from the Postmaster General to serve as a special agent for the U.S. Postal Service.Numerous failed attempts were made to repeal or modify these laws and eventually, many of them (or portions of them) were declared unconstitutional. In 1919 in a law journal, a judge, after reviewing the various laws (especially state laws) called the set of them "haphazard and capricious" and lacking "any clear, broad, well-defined principle or purpose".Emanuel Fortune
Emanuel Fortune (3 January 1833 – 27 January 1897) was an American politician who represented Jackson Country.
Fortune was born into slavery in 1832 on the Waddell Plantation near Marianna, Florida. Fortune worked as a shoemaker before entering politics. Fortune was a African Methodist Episcopal Church layman and was appointed to the county board of voter registration. In the 1850s Fortune married Sarah Jane Miers; the couple's son, Timothy Thomas Fortune, became a noted radical newspaper editor and activist for African American rights..
Fortune was elected to the 1868 Florida Constitutional Convention as one of four representatives for Jackson County. Fortune was forced to leave Jackson Country due to lawlessness and served the remainder of his elected term in Jacksonville.In November 1871 Jackson testified at the United States Senate Select Committee on Outrages in Southern States, a special session of the 42nd United States Congress that investigated Ku Klux Klan violence in North Carolina and Florida. Jackson was questioned by the chairman of the committee, Henry Wilson, and Thomas F. Bayard. Jackson testified as to the difficulty that black farmers had in obtaining small parcels of land and the racially motivated attacks and violence that he had witnessed.Fortune is buried at the Old Jacksonville City Cemetery in Duval County, Florida.Harrison E. Havens
Harrison Eugene Havens (December 15, 1837 – August 16, 1916) was an American lawyer and politician. He was born in Franklin County, Ohio and was the Republican Party Representative from Missouri for the 4th District in the 42nd United States Congress between 1871 and 1873, and for the 6th District in the 43rd United States Congress from 1873 to 1875.Jabez G. Sutherland
Jabez Gridley Sutherland (October 6, 1825 – November 20, 1902) was a politician and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan.
Sutherland was born in Van Buren, New York. He completed preparatory studies, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1848. He commenced practice in Saginaw, Michigan and served as prosecuting attorney of Saginaw County in 1848 and 1849.
Sutherland was delegate to the State constitutional conventions in 1850 and 1867 and was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives in 1853. He served as judge of the tenth circuit court of Michigan from 1863 to 1871, when he resigned to enter Congress.
Sutherland was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 6th congressional district to the 42nd United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1873. He was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1872.
Sutherland moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1873 and resumed the practice of law. He was also a member of the faculty of what is now the University of Utah in 1889 and president of the Territorial Bar Association in 1894 and 1895. In 1891 he published the influential legal treatise "Statutes and Statutory Construction," which remains an influential guide for how statutes should be interpreted. He moved to California in 1897.
Sutherland died in Berkeley, California and is interred in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City.Jackson Orr
Jackson Orr (September 21, 1832 – March 15, 1926) was a lawyer, Civil War officer, businessman, and two-term Republican U.S. Representative from western Iowa. Continuing westward, he spent the last five decades of his life in Colorado.
Born at Washington Court House, Ohio, Orr moved with his parents to Benton, Indiana, in 1836.
He attended the common schools and Indiana University at Bloomington.
He moved to Jefferson, Iowa, in 1856. He studied law and was admitted to the bar.
From 1861 to 1863, he served in the Union Army as captain of Company H, 10th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment .
He engaged in mercantile pursuits in the City of Montana (now Boone), Iowa, and served as member of the Iowa House of Representatives in 1868. That year, (when Iowa had six seats in the U.S. House), he fell two votes short of winning the Republican nomination to represent Iowa's 6th congressional district.In 1870 Orr won the Republican nomination, and was elected to represent the 6th district in the 42nd United States Congress. Based on the 1870 census, Iowa received three more seats in the House, and Orr's home county was then included in Iowa's new 9th congressional district. Running in the new district, Orr won election to the 43rd United States Congress, where he chaired the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior. He served in Congress from March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1875.
Orr was not a candidate for renomination in 1874, but instead moved to Silverton, a mining town in a newly opened area of southwestern Colorado Territory, in 1875.
In Colorado, Orr was elected county judge and served for three years. He moved to Denver, Colorado, and engaged in the practice of his profession and also in the real estate business. In 1882, President Chester A. Arthur appointed him as one of three commissioners to implement a treaty between the United States and the Ute tribe. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Colorado's at-large Congressional seat in 1884. He served as president of the Denver Fire and Police Board in 1893 and 1894.
He died in Denver on March 15, 1926. He was interred in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.James C. Harper
James Clarence Harper (December 6, 1819 – January 8, 1890) was a United States Representative in Congress from the state of North Carolina for one term (1871–1873). Harper was born in Pennsylvania but moved in 1840 to what would soon become Caldwell County, North Carolina. A Democrat, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the special election of 1865, after receiving, in August of that year, a pardon from President Andrew Johnson for his part in "the late rebellion." He was re-elected in 1866. Harper was seemingly elected again in 1868, but the election was later declared illegal.In 1870, Harper was elected to the 42nd United States Congress as a Democrat or "Conservative," as some North Carolina Democrats were calling themselves at the time. He did not run for re-election in 1872.
Harper was the father-in-law of Judge Clinton A. Cilley. Many of Harper's papers, including almost fifty years of his diaries, can be found in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This James C. Harper should not be confused with his relative, Captain James Cunningham Harper (1893–1986), who became a famous band director in Lenoir, NC.Leonard Myers
Leonard Myers (November 13, 1827 – February 11, 1905) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania during the American Civil War and the early years of Reconstruction.List of United States Senators in the 42nd Congress by seniority
This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 42nd United States Congress listed by seniority, from March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1873.
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 1872 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 42nd Congress by seniority
This is a complete list of members of the United States House of Representatives during the 42nd United States Congress listed by seniority.
As an historical article, the districts and party affiliations listed reflect those during the 42nd Congress (March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873). 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.Second Enforcement Act
The Enforcement Act of 1871, sometimes called the Civil Rights Act of 1871 or the Second Ku Klux Klan Act, was a United States federal law. The act was the second of three Enforcement Acts passed by the United States Congress from 1870 to 1871 during the Reconstruction Era to combat attacks on the suffrage rights of African Americans from groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Republican Representative John C. Churchill from New York introduced his bill H.R. 2634 in the 41st United States Congress. The bill was passed by Congress in February 1871 and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on February 28, 1871.Seth Wakeman
Seth Wakeman (January 15, 1811 – January 4, 1880) was a U.S. Representative from New York.
Wakeman was born in Franklin, Vermont, the son of Nathan Wakeman and Phoebe Johnston. Nathan Wakeman's family soon moved to Pembroke, New York. He joined the New York Militia for the War of 1812, and died in Malone, New York while on military duty.
Seth Wakeman attended the common schools in Pembroke. He served as a constable and justice of the peace, and studied law.
He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Batavia, New York. A Whig, he served in other offices, including Genesee County Treasurer, and from 1850 to 1856 he was Genesee County District Attorney.
He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Genesee Co, 1st D.) in 1856 and 1857.
He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1867 and 1868.
Wakeman was elected as a Republican to the 42nd United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1873. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.
He died in Batavia, New York, January 4, 1880. He was interred in Elmwood Cemetery.Third Enforcement Act
The Enforcement Act of 1871 (17 Stat. 13), also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Force Act of 1871, Ku Klux Klan Act, Third Enforcement Act, or Third Ku Klux Klan Act, is an Act of the United States Congress which empowered the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to combat the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacy organizations. The act was passed by the 42nd United States Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on April 20, 1871. The act was the last of three Enforcement Acts passed by the United States Congress from 1870 to 1871 during the Reconstruction Era to combat attacks upon the suffrage rights of African Americans. The statute has been subject to only minor changes since then, but has been the subject of voluminous interpretation by courts.
This legislation was asked for by President Grant and passed within one month of when the president sent the request to Congress. Grant's request was a result of the reports he was receiving of widespread racial threats in the Deep South, particularly in South Carolina. He felt that he needed to have his authority broadened before he could effectively intervene. After the act's passage, the president had the power for the first time to both suppress state disorders on his own initiative and to suspend the right of habeas corpus. Grant did not hesitate to use this authority on numerous occasions during his presidency, and as a result the first era KKK was completely dismantled and did not resurface in any meaningful way until the first part of the 20th century. Several of its provisions still exist today as codified statutes. The most important of these is 42 U.S.C. § 1983: Civil action for deprivation of rights.Timber Culture Act
The Timber Culture Act was a follow-up act to the Homestead Act. The Timber Culture Act was passed by Congress in 1873. The act allowed homesteaders to get another 160 acres (65 ha) of land if they planted trees on one-fourth of the land, because the land was "almost one entire plain of grass, which is and ever must be useless to cultivating man." (qtd. in Daily Life on the 19th Century American Frontier by Aleesha White)William G. Donnan
William G. Donnan (June 30, 1834 – December 4, 1908) was a pioneer lawyer, Civil War officer, and two-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 3rd congressional district during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Born in West Charlton, a hamlet in Saratoga County, New York, Donnan attended the district schools and Cambridge Academy.
He was graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, in 1856.
He moved to Independence, Iowa, in 1856.
After studying law, he was admitted to the bar in 1856, and commenced practice at Independence in 1857. From 1857 to 1862, he was the treasurer and recorder of Buchanan County, Iowa.
In 1862, he entered the Union Army as a private in Company H, 27th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to the grade of first lieutenant and brevetted captain and major. He was adjutant on the staff of Gen. James Isham Gilbert. His hundred twenty-eight letters written to his wife Mary during the War are a valuable historical resource.
Following the War, he was elected to the Iowa Senate, initially serving in 1868 and 1870. He was largely instrumental in securing the establishment of the Mental Health Institute (formerly called the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane) at Independence.In 1870, incumbent Republican Third District Congressman William B. Allison focused on winning election to the U.S. Senate, and thus declined to seek re-election to his House seat. Donnan was elected as a Republican to succeed him, serving in the 42nd United States Congress. Donnan was re-elected two years later (in 1872), to serve in the Forty-third Congress. He declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1874. In all, he served in Congress from March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1875.
After his term ended, he resumed the practice of law at Independence, and remained active in politics. He was again elected to the Iowa Senate, serving from 1884 to 1886. He served as delegate-at-large to the 1884 Republican National Convention, and as chairman of the Republican State Central Committee from 1884 to 1886.
He later became president of the First National Bank of Independence. He died in Independence, on December 4, 1908. He was interred in Oakwood Cemetery.
The now-disincorporated town of Donnan, Iowa, in Fayette County was named for him.
United States Congresses (and year convened)