49th United States Congress

The Forty-ninth 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, 1885, to March 4, 1887, during the first two years of Grover Cleveland's first presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.

49th United States Congress
48th ←
→ 50th
March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1887
Senate PresidentThomas A. Hendricks (D)
until November 25, 1885
from November 25, 1885
Senate President pro temJohn Sherman (R)
John Ingalls (R)
House SpeakerJohn Carlisle (D)
Members76 senators
325 members of the House
8 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityDemocratic
Special: March 4, 1885 – April 2, 1885
1st: December 7, 1885 – August 5, 1886
2nd: December 6, 1886 – March 3, 1887

Major events

Cleveland Inauguration 1885
First presidential inauguration of Grover Cleveland, March 4, 1885, on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. "Fellow-Citizens: In the presence of this vast assemblage of my countrymen I am about to supplement and seal by the oath which I shall take the manifestation of the will of a great and free people…."[1]

Major legislation

Party summary

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)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 36 2 38 76 0
Begin 34 2 37 73 3
End 40 760
Final voting share 44.7% 2.6% 52.6%
Beginning of the next congress 36 1 38 75 1

House of Representatives

49 us house membership
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% to 100% Democratic
  80+% to 100% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Republican

TOTAL members: 325



House of Representatives



Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1886; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1888; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1890.

Thomas Andrews Hendricks
Senate President
Thomas A. Hendricks
Senate President pro tempore
John Sherman
Senate President pro tempore
John J. Ingalls

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are listed by district.

John Griffin Carlisle, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880
House Speaker
John G: Carlisle

Changes in membership

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


  • replacements: 7
  • deaths: 3
  • resignations: 6
  • interim appointments: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 9
Vacator Reason for Vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
New Hampshire
Vacant Appointed to fill vacancy in term. Henry W. Blair (R) March 5, 1885
Vacant Failure to elect. Charles N. Felton (R) November 18, 1885
Augustus H. Garland (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Attorney General. Successor was elected. James H. Berry (D) March 20, 1885
Thomas F. Bayard (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Secretary of State. Successor was elected. George Gray (D) March 18, 1885
Lucius Q. C. Lamar II (D) Resigned March 6, 1885, after being appointed United States Secretary of the Interior. Successor was appointed and subsequently elected. Edward C. Walthall (D) March 9, 1885
John F. Miller (R) Died March 8, 1886. Successor was appointed. George Hearst (D) March 23, 1886
Howell E. Jackson (D) Resigned April 14, 1886, after being appointed judge for the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit. Successor was appointed. Washington C. Whitthorne (D) April 16, 1886
George Hearst (D) Successor was elected August 4, 1886. Abram Williams (R) March 23, 1886
New Hampshire
Austin F. Pike (R) Died October 8, 1886. Successor was appointed. Person C. Cheney (R) January 19, 1887
John A. Logan (R) Died December 26, 1886. Successor was elected. Charles B. Farwell (R) January 19, 1887

House of Representatives

  • replacements: 11
  • deaths: 8
  • resignations: 7
  • contested election: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 16
District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor seated
Pennsylvania 19th Vacant Elected to finish term of Rep. William A. Duncan resigned during previous congress John A. Swope (D) November 3, 1885
Arkansas 3rd Vacant Elected to finish term of Rep. James K. Jones resigned during previous congress Thomas C. McRae (D) December 7, 1885
New York 8th Samuel S. Cox (D) Resigned May 20, 1885, after being appointed Minister to the Ottoman Empire Timothy J. Campbell (D) November 3, 1885
Illinois 5th Reuben Ellwood (R) Died July 1, 1885 Albert J. Hopkins (R) December 7, 1885
Wisconsin 5th Joseph Rankin (D) Died January 24, 1886 Thomas R. Hudd (D) March 8, 1886
Louisiana 2nd Michael Hahn (R) Died March 15, 1886 Nathaniel D. Wallace (D) December 9, 1886
New York 9th Joseph Pulitzer (D) Resigned April 10, 1886 Samuel S. Cox (D) November 2, 1886
Maryland 3rd William H. Cole (D) Died July 8, 1886 Harry W. Rusk (D) November 2, 1886
New York 15th Lewis Beach (D) Died August 10, 1886 Henry Bacon (D) December 6, 1886
New York 28th John Arnot, Jr. (D) Died November 20, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
Wisconsin 8th William T. Price (R) Died December 6, 1886 Hugh H. Price (R) January 18, 1887
New York 12th Abraham Dowdney (D) Died December 10, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
New York 10th Abram Hewitt (D) Resigned December 30, 1886, after being elected Mayor of New York Vacant until next Congress
North Carolina 5th James W. Reid (D) Resigned December 31, 1886 Vacant until next Congress
New Jersey 3rd Robert S. Green (D) Resigned January 17, 1887, after being elected Governor of New Jersey Vacant until next Congress
Rhode Island 2nd William A. Pirce (R) Seat declared vacant January 25, 1887, due to election irregularities Charles H. Page (D) February 21, 1887


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 (5 links), 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.


House of Representatives

Joint committees

  • Conditions of Indian Tribes (Special)
  • Scientific Bureaus




House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ "THE 25th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION / Grover Cleveland / March 4, 1885". United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
  • 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

1884 United States House of Representatives elections in California

The United States House of Representatives elections in California, 1884 was an election for California's delegation to the United States House of Representatives, which occurred as part of the general election of the House of Representatives on November 4, 1884. Republicans won both newly created districts and three of the four existing districts.

1884 United States elections

The 1884 United States elections was held on November 4, electing the members of the 49th United States Congress. The election took place during the Third Party System.

In the Presidential election, Democratic Governor Grover Cleveland of New York defeated Republican former Secretary of State James G. Blaine. Though Cleveland won the popular vote by less than 1%, he won by a fairly comfortable margin in the electoral college. Cleveland won the South and the critical state of New York, while Blaine took most of the rest of the country. This was the most recent example of an incumbent President being denied nomination by his party for another term, as Blaine defeated President Chester A. Arthur at the 1884 Republican National Convention. Cleveland took the Democratic nomination on the second ballot of the 1884 Democratic National Convention, defeating Delaware Senator Thomas F. Bayard and several other candidates. Cleveland's win made him the first Democratic President to win election since the 1856 election.

Republicans picked up several seats in the House, but Democrats continued to command a majority in the chamber. In the Senate, Republicans made moderate gains and established a clear majority.

Agricultural Experiment Stations Act of 1887

Agricultural Experiment Stations Act of 1887 is a United States federal statute establishing agricultural research by the governance of the United States land-grant colleges as enacted by the Land-Grant Agricultural and Mechanical College Act of 1862. The agricultural experiment station alliance was granted fiscal appropriations by the enactment of the Hatch Act of 1887. The Act of Congress defines the basis of the agricultural experiments and scientific research by the State or Territory educational institutions.

B. O. Cutter House

The B.O. Cutter House is a house in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. It was built in 1856 by master carpenter B.O. Cutter, who was working on other buildings around the University of Minnesota. He built this house on the outskirts of the campus at the time. The house was built in the Carpenter Gothic style with hand-carved molding around the eaves. In 1869, he sold the house to John Gilfillan, who was an educator, regent of the University of Minnesota, banker, attorney, and a U.S. representative in the 49th United States Congress.The house was remodeled in 1943, at which point it was covered in stucco. The interior was remodeled in 1949 to accommodate the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. It was heavily damaged in a 1992 fire, but was restored. It now houses the local chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Dawes Act

The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887), authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Native Americans. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe would be granted United States citizenship. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891, in 1898 by the Curtis Act, and again in 1906 by the Burke Act.

The Act was named for its creator, Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts. The objectives of the Dawes Act were to abolish tribal and communal land ownership of the tribes into individual land ownership rights in order to transfer lands under Native American control to white settlers and stimulate assimilation of them into mainstream American society, and thereby lift individual Native Americans out of poverty. Individual household ownership of land and subsistence farming on the European-American model was seen as an essential step. The act provided that the government would classify as "excess" those Indian reservation lands remaining after allotments, and sell those lands on the open market, allowing purchase and settlement by non-Native Americans.

The Dawes Commission, set up under an Indian Office appropriation bill in 1893, was created to try to persuade the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to allotment plans. (They had been excluded from the Dawes Act by their treaties.) This commission registered the members of the Five Civilized Tribes on what became known as the Dawes Rolls.

The Curtis Act of 1898 amended the Dawes Act to extend its provisions to the Five Civilized Tribes; it required abolition of their governments, allotment of communal lands to people registered as tribal members, and sale of lands declared surplus, as well as dissolving tribal courts. This completed the extinguishment of tribal land titles in Indian Territory, preparing it to be admitted to the Union as the state of Oklahoma.

During the ensuing decades, the Five Civilized Tribes sold off 90 million acres of former communal lands to non-Natives. In addition, many individuals, unfamiliar with land ownership, became the target of speculators and criminals, were stuck with allotments that were too small for profitable farming, and lost their household lands. Tribe members also suffered from the breakdown of the social structure of the tribes.

During the Great Depression, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration supported passage on June 18, 1934 of the US Indian Reorganization Act (also known as the Wheeler-Howard Law). It ended land allotment and created a "New Deal" for Native Americans, renewing their rights to reorganize and form their self-governments.

Edgar Weeks

Edgar Weeks (August 3, 1839 – December 17, 1904) was a military officer, judge and politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Edmunds–Tucker Act

The Edmunds–Tucker Act of 1887 was an Act of Congress that focused on restricting some practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It was passed in response to the dispute between the United States Congress and the LDS Church regarding polygamy. The act is found in US Code Title 48 & 1461, full text as 24 Stat. 635, with this annotation to be interpreted as Volume 24, page 635 of United States Statutes at Large. The act is named after its congressional sponsors, Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont and Congressman John Randolph Tucker of Virginia.

The act was repealed in 1978.

Eustace Gibson

Eustace Gibson (October 4, 1842 - December 10, 1900) was a Democratic politician and lawyer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, who served in the Confederate Army and in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868. He moved to the State of West Virginia, where he served as a delegate and Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, and then as representative from the now-defunct Fourth Congressional District of West Virginia for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Frederick A. Johnson

For other people named Frederick Johnson, see Frederick Johnson.Frederick Avery Johnson (January 2, 1833 – July 17, 1893) was an American politician and banker who served a U.S. Representative from New York from 1883 to 1887. He was a member of the Republican Party and a resident of Glens Falls, New York.

Harry Welles Rusk

Harry Welles Rusk (October 17, 1852 – January 28, 1926) was a U.S. Representative from the third district of Maryland. He was also the president of the Kennard Novelty Company in Baltimore. This was the first company to commercially sell ouija boards in 1890.

Rusk was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended private school for his primary education. In 1866 Rusk graduated from high school from Baltimore City College. Rusk obtained a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1872 and was admitted to the bar in 1873. Following his admission to the Maryland State Bar, Rusk began practicing law in Baltimore. Rusk served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1876 to 1880. Subsequently, Rusk was elected and served in the Maryland State Senate from 1882 to 1884. In 1884, Rusk served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Following the death of William H. Cole, Rusk was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 49th United States Congress. Rusk served for five subsequent terms. In the 52nd Congress and 53rd Congress, Rusk was chairman of the Committee on Accounts.

After declining to run for reelection in 1896, Rusk became chairman of the Democratic State central committee for Baltimore. Rusk served in this capacity from 1898 to 1908. Thereafter, Rusk resumed practicing law in Baltimore. On January 28, 1926, Rusk died in Baltimore and was interred in Green Mount Cemetery.

Hatch Act of 1887

The Hatch Act of 1887 (ch. 314, 24 Stat. 440, enacted 1887-03-02, 7 U.S.C. § 361a et seq.) gave federal funds, initially of $15,000 each, to state land-grant colleges in order to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth. The bill was named for Congressman William Hatch, who chaired the House Committee of Agriculture at the time the bill was introduced. State agricultural stations created under this act were usually connected with those land-grant state colleges and universities founded under the Morrill Act of 1862, with few exceptions.

Many stations founded under the Hatch Act later became the foundations for state cooperative extension services under the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.

Congress amended the act in 1955 to add a formula that uses rural and farm population factors to allocate the annual appropriation for agricultural experiment stations among the states. Under the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171, Sec. 7212), states will continue to be required to provide at least 100% matching funds (traditionally, most states have provided more). On average, Hatch Act formula funds constitute 10% of total funding for each experiment station. (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.).

Jeremiah Henry Murphy

Jeremiah Henry Murphy (February 19, 1835 – December 11, 1893) was a two-term Democratic U.S. Representative from Iowa's 2nd congressional district.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Murphy moved with his parents to Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, in 1849, and to Iowa County, Iowa, in 1852.

He attended the Boston public schools and Appleton (Wisconsin) University.

He graduated from the University of Iowa at Iowa City in 1857.

After studying law, he was admitted to the bar in 1858 and commenced practice in Marengo, Iowa.

Murphy was elected alderman in 1860.

He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1864 and 1868.

In 1867, he moved to Davenport, Iowa and continued the practice of law.

Murphy was elected mayor of Davenport in 1873 and again in 1878.

He served one term as a member of the Iowa Senate from 1874 to 1878.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to represent Iowa's 2nd congressional district in the Forty-fifth Congress.

In 1882, Murphy again ran for Congress, challenging a freshman incumbent Republican, Sewall S. Farwell. After Murphy won the general election, he took his seat in the 48th United States Congress. Then, after winning re-election two years later (in 1884), he served in the 49th United States Congress. However, when seeking a third term in 1886, Murphy was defeated in the Democratic district convention, by Walter I. Hayes. In all, Murphy served in Congress from March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1887. Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, Murphy and Hayes were the only two Democratic congressmen from Iowa to serve two or more full terms.

He lived in retirement in Washington, D.C., until his death in that city on December 11, 1893. He was interred in St. Marguerite's Cemetery, in Davenport.

List of United States Senators in the 49th Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 49th United States Congress listed by seniority, from March 4, 1885, to March 3, 1887.

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 1886 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 49th Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States House of Representatives during the 49th United States Congress listed by seniority.

As an historical article, the districts and party affiliations listed reflect those during the 49th Congress (March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1887). 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.

Nathaniel B. Eldredge

Nathaniel Buel Eldredge (March 28, 1813 – November 27, 1893) was a physician, infantry officer, lawyer, sheriff, and ultimately a two-term Democratic congressman from the State of Michigan.

Presidential Succession Act

In the United States, a Presidential Succession Act is a federal statute establishing the presidential line of succession. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact such a statute:... Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected. Congress has enacted a Presidential Succession Act on three occasions: 1792 (1 Stat. 239), 1886 (24 Stat. 1), and 1947 (61 Stat. 380). The 1947 Act was last revised in 2006.

Although none of these succession acts have ever been invoked, having to do so was a distinct possibility on several occasions. However, the future likelihood that a speaker, president pro tempore, or cabinet member will be called upon to be acting president has diminished greatly due to the Twenty-fifth Amendment's provision for filling vice presidential vacancies.

Tucker Act

The Tucker Act (March 3, 1887, ch. 359, 24 Stat. 505, 28 U.S.C. § 1491) is a federal statute of the United States by which the United States government has waived its sovereign immunity with respect to certain lawsuits.

The Tucker Act may be divided into the "Big" Tucker Act, which applies to claims above $10,000 and gives jurisdiction to the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the "Little" Tucker Act (28 U.S.C. § 1346), the current version of which gives concurrent jurisdiction to the Court of Federal Claims and the District Courts "for the recovery of any internal-revenue tax alleged to have been erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or any penalty claimed to have been collected without authority or any sum alleged to have been excessive or in any manner wrongfully collected under the internal-revenue laws", and for claims below $10,000.

William E. Fuller

William Elijah Fuller (March 30, 1846 – April 23, 1918), was an attorney, and a two-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 4th congressional district in northeastern Iowa during the 1880s.

Born in Howard, Pennsylvania, Fuller moved with his parents to West Union, Iowa, in 1853.

He attended the common schools, and the Upper Iowa University at nearby Fayette. In 1866 and 1867, he held a position in the Office of Indian Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior. He then attended the University of Iowa College of Law at Iowa City, where he received his law degree in June 1870. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in West Union.

He served as member of the West Union Board of Education for six years.

In 1876 and 1877 he served as member of the Iowa House of Representatives.

He also served as member of the Republican state and congressional district committees.

In 1884 Fuller ran as a Republican to represent Iowa's 4th congressional district in the U.S. House. After winning the Republican nomination, he defeated incumbent Greenback Party Congressman Luman Hamlin Weller, who had become known in Washington as "Calamity" Weller. After serving one term in the 49th United States Congress, Fuller won the customary re-election that the district gave to incumbents, and served in the 50th United States Congress. However, in 1888 he found himself beaten for renomination by state senator Joseph H. Sweney, who had been spoken of as a possible candidate two years before. In all he served in Congress from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1889.

Fuller's House service was respectable enough, but undistinguished. On the old war issues and on pensions for veterans, he voted as Republicans wanted. He offered bills to refund the direct tax of 1861 imposed on the states and to donate a condemned cannon to the GAR post back home in West Union. He supported a tax on oleomargarine.

Starting in 1901 he served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Spanish Treaty Claims Commission until 1907. Afterwards he returned to the practice of law until his death in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 1918. He was interred in West Union Cemetery.

United States Congresses (and year convened)

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