50th United States Congress

The Fiftieth 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, 1887, to March 4, 1889, during the third and fourth 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.

50th United States Congress
49th ←
→ 51st
USCapitol1906
March 4, 1887 – March 4, 1889
Senate PresidentVacant
Senate President pro temJohn J. Ingalls (R)
House SpeakerJohn G. Carlisle (D)
Members76 senators
325 members of the House
8 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityDemocratic
Sessions
1st: December 7, 1887 – October 20, 1888
2nd: December 3, 1888 – March 3, 1889

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.

Senate

Party
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Democratic
(D)
Readjuster
(RA)
Republican
(R)
End of the previous congress 34 2 40 76 0
Begin 35 1 38 74 2
End 37 760
Final voting share 48.7% 1.3% 50.0%
Beginning of the next congress 37 0 39 76 0

House of Representatives

TOTAL members: 325

Leadership

Senate

House of Representatives

Members

Skip to House of Representatives, below

Senate

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1892; Class 2 meant their term ended in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1888; and Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1890.

JJIngalls
Senate President pro tempore
John J. Ingalls

House of Representatives

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

50 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
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 this Congress.

Senate

  • replacements: 1
  • deaths: 0
  • resignations: 1
  • interim appointments: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 2
State
(class)
Vacator Reason for Vacancy Subsequent Date of successor's installation
West Virginia
(1)
Vacant Filled vacancy in term. Charles J. Faulkner (D) May 5, 1887
Florida
(1)
Vacant Filled vacancy in term. Samuel Pasco (D) May 19, 1887
New Hampshire
(2)
Person C. Cheney (R) Successor was elected June 14, 1887 William E. Chandler (R) June 14, 1887

House of Representatives

  • replacements: 8
  • deaths: 4
  • resignations: 5
  • contested election: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 8
District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor seated
New York 25th Vacant Rep. Frank Hiscock resigned during previous congress James J. Belden (R) November 8, 1887
Texas 2nd John H. Reagan (D) Resigned March 4, 1887, after being elected to the U.S. Senate William H. Martin (D) November 4, 1887
Louisiana 6th Edward W. Robertson (D) Died August 2, 1887 Samuel M. Robertson (D) December 5, 1891
New York 19th Nicholas T. Kane (D) Died September 14, 1887 Charles Tracey (D) November 8, 1887
Michigan 11th Seth C. Moffatt (R) Died December 22, 1887 Henry W. Seymour (R) February 14, 1888
New York 1st Perry Belmont (D) Resigned December 1, 1888, after being appointed Minister to Spain Vacant until next Congress
Indiana 1st Alvin P. Hovey (R) Resigned January 17, 1889, after being elected Governor of Indiana Francis B. Posey (R) January 29, 1889
Missouri 4th James N. Burnes (D) Died January 23, 1889 Charles F. Booher (D) February 19, 1889

Committees

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 (3 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.

Senate

House of Representatives

Joint committees

  • Conditions of Indian Tribes (Special)
  • Disposition of (Useless) Executive Papers
  • To Investigate Work on the Washington Aqueduct Tunnel

Caucuses

Administrative officers

Senate

House of Representatives

See also

References

  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External links

1886 United States House of Representatives elections in California

The United States House of Representatives elections in California, 1886 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 2, 1886. Democrats gained one district.

1886 United States elections

The 1886 United States elections occurred in the middle of Democratic President Grover Cleveland's term, during the Third Party System. Members of the 50th United States Congress were chosen in this election. Democrats retained control of the House, while Republicans retained control of the Senate.

In the House, Republicans won a moderate number of seats, but Democrats retained a narrow majority.In the Senate, Democrats won a moderate number of seats, but Republicans retained a narrow majority.

1887 United States Senate election in New York

The 1887 United States Senate election in New York was held from January 18 to 20, 1887, by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.

Charles E. Hogg

Charles Edgar Hogg (December 21, 1852 – June 14, 1935) was a lawyer and Democratic politician from West Virginia. He was born on a farm near Point Pleasant, Mason County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on December 21, 1852. He was elected in 1886 to the 50th United States Congress. He died in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on June 14, 1935. His son was congressman Robert Lynn Hogg.

He attended the common schools at Locust Grove, Carleton College, Racine, Ohio. He graduated from Oldham & Hawe’s Business College, Pomeroy, Ohio in 1869. He taught school and worked as a bookkeeper from 1870 to 1873. He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and entered practice in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He served as county superintendent of free schools of Mason County from 1875 to 1879.

He won election as a Democrat to the Fiftieth Congress (March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889). His candidacy for renomination in 1888 was unsuccessful. He returned to his law practice in Point Pleasant. In 1900, he affiliated with the Republican Party. He served as a dean of the College of Law of West Virginia University at Morgantown from 1906 to 1913. He authored several works on legal procedure. He died in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on June 14, 1935 and was buried in Lone Oak Cemetery.

Charles P. Snyder

Charles Philip Snyder (June 9, 1847 – August 21, 1915) was a lawyer and Democratic politician from West Virginia. He was born on June 9, 1847 in Charleston, West Virginia in Kanawha County, which was then in Virginia. He served as a United States Representative in the 48th, 49th, and 50th United States Congresses. He died August 21, 1915. His son and namesake was United States Navy Admiral Charles P. Snyder.

After studying law, he was admitted to the bar and opened a practice. He became prosecuting attorney of Kanawha County and served from 1876 to 1884. He was elected in 1882 to the Forty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John E. Kenna He won re-election to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses and served from May 15, 1883 to March 3, 1889. He served as a judge on the criminal court of Kanawha County from 1890 to 1896. He was named United States consul to Ciudad Porfirio Diaz, Mexico from 1897 to 1901. He died in Vineland, New Jersey in Cumberland County on August 21, 1915 and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston, West Virginia.

His great-great-granddaughter is actress Elizabeth McGovern.

Edmund Rice (politician)

Edmund Rice (February 14, 1819 – July 11, 1889) was an American politician. Rice served in the U.S. Congress in Minnesota's 4th District from March 4, 1887, to March 3, 1889.

Isidor Rayner

Isidor Rayner (April 11, 1850 – November 25, 1912) was a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing the State of Maryland from 1905 to 1912. He also represented the Fourth Congressional District of Maryland from 1887 to 1889, and 1891 to 1895.

Rayner was born into a German-Jewish family in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended local private schools. He later attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Virginia. He began to study law and was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1871.

Rayner was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and served from 1878 to 1884. In 1885, he was elected to the Maryland State Senate, serving one year until 1886.

Rayner was elected the same year to the 50th United States Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1888 to the 51st Congress, but was victorious in the next two elections to the 52nd and 53rd Congresses. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1894.

Several years later in 1899, Rayner was chosen to be the Attorney General of Maryland, serving until 1903. He was elected as a Democrat in 1905 to the U.S. Senate, and was reelected again in 1911. While senator, he served as chairman of the Committee on Indian Depredations (Sixty-second Congress).

In 1912, Rayner died in Washington, D.C., while serving as senator. He is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery.

James Bain White

James Bain White (June 26, 1835 – October 9, 1897) was a United States Representative from Indiana.

John Nichols (politician)

John Nichols (November 14, 1834 – September 22, 1917) was a U.S. Congressman from the state of North Carolina between 1887 and 1889.

Nichols was born to Alsey and Charlotte (Broadwell) Nichols near Eagle Rock in Wake County, North Carolina. He attended the common schools and worked for six years in the printing trade. At age twenty-one, he studied at the Lovejoy Academy in Raleigh for a year, then opened a book and job printing business and published a newspaper.

Nichols was a leader in founding the North Carolina Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, and served as its principal from 1873 to 1877. He was a revenue-stamp agent in Durham from 1879 to 1881, Raleigh's postmaster from 1881 to 1885, and then secretary and treasurer of the State Fair association.

In 1886, although he had long been a Republican, he was elected as an Independent to the 50th United States Congress, thanks to his support from the Knights of Labor. Nichols served one term of two years (March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889), being defeated for reelection in 1888. On July 22, 1889, he was appointed chief of the Division of Mail and Files of the U.S. Treasury Department. He became private secretary to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury on April 1, 1893, resigning just 2 months later on June 30.

Nichols returned to Raleigh, and served briefly in the office of the Collector of Internal Revenue from November. He was appointed United States commissioner for the eastern district of North Carolina on July 1, 1897, serving until his death in Raleigh in 1917. Survived by his wife Virginia and numerous children, he is buried in Raleigh's Historic Oakwood Cemetery.

Justin Rice Whiting

Justin Rice Whiting (February 18, 1847 – January 31, 1903) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Whiting was born in Bath, New York, and moved to Michigan in 1849 with his parents, who settled in St. Clair, Michigan. He attended the public schools and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor from 1863 to 1865. He worked as a merchant and manufacturer. Whiting was elected mayor of St. Clair in 1879 and represented the 17th District in the Michigan State Senate in 1882.

He was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 7th congressional district to the 50th United States Congress and reelected to the 51st, 52nd, and 53rd Congresses, serving from March 4, 1887 until March 3, 1895. After leaving Congress, Whiting resumed his former business pursuits in St. Clair. He was an unsuccessful Fusion candidate for Governor of Michigan in 1898, losing to incumbent Republican Hazen S. Pingree. He also ran for election in 1900 to the 57th Congress, losing to incumbent Republican Edgar Weeks.

Whiting married Emily F. Owen, with whom he had 10 children. Their son, also named Justin Rice Whiting (1886–1965), was president of the Consumers Power Company from 1949 to 1959.

Whiting also served as chairman of the Democratic State central committee. He died in St. Clair and is interred there at Hillside Cemetery.

List of United States Senators in the 50th Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 50th United States Congress listed by seniority, from March 4, 1887, to March 3, 1889.

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 1888 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 50th Congress by seniority

This is a complete list of members of the United States House of Representatives during the 50th United States Congress listed by seniority.

As an historical article, the districts and party affiliations listed reflect those during the 50th Congress (March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889). 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.

Melbourne H. Ford

Melbourne Haddock Ford (June 30, 1849 – April 20, 1891) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Ford was born in Salem, Michigan and moved to Lansing with his parents in 1859. He attended the common schools and the Michigan State College of Agriculture (now Michigan State University) at East Lansing. Ford enlisted in the United States Navy in 1864, and in 1867 was appointed a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. He resigned the following year and returned to Lansing.

Ford moved to Grand Rapids in 1873 and was engaged as official stenographer of several municipal, State, and Federal courts. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from the 1st district of Kent County in 1885 and 1886.

Ford was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 5th congressional district to the 50th United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1887 to March 3, 1889. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1888, being defeated by Charles E. Belknap, and commenced the practice of law at Grand Rapids in 1889. He was chairman of the Democratic State convention in 1890. In November 1890, he was elected to the 52nd Congress and served from March 4, 1891, until his death seven weeks later in Grand Rapids. He is interred there in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Nicholas T. Kane

Nicholas Thomas Kane (September 12, 1846 – September 14, 1887) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

Richard W. Guenther

Richard William Guenther (November 30, 1845 – April 5, 1913) was a Prussian-born 19th century politician and pharmacist in Wisconsin.

Born in Potsdam, Province of Brandenburg, Guenther received a college education and graduated from the Royal Pharmacy in Potsdam. He immigrated to the United States in 1866, settling in New York City, New York. He moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1867 and engaged in the pharmaceutical business. He was Wisconsin State Treasurer from 1878 to 1882 and was elected a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1880, serving from 1881 to 1889. He first represented Wisconsin's 6th congressional district (March 4, 1881 - March 3, 1887), however redistricted and represented Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district for the 50th United States Congress (March 4, 1887 - March 3, 1889). He overall represented Wisconsin from the 47th to the 50th Congress.

Guenther was appointed consul general in Mexico City, Mexico by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, serving until 1893, in Frankfurt, Germany by President William McKinley in 1898, serving until 1910, and to Cape Town, South Africa by President William Howard Taft in 1910, serving until his death in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on April 5, 1913. He was interred in Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh.

The Richard Guenther House in Oshkosh is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Submarine Cable Act of 1888

Submarine Cable Act of 1888 is a United States federal statute defining penalties for intentional and unintentional disturbances of submarine communications cable in international waters. The Act of Congress acknowledge the Convention for the Protection of Submarine Telegraph Cable of 1884 necessitating the international cooperation for the safeguard of international communication cables placed on the ocean floor.The legislation was passed by the 50th United States Congressional session and confirmed as a federal law by the 24th President of the United States Grover Cleveland on February 29, 1888.

Walter I. Hayes

Walter Ingalls Hayes (December 9, 1841 – March 14, 1901) was a four-term Democratic U.S. Representative from Iowa's 2nd congressional district during the Gilded Age.

Hayes was born in Marshall, Michigan. He attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor in 1863, and was admitted to the bar the same year. Hayes commenced practice in Marshall and in 1864 and 1865 held the positions of Marshall city attorney and United States commissioner for the eastern district of Michigan.

Hayes relocating to Iowa as the Civil War came to an end. He served as United States commissioner for Iowa from 1865 to 1875 and was city solicitor of Clinton, Iowa, in 1870. Hayes was the district judge of the seventh judicial district of Iowa from 1875 to 1887. In that capacity, in 1882 he presided over one of the most important cases in the state of that era, in which liquor merchants challenged the enforceability of the 1882 amendment to the Iowa Constitution requiring prohibition. Hayes declared the amendment unconstitutional on procedural grounds, based on the failure of the law to pass both houses of the Iowa General Assembly in identical form. The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed Hayes' ruling, but in the next session the Iowa General Assembly adopted prohibition, by statute, in a constitutional fashion.Hayes served as delegate to the 1884 Democratic National Convention.

He married Frances Coan, a native of New York. She was the eldest of a family of five children. Her father, who was an energetic business man, moved with his family to Clinton, Iowa, where he established the First National Lank. Coan first met Hayes when she was visiting friends in Michigan, and they were married in less than a year. Several of Coan's relatives are missionaries, and she was a member of the Presbyterian Church.In 1886, Hayes wrested the Democratic nomination for the 2nd district away from incumbent Jeremiah Henry Murphy. To enhance the chances for Iowa Republicans to hold all other Congressional seats in Iowa, the state's General Assembly had included many of the most Democratic-leaning areas of eastern Iowa in a single district (the second). Hayes won the general election that year and represented the 2nd district in the 50th United States Congress. He was also elected to the three succeeding Congresses. However, in 1894, when seeking a fifth term, Hayes was defeated in the general election by Republican George M. Curtis. Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, Hayes was the only Democratic congressman from Iowa to serve more than two terms, and (along with Murphy) was one of only two who served two full terms.

While in Congress, Hayes served as chairman of the Committee on Education in the Fifty-second Congress. In all, he served in Congress from March 4, 1887, to March 3, 1895.

After leaving Congress, Hayes resumed the practice of law in Clinton.

He served as member of the Iowa House of Representatives in 1897 and 1898.

He died in Marshall, Michigan, on March 14, 1901. He was interred in Springdale Cemetery in Clinton.

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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