1840 and 1841 United States House of Representatives elections

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1840 and 1841 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1838 / 39 July 6, 1840 – November 2, 1841 1842 / 43 →

All 242 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
122 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  John White.jpg JohnWinstonJones.jpg
Leader John White John Jones
Party Whig Democratic
Leader's seat Kentucky 9th Virginia 3rd
Last election 116 seats 126 seats
Seats won 142 98
Seat change Increase 26 Decrease 28
Popular vote 1,089,609 1,021,051
Percentage 51.04% 47.83%
Swing Increase 1.31% Decrease 2.18%

  Third party
 
Party Independent
Last election 0 seats
Seats won 2 [a]
Seat change Increase 2
Popular vote 18,063
Percentage 0.85%
Swing Increase 0.44%

Speaker before election

Robert M. T. Hunter
Whig

Elected Speaker

John White
Whig

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 27th Congress were held at various dates in different states from July 1840 to November 1841.

In a Whig wave, voters gave the Whig Party a House majority for the first time. Most Americans experienced the Panic of 1837 as a severe economic downturn. Its perceived mishandling by Democratic President Martin Van Buren fueled new support for alternative economic policies favored by Whigs of which voters had previously been skeptical. Collapse of the Anti-Masonic Party in the late 1830s also drove some third-party incumbents into the Whig Party. Newly elected members included Robert M. T. Hunter, Independent of Virginia,[1][2][3] and Zadoc Casey, Independent Democrat of Illinois.[4][5]

Election summaries[edit]

98 2 142
Democratic [b] Whig
State Type Date Total
seats
Democratic Whig
Seats Change Seats Change
Louisiana District July 6–8, 1840 3 1 Increase1 2 Decrease1
Missouri At-large August 3, 1840 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District August 7, 1840 3 2[c] Steady 1 Steady
Vermont District September 4, 1840 5 0 Decrease2 5 Increase2
Maine District September 14, 1840 8 4 Decrease2 4 Increase2
Arkansas At-large October 5, 1840 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Georgia At-large October 6, 1840 9 0 Steady 9 Steady
South Carolina District October 12–13, 1840 9 8 Steady 1 Steady
Ohio District October 13, 1840 19 7 Decrease4 12 Increase4
Pennsylvania District (25[d]) October 13, 1840 28 15 Decrease2 13 Increase8
New York District (33[e]) November 2–4, 1840 40 21 Increase2 19 Decrease2
Connecticut District November 3, 1840 6 0 Steady 6 Steady
Michigan At-large November 3, 1840 1 0 Decrease1 1 Increase1
New Jersey At-large November 3, 1840 6 0 Decrease5 6 Increase5
Massachusetts District November 9, 1840 12 1 Decrease1 11 Increase1
Delaware At-large November 10, 1840 1 0 Decrease1 1 Increase1
1841 elections
New Hampshire At-large March 9, 1841 5 5 Steady 0 Steady
Rhode Island At-large April 21, 1841 2 0 Steady 2 Steady
Virginia[f] District April 23, 1841 21[f] 10 Decrease2 10 Increase3
Kentucky District April 26, 1841 13 2 Steady 11 Steady
Indiana District May 3, 1841 7 1 Decrease4 6 Increase4
Tennessee District May 6, 1841 13 5 Decrease1 8 Increase1
North Carolina District May 13, 1841 13 5 Decrease3 8 Increase3
Maryland District (7[g]) May 17, 1841 8 2 Decrease3 6 Increase3
Alabama At-large[h] May 20, 1841 5 5 Increase2 0 Decrease2
Mississippi At-large November 1–2, 1841 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Total 242 99[c]
40.9%
Decrease26 142
59.5%
Increase33
House seats
Democratic
40.50%
Whig
58.68%
Others
0.82%

The previous election had two minor parties, the Anti-Masonic Party with 6 seats and the Conservative Party (of Virginia) with 2 seats, both of which disappeared in this election.

The 1st session of the 27th Congress began May 31, 1841, before Mississippi had elected Representatives, leaving that State unrepresented until the 2nd session.

Special elections[edit]

26th Congress[edit]

27th Congress[edit]

New York 26 Francis Granger Whig 1838 Incumbent resigned March 5, 1841 to become U.S. Postmaster General.
New member elected May 13, 1841.
Whig hold.
Successor seated May 21, 1841.
New York 26 John Greig Whig 1841 (Special) Incumbent resigned September 25, 1841.
New member elected.
Whig hold.
Successor seated November 27, 1841.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes one Independent from Virginia, and one Independent Democrat from Illinois.
  2. ^ There was 1 Independent and 1 Independent Democrat.
  3. ^ a b Including one Independent Democrat elected to Illinois's 2nd congressional district.
  4. ^ Includes 3 plural districts
  5. ^ Includes 5 plural districts
  6. ^ a b Robert M. T. Hunter was elected as an Independent in Virginia's 9th congressional district, and so is not included in the figures here. Hunter had previously run in earlier elections as a Whig.
  7. ^ Includes 1 plural district
  8. ^ Changed from district

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. ISBN 978-0786402830.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0029201701.
  • Moore, John L., ed. (1994). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Third ed.). Congressional Quarterly Inc. ISBN 978-0871879967.
  • "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives* 1789–Present". Office of the Historian, House of United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 21, 2015.

External links[edit]