United States House of Representatives elections, 1792
All 105 seats to the United States House of Representatives
53 seats were needed for a majority
Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 3rd Congress were held in 1792 and 1793, coinciding with the re-election of George Washington as President. While Washington ran for president as an independent, his followers (more specifically, the supporters of Alexander Hamilton) formed the nation's first organized political party, the Federalist Party, whose members and sympathizers are identified as pro-Administration on this page. In response, followers of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison created the opposition Democratic-Republican Party, who are identified as anti-Administration on this page. The Federalists promoted urbanization, industrialization, mercantilism, centralized government, and a broad interpretation of the United States Constitution. In contrast, Democratic-Republicans supported the ideal of an agrarian republic made up of self-sufficient farmers and small, localized governments with limited power.
Despite nearly unanimous support for Washington as a presidential candidate, Jeffersonian ideas edged out Hamiltonian principles at the ballot box for congressional candidates, with the Democratic-Republicans taking 24 seats more than they had prior to the organization of their political movement. Most of the increase was due to the addition of new seats in Western regions as a result of the United States census of 1790. Dominated by agrarian culture, these Western territories offered strong support to Democratic-Republican congressional candidates. As a result, they secured a thin majority in the legislature.
- 1 Election summaries
- 2 House composition
- 3 Late elections to the 2nd Congress
- 4 Complete returns
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
In this period, each state fixed its own date for a congressional general election, as early as August 1792 (in New Hampshire and Rhode Island) and as late as September 1793 (in Kentucky). In some states, the congressional delegation was not elected until after the legal start of the Congress (on the 4th day of March in the odd-numbered year), but as the first session of Congress typically began in November or December, the elections took place before Congress actually met. The 3rd Congress first met on December 2, 1793.
These were the first elections held after reapportionment following the first census. Thirty-six new seats were added, with 1 state losing 1 seat, 3 states having no change, and the remaining 11 states gaining between 1 and 9 seats. This was the first apportionment based on actual census data, the apportionment for the 1st and 2nd Congresses being set by the Constitution using estimated populations.
|Connecticut||At-large||September 17, 1792||7||2||0||7||2|
|Delaware||At-large||October 2, 1792||1||1||1||0||1|
|Georgia||At-large[Note 1]||October 1, 1792||2||1||2||1||0|
|Maryland||District[Note 2]||October 1, 1792||8||2||4||1||4||1|
|Massachusetts||Mixed[Note 3]||November 2, 1792[Note 4]||14||6||3||2||11||4|
|New Hampshire||At-large||August 27, 1792||4||1||1||1||3|
|New Jersey||At-large||October 9, 1792||5||1||0||5||1|
|Pennsylvania||At-large[Note 1]||October 9, 1792||13||5||8||4||5||1|
|Rhode Island||At-large||August 28, 1792||2||1||0||1||2|
|Kentucky||District (2)||September 6, 1793||2||2||0|
|New York||District (10)||January 2, 1793||10||4||3||1||7||3|
|North Carolina||District (10)||February 15, 1793||10||5||9||6||1||1|
|South Carolina||District (6)||February 5, 1793||6||1||5||3||1||2|
|Vermont||District (2)||January 7, 1793[Note 5]||2||2||0|
|Virginia||District (19)||March 18, 1793||19||9||15||7||4||2|
End of the last Congress
Beginning of the next Congress
Late elections to the 2nd Congress
Kentucky was admitted to the union near the end of the 2nd Congress and elected two representatives to serve during the last sessions of that Congress.
Greenup took his seat on November 9, 1792 and Orr on November 8, 1792.
Connecticut gained two seats in reapportionment following the 1790 census.
Three special elections followed the 1792 elections in Connecticut after Representatives-elect Sturges and Huntington resigned before the start of Congress and Mitchell was elected to the Senate.
Delaware's apportionment did not change following the Census of 1790. As in the 1st and 2nd Congresses, each voter cast votes for two separate candidates, at least one of whom had to be from a different county as the voter.
John Patten (A) was initially declared the winner, but the election was challenged by Henry Latimer. The results of the election were subsequently reversed and Henry Latimer (P) took Delaware's seat in the Third Congress.
Following the Census of 1790, Georgia's apportionment was decreased from 3 seats to 2 (the only state whose representation decreased after the Census of 1790). Georgia switched from separate districts to at-large seats.
Maryland increased from 6 to 8 representatives after the Census of 1790. The previous mixed district/at-large system was replaced with a conventional district system.
Following the Census of 1790, Massachusetts' representation increased from 8 to 14 Representatives and was redistricted into 4 plural districts, plus a single at-large district. The 4th district covered the District of Maine (the modern-day State of Maine). The plural districts were concurrent tickets rather than a single general ticket, though the 1st and 2nd districts appear to have also had a general ticket alongside the more specific tickets.
As before, a majority was required for election, in those districts where a majority was not achieved, additional ballots were required.
New Hampshire increased from 3 seats to 4 seats after the Census of 1790.
Following the Census of 1790, New Jersey's apportionment increased from 4 to 5 seats.
Due to re-apportionment following the Census of 1790, New York's congressional delegation grew from 6 to 10. Three incumbents ran for re-election, two of whom won, and the other three incumbents retired. With the increase following re-apportionment, this left seven open seats.
Following the Census of 1790, North Carolina's apportionment increased from 5 to 10 seats.
Pennsylvania switched from using districts to electing its representatives on an at-large basis for the 3rd Congress, just as it had done for the 1st Congress. This would be the last time that Pennsylvania would elect all of its Representatives at-large. Due to re-apportionment following the Census of 1790, Pennsylvania's delegation increased from 8 representatives to 13.
Rhode Island gained a second representative from the results of the Census of 1790. Rhode Island did not divide itself into districts, but elected two at-large representatives on separate tickets.
South Carolina gained one representative as a result of the Census of 1790, increasing from 5 to 6.
Vermont's had no apportionment in the House of Representatives before the census of 1790 because it was not admitted to the Union until 1791. Vermont's election laws at the time required a majority to win election to the House of Representatives. If no candidate won a majority, a runoff election was held, which happened in Vermont's 1st district.
Virginia gained 9 Representatives from the Census of 1790, and in addition, the old 2nd district was lost after its territory became the new State of Kentucky. There were, therefore, 10 new districts created for the 3rd Congress.