46th United States Congress
45th ←
→ 47th

March 4, 1879 – March 4, 1881
Members76 senators
293 representatives
8 non-voting delegates
Senate majorityDemocrat
Senate PresidentWilliam A. Wheeler (R)
House majorityDemocrat (coalition)
House SpeakerSamuel J. Randall (D)
1st: March 18, 1879 – July 1, 1879
2nd: December 1, 1879 – June 16, 1880
3rd: December 6, 1880 – March 3, 1881

The 46th 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, 1879, to March 4, 1881, during the last two years of Rutherford Hayes's presidency.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the 1870 United States census. The Senate had a Democratic majority, while the House of Representatives had a Democratic plurality. The Democrats were still able to control the House, however, with the help of the Independent politicians who caucused with them.

Party summary


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 1 36 38 1 0 76 0
Begin 1 42 31 1 0 75 1
Final voting share 1.3% 56.0% 41.3% 1.3% 0.0%
Beginning of next congress 0 37 36 1 1[a] 75 1

House of Representatives

(shading shows control)
Total Vacant

End of previous congress 154 1 0 0 136 291 2
Begin 141 6 0 13 131 291 2
End 143 129
Final voting share 49.1% 2.1% 0.0% 4.5% 44.3%
Beginning of next congress 128 1 1 10 151 291 0


President of the Senate
William A. Wheeler
Senate President pro tempore Allen G. Thurman
House Speaker Samuel J. Randall


House of Representatives

Major events

Main articles: 1879 in the United States, 1880 in the United States, and 1881 in the United States

Major legislation

Main article: List of United States federal legislation, 1789–1901


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and representatives are listed by district.

Skip to House of Representatives, below


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 re-election in 1880; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1882; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1884.

House of Representatives

The names of members are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership

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


See also: List of special elections to the United States Senate and List of special elections to the United States House of Representatives

Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[b]
New Hampshire (3) Vacant Legislature had failed to elect.
An interim successor was appointed March 13, 1879.
Charles H. Bell (R) March 13, 1879
New Hampshire (3) Charles H. Bell (R) Successor elected June 18, 1879, but did not begin service until June 20, 1879, for unknown reasons. Henry W. Blair (R) June 20, 1879
Michigan (1) Zachariah Chandler (R) Died November 1, 1879.
Successor appointed November 17, 1879, to continue the term.
Appointee was elected January 19, 1881, to finish the term.
Henry P. Baldwin (R) November 17, 1879
Alabama (3) George S. Houston (D) Died December 31, 1879.
Successor appointed January 7, 1880, to continue the term.
Luke Pryor (D) January 7, 1880
Georgia (3) John B. Gordon (D) Resigned May 26, 1880, to promote building of the Georgia Pacific Railway.
Successor elected May 26, 1880.
Joseph E. Brown (D) May 26, 1880
Alabama (3) Luke Pryor (D) Successor elected November 23, 1880. James L. Pugh (D) November 24, 1880
Wisconsin (3) Matthew H. Carpenter (R) Died February 24, 1881. Vacant Not filled this term

House of Representatives

House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[b]
Texas 6 Vacant Rep. Gustav Schleicher died during previous congress Christopher C. Upson (D) April 15, 1879
New York 12 Vacant Rep.-elect Alexander Smith died during previous congress Waldo Hutchins (D) November 4, 1879
Iowa 5 Rush Clark (R) Died April 29, 1879 William G. Thompson (R) October 14, 1879
Missouri 7 Alfred M. Lay (D) Died December 8, 1879 John F. Philips (D) January 10, 1880
New York 32 Ray V. Pierce (R) Resigned September 18, 1880 Jonathan Scoville (D) November 12, 1880
Alabama 6 Burwell B. Lewis (D) Resigned October 1, 1880, to accept presidency of the University of Alabama Newton N. Clements (D) December 8, 1880
Ohio 19 James A. Garfield (R) Resigned November 8, 1880 Ezra B. Taylor (R) December 13, 1880
New Hampshire 3 Evarts W. Farr (R) Died November 30, 1880.
Successor elected December 28, 1880.
Ossian Ray (R) January 8, 1881
Florida 2 Noble A. Hull (D) Lost contested election January 22, 1881 Horatio Bisbee Jr. (R) January 22, 1881
North Carolina 1 Joseph J. Martin (R) Lost contested election January 29, 1881 Jesse J. Yeates (D) January 29, 1881
New York 9 Fernando Wood (D) Died February 14, 1881 Vacant Not filled this term
Michigan 7 Omar D. Conger (R) Resigned March 3, 1881, after being elected to the US Senate Vacant Not filled this term


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. 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



Legislative branch agency directors


House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ Readjuster
  2. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.