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32nd Congress (1851–1853)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 233 Representatives
  • 4 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 127 Democrats
  • 85 Whigs
  • 10 Unionists
  • 4 Free Soilers
  • 3 Independent Democrats
  • 3 States Rights
  • 1 Independent Whig

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Congress Overview

When Democrats retained control of the national legislature following the 1850 elections, the 32nd Congress (1851–1853) focused on linking East Coast to West through potential railroad routes to the Pacific Coast. Despite passage of the Compromise of 1850, the nation’s sectional crisis still simmered. The anti-slavery bestseller Uncle Tom’s Cabin made real the horrors of fugitive slave laws. Meanwhile, Southerners who feared the potential of a new free state obstructed the organization of the Nebraska Territory.

Historical Highlights

See more Historical Highlights.

Member Information

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, (1774–2005), Official Annotated Membership Roster by State with Vacancy and Special Election Information for the 32nd Congress [PDF]
  • Learn more about the House of Representatives with an interactive map

Learn more about the People of the People's House

Leadership & Officers

Speaker of the House:
Linn Boyd (D–Kentucky)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
N/A (D) 1
Clerk of the House:
John W. Forney
Sergeant at Arms:
Adam J. Glossbrenner
Chaplain of the House:
James Gallagher – Presbyterian
Littleton F. Morgan – Methodist
Doorkeeper:
Z. W. McKnew
Postmaster:
John M. Johnson

To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section

Footnotes

1No clear records remain for this Congress. Several Democratic Members offered the various organizing resolutions at the beginning of the Congress.