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33rd Congress (1853–1855)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 234 Representatives
  • 7 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 157 Democrats
  • 71 Whigs
  • 4 Free Soilers
  • 1 Independent
  • 1 Independent Democrat

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Chamber of Representatives/tiles/non-collection/C/ChamberofRepresentatives_2005_139_000.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
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Congress Overview

As sectional interests splintered the Whig Party into irreconcilable factions, Democrats retained control of the 33rd Congress (1853–1855). The political future of the Kansas and Nebraska territories dominated House and Senate debate, and in May 1854, President Franklin Pierce signed into law the Kansas–Nebraska Act. The new legislation effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1819–1820 and guaranteed the right to “popular sovereignty,” enabling voters in the territories to determine the legality of slavery. Northern Members also opposed calls by their Southern colleagues and the President to run the transcontinental railroad through the heart of the South.

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 33rd 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:
Edson B. Olds (D–Ohio)
Clerk of the House:
John W. Forney
Sergeant at Arms:
Adam J. Glossbrenner
Chaplain of the House:
William Henry Milburn – 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