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51st Congress (1889–1891)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 332 Representatives
  • 9 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 152 Democrats
  • 179 Republicans
  • 1 Labor

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Congress Overview

Gilded Age political deadlock ended with the 51st Congress (1889–1891). Republicans won control of both houses of Congress and the presidency after the 1888 election, breaking a remarkable period of divided-party government. Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine streamlined House rules and prevented the minority party from obstructing the legislative process. The rules changes and unified government produced the “Billion Dollar Congress,” as the new majority passed generous military pensions and approved long-stalled naval expansion. New economic pressures also resulted in the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

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 51st 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:
Thomas B. Reed (R–Maine)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
William S. Holman (D–Indiana)
Republican Conference Chairman:
Thomas J. Henderson (R–Illinois)
Clerk of the House:
Edward McPherson
Sergeant at Arms:
John P. Leedom
Chaplain of the House:
William Henry Milburn – Methodist
Doorkeeper:
Charles E. Adams
Postmaster:
James L. Wheat
Clerk at the Speaker's Table:
Nathaniel T. Crutchfield
Edward Forrest Goodwin

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