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56th Congress (1899–1901)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 357 Representatives
  • 4 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 161 Democrats
  • 187 Republicans
  • 5 Populists
  • 2 Silver Republicans
  • 1 Independent Populist
  • 1 Silver

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Congress Overview

The 1898 elections undercut the Republican majority in the House but bolstered it in the Senate. The 56th Congress (1899–1901) dealt primarily with the consequences of the Spanish-American War. Congress formed civil governments in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Alaska. It created the Office of the Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico. Congress also provided a civil government and nonvoting Delegate for Hawaii, where it extended U.S. citizenship to the islands’ inhabitants as well.

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 56th 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:
David B. Henderson (R–Iowa)
Majority Leader:
Sereno E. Payne (R–New York)
Minority Leader:
James D. Richardson (D–Tennessee)
Democratic Whip:
Oscar W. Underwood (D–Alabama)
Republican Whip:
James A. Tawney (R–Minnesota)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
James Hay (D–Virginia)
Republican Conference Chairman:
Joseph G. Cannon (R–Illinois)
Clerk of the House:
Alexander McDowell
Sergeant at Arms:
Benjamin F. Russell
Chaplain of the House:
Henry N. Couden – Universalist
Doorkeeper:
William J. Glenn
Postmaster:
J. C. McElroy
Clerk at the Speaker's Table:
Asher C. Hinds

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