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26th Congress (1839–1841)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 242 Representatives
  • 3 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 125 Democrats
  • 109 Whigs
  • 6 Anti-Masonics
  • 2 Conservatives

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_hunter_2005_16_14_1.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Virginia Representative Robert Hunter served one term as Speaker, the youngest Member ever elected to the position.

Congress Overview

The narrowly divided House failed to organize itself for more than two weeks at the start of the 26th Congress (1839–1841), as Democrats and Whigs contested the elections of five Members from New Jersey. Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams presided as “chairman” of the House after the Clerk lost control the sessions. After 11 ballots, the House elected as its Speaker the States-Rights Whig Robert M.C. Hunter of Virginia. Congress also passed the Independent Treasury bill providing President Martin Van Buren with the tools he wanted to end the economic recession.

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 26th 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:
Robert M.T. Hunter (R–Virginia)
Clerk of the House:
Hugh A. Garland
Sergeant at Arms:
Roderick Dorsey
Chaplain of the House:
Joshua Bates – Congregationalist
Levi R. Reese – Methodist
Thomas W. Braxton – Baptist
Joseph Follansbee
William J. McCormick

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