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35th Congress (1857–1859)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 237 Representatives
  • 7 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 132 Democrats
  • 90 Republicans
  • 14 Americans
  • 1 Independent Democrat

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

James Lawrence Orr/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_orr_2005_16_22_1.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
South Carolina Representative James Orr served one term as Speaker of the House. He later served in the confederate congress and army.

Congress Overview

The 35th Congress (1857–1859) opened under Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate, but for the first time Republicans stood as the dominant opposition party. In Kansas, anti-slavery voters boycotted (and the territorial legislature rejected) the pro-slavery constitutional referendum—the effect of which reverberated all the way to Washington. The debate in the House over the Kansas controversy led to a huge brawl on the floor that ended only after one Member’s hairpiece was ripped off. Congress passed legislation for another constitutional referendum that, if approved, guaranteed Kansas federal aid or, if rejected, postponed statehood.

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 35th 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:
James L. Orr (D–South Carolina)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
N/A 1
Clerk of the House:
James C. Allen
Sergeant at Arms:
Adam J. Glossbrenner
Chaplain of the House:
N/A 2
Robert B. Hackney
Messenger to the Speaker:
Thaddeus Morrice
Michael W. Cluskey

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


1No clear data for this period exist.

2From 1855 to 1861 the local clergy in the District of Columbia conducted the opening prayer. Thereafter, the House has elected a Chaplain at the beginning of each Congress.