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47th Congress (1881–1883)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 293 Representatives
  • 8 Delegates

Party Divisions:*

  • 128 Democrats
  • 151 Republicans
  • 10 Nationals
  • 2 Readjuster Democrats
  • 1 Independent
  • 1 Independent Democrat

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Joseph Warren Keifer/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_keifer_2005_16_30_1.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Ohio Representative Joseph Keifer served one term as Speaker.

Congress Overview

Republicans won the House and presidency while the Senate was evenly divided after the 1880 elections. The 47th Congress (1881–1883) focused on immigration: approving a treaty with China to slow the flow of Chinese laborers; passing a Chinese Exclusion Act (after an earlier one had been vetoed); and sending a general immigration act to the President. Congress also appropriated funds for river and harbor projects and for modernizing the U.S. Navy. After the trial and execution of President James Garfield’s assassin, a delusional job-seeker, Congress replaced the patronage system with a Civil Service program to hire government workers.

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 47th 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:
J. Warren Keifer (R–Ohio)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
N/A 1
Republican Conference Chairman:
George M. Robeson (R–New Jersey)
Clerk of the House:
Edward McPherson
Sergeant at Arms:
John G. Thompson
Chaplain of the House:
Frederick Dunglison Power – Disciples of Christ
Walter P. Brownlow
Henry Sherwood
Clerk at the Speaker's Table:
J. Guilford White
Michael Sullivan

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


1Available data show that Representative John F. House nominated Samuel J. Randall as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, the traditional role of the caucus chairman. Later data show W.S. Rosecrans issuing the next call for a Democratic Caucus meeting, but there is no evidence to suggest that Rosencrans was actually elected caucus chairman.