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15th United States Congress

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Senate Pres. pro tem:  James Barbour (DR)
Senate Majority:  Democratic-Republican
House Speaker:  Henry Clay (DR)
House Majority:  Democratic-Republican
15th United States Congress
Senate President  Daniel D. Tompkins (DR)
Members:  42 Senators 185 Representatives 3 Non-voting members

The Fifteenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in the Old Brick Capitol in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1817, to March 4, 1819, during the first two years of James Monroe's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Third Census of the United States in 1810. Both chambers had a Democratic-Republican majority.


Major events

  • March 4, 1817: James Monroe became President of the United States
  • July 4, 1817: Construction on the Erie Canal began
  • November 20, 1817: The first Seminole War began in Florida
  • January 2, 1819: The Panic of 1819, the first major financial crisis in the United States, began.
  • February 2, 1819: Dartmouth College v. Woodward: Supreme Court allowed Dartmouth to keep its charter and remain a private institution.
  • Major legislation

  • April 4, 1818: Flag Act of 1818, Sess. 1, ch. 34, 3 Stat. 415
  • Treaties

  • April 29, 1817: Rush–Bagot Treaty signed between the U.S. and the United Kingdom
  • October 20, 1818: Treaty of 1818 between the U.S. and the United Kingdom established the northern boundary as the 49th parallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains, also creating the Northwest Angle.
  • February 22, 1819: Adams-Onís Treaty: Spain ceded Florida to the United States
  • States admitted and territories created

  • August 15, 1817: Alabama Territory created by splitting the Mississippi Territory
  • December 10, 1817: Mississippi admitted as the 20th state
  • December 3, 1818: Illinois admitted as the 21st state
  • Party summary

    The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this congress. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


    During this congress, two Senate seats were added for each of the new states of Mississippi and Illinois.

    House of Representatives

    During this congress, one House seat was added for each of the new states of Mississippi and Illinois.


  • President: Daniel D. Tompkins (DR)
  • President pro tempore:
  • John Gaillard (DR), elected March 4, 1817
  • James Barbour (DR), elected February 15, 1819
  • House of Representatives

  • Speaker: Henry Clay (DR)
  • Members

    This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

    Skip to House of Representatives, below


    Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1820; Class 2 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1822; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1818.

    House of Representatives

    The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

    Changes in membership

    The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


    Lists of committees and their party leaders.


  • Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate
  • Claims
  • Commerce and Manufactures
  • District of Columbia
  • Finance
  • Foreign Relations
  • Indian Title to Certain Lands (Select)
  • Judiciary
  • Military Affairs
  • Militia
  • Mississippi's Admission to the Union (Select)
  • Naval Affairs
  • Pensions
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Public Lands
  • Seminole War (Select)
  • Slave Trade (Select)
  • Whole
  • House of Representatives

  • Accounts
  • Alabama's Admission to the Union (Select)
  • Arkansas Territory (Select)
  • Bank of the United States (Select)
  • Claims
  • Commerce and Manufactures
  • District of Columbia
  • Elections
  • Expenditures in the Navy Department
  • Expenditures in the Post Office Department
  • Expenditures in the State Department
  • Expenditures in the Treasury Department
  • Expenditures in the War Department
  • Expenditures on Public Buildings
  • Pensions and Revolutionary War Claims
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Public Expenditures
  • Public Lands
  • Revisal and Unfinished Business
  • Rules (Select)
  • Standards of Official Conduct
  • Ways and Means
  • Whole
  • Joint committees

  • Enrolled Bills
  • Employees

  • Architect of the Capitol:
  • Benjamin H. Latrobe, resigned November 20, 1817
  • Charles Bulfinch, appointed January 8, 1818
  • Librarian of Congress: George Watterston
  • Senate

  • Chaplain:
  • Sereno Edwards Dwight, Congregationalist, elected December 16, 1816
  • William D. Hawley, Episcopalian, elected December 9, 1817
  • John Clark, Presbyterian, elected November 19, 1818
  • Secretary: Charles Cutts
  • Sergeant at Arms: Mountjoy Bayly
  • House of Representatives

  • Chaplain: Burgess Allison (Baptist)
  • Clerk: Thomas Dougherty
  • Doorkeeper: Thomas Claxton
  • Sergeant at Arms: Thomas Dunn
  • References

    15th United States Congress Wikipedia

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