Rahul Sharma (Editor)

48th United States Congress

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Senate President  Vacant
House Speaker  John G. Carlisle (D)
House Majority  Democratic
Senate Pres. pro tem  George F. Edmunds (R)
Senate Majority  Republican
48th United States Congress
Members  76 Senators 325 Representatives 8 Non-voting members

The Forty-eighth 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 Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1883 to March 4, 1885, during the last two years of the administration of U.S. President Chester A. Arthur. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.


Major events

  • September 5, 1883: Mary F. Hoyt became the first woman appointed to the U.S. federal civil service (and the second person appointed by examination (in which she came top) instituted under the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act) when she became a clerk in the Bank Redemption Agency of the Department of the Treasury.
  • October 15, 1883: The Supreme Court of the United States declared part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional, as the Court allowed private individuals and corporations to discriminate based on race.
  • November 18, 1883: U.S. and Canadian railroads instituted 5 standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.
  • August 10, 1884: An earthquake measuring 5.5 Mfa (based on the felt area) affected a very large portion of the eastern United States. The shock had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). Chimneys were toppled in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Property damage was severe in Jamaica and Amityville in New York.
  • October 6, 1884: The United States Naval War College was established in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • October 22, 1884: International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. fixed the Greenwich meridian as the world's prime meridian.
  • November 4, 1884: United States presidential election, 1884: Democratic Governor of New York Grover Cleveland defeated Republican James G. Blaine in a very close contest to win the first of his non-consecutive terms.
  • December 6: 1884: The Washington Monument was completed.
  • Territories organized

  • May 17, 1884: District of Alaska was organized.
  • Party summary

    The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

    House of Representatives

  • Democratic: 196 (majority)
  • Republican: 117
  • Readjuster: 4
  • National Greenback: 2
  • Independent: 2
  • Independent Democratic: 3
  • Independent Republican: 1
  • TOTAL members: 325


  • President: Vacant. Chester Arthur (R), the most recent Senate President, had become U.S. President on the death of his predecessor September 19, 1881, leaving the office vacant through the end of this Congress.
  • President pro tempore: George F. Edmunds (R)
  • Republican Conference Chairman: John Sherman
  • Democratic Caucus Chairman: George H. Pendleton
  • House of Representatives

  • Speaker: John G. Carlisle (D)
  • Democratic Caucus Chairman: George W. Geddes
  • Republican Conference Chair: Joseph Gurney Cannon
  • Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman: William Rosecrans
  • Members

    This list is arranged by chamber, then by state.

    Skip to House of Representatives, below


    Senators are listed by their states and Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election.

    House of Representatives

    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.


  • replacements: 1
  • Democratic: no net change
  • Republican: 1 seat net gain
  • Liberal Republican: 1 seat net loss
  • Deaths: 1
  • Resignations: 0
  • Interim appointment: 1
  • Late election: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 3
  • House of Representatives

  • replacements: 15
  • Democratic: 1 seat net gain
  • Republican: 1 seat net loss
  • National Greenback: 1 seat net gain
  • deaths: 9
  • resignations: 9
  • contested election: 8
  • Total seats with changes: 25
  • Committees

    Lists of committees and their party leaders.


  • Additional Accommodations for the Library of Congress (Select)
  • Agriculture
  • Appropriations
  • Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate
  • Civil Service and Retrenchment
  • Claims
  • Commerce
  • Distributing Public Revenue Among the States (Select)
  • District of Columbia
  • Education and Labor
  • Engrossed Bills
  • Enrolled Bills
  • Epidemic Diseases (Select)
  • Examine the Several Branches in the Civil Service (Select)
  • Expenditures of Public Money
  • Finance
  • Fisheries
  • Foreign Relations
  • Indian Affairs
  • Judiciary
  • Library
  • Manufactures
  • Military Affairs
  • Mines and Mining
  • Mississippi River and its Tributaries (Select)
  • Naval Affairs
  • Nicaraguan Claims (Select)
  • Ordnance and War Ships (Select)
  • Patents
  • Pensions
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Potomac River Front (Select)
  • Printing
  • Private Land Claims
  • Privileges and Elections
  • Public Buildings and Grounds
  • Public Lands
  • Railroads
  • Revision of the Laws
  • Revolutionary Claims
  • Rules
  • Sioux and Crow Indians (Select)
  • Steel Producing Capacity of the United States (Select)
  • Tariff Regulation (Select)
  • Tenth Census (Select)
  • Territories
  • Transportation Routes to the Seaboard
  • Whole
  • Woman Suffrage (Select)
  • House of Representatives

  • Accounts
  • Agriculture
  • Alcoholic Liquor Traffic (Select)
  • American Ship building (Select)
  • Appropriations
  • Banking and Currency
  • Boynton Investigation (Select)
  • Claims
  • Coinage, Weights and Measures
  • Commerce
  • District of Columbia
  • Education
  • Elections
  • Enrolled Bills
  • Expenditures in the Interior Department
  • Expenditures in the Justice Department
  • 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
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Indian Affairs
  • Invalid Pensions
  • Labor
  • Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River
  • Manufactures
  • Mileage
  • Military Affairs
  • Militia
  • Mines and Mining
  • Naval Affairs
  • Pacific Railroads
  • Patents
  • Pensions
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Public Buildings and Grounds
  • Public Lands
  • Railways and Canals
  • Revision of Laws
  • Rivers and Harbors
  • Rules
  • Standards of Official Conduct
  • Territories
  • War Claims
  • Ways and Means
  • Whole
  • Joint committees

  • Conditions of Indian Tribes (Special)
  • Scientific Bureaus
  • Employees

  • Architect of the Capitol: Edward Clark
  • Librarian of Congress: Ainsworth Rand Spofford
  • Public Printer of the United States: Sterling P. Rounds
  • Senate

  • Chaplain: Elias D. Huntley (Methodist)
  • Secretary: Francis E. Shober (Acting), to December 18, 1883
  • Anson G. McCook, from December 18, 1883
  • Sergeant at Arms: Richard J. Bright, to December 18, 1883
  • William P. Canady, from December 18, 1883
  • House of Representatives

  • Chaplain: John S. Lindsay (Episcopalian)
  • Clerk: John B. Clark, Jr.
  • Clerk at the Speaker’s Table: Nathaniel T. Crutchfield
  • Doorkeeper: James G. Wintersmith
  • Postmaster: Lycurgus Dalton
  • Sergeant at Arms: John P. Leedom
  • References

    48th United States Congress Wikipedia

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