1858 and 1859 United States Senate elections

U.S. postage stamp, 1958 issue, commemorating the Lincoln and Douglas debates

The 1858 and 1859 United States Senate elections were elections which had the Republican Party gain five additional seats in the United States Senate, but the Democrats retained their majority.

- 1858 and 1859 United States Senate elections

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Republican Party (United States)

One of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States (1861–1865) and the first Republican to hold the office
Charles R. Jennison, an anti-slavery militia leader associated with the Jayhawkers from Kansas and an early Republican politician in the region
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States (1869–1877)
James G. Blaine, 28th & 31st Secretary of State (1881; 1889–1892)
William McKinley, 25th president of the United States (1897–1901)
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901–1909)
Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States (1929–1933)
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1981–1989)
Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States (2017–2021)
Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States (1923–1929)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th governor of California (2003–2011)
John McCain, United States senator from Arizona (1987–2018)
Donald Rumsfeld, 21st United States Secretary of Defense (2001–2006)
Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State (2001–2005)
Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995–1999)
Annual population growth in the U.S. by county - 2010s
This map shows the vote in the 2020 presidential election by county.
Political Spectrum Libertarian Left    Centrist   Right  Authoritarian
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.

Former Illinois Representative Abraham Lincoln spent several years building support within the party, campaigning heavily for Frémont in 1856 and making a bid for the Senate in 1858, losing to Democrat Stephen A. Douglas but gaining national attention for the Lincoln–Douglas debates it produced.

Stephen A. Douglas

American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

Photo by Mathew Brady
Stephen A. Douglas
Adele Cutts, c. 1860
The United States in 1849, with Texas's land claims on New Mexico shown
The United States after the Compromise of 1850
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler – An 1856 cartoon depicts a giant "Free Soiler" being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Douglas shoves a black man down his throat. A victim of lynching can also be seen in the background.
Stephen A. Douglas, photograph by Mathew Brady
Abraham Lincoln was Douglas's opponent in both the 1858 Senate election in Illinois and the 1860 presidential election.
Statue of Douglas at the site of the 1858 debate in Freeport, Illinois
Douglas (dark blue) had the support of most Northern delegates on the presidential ballot of the 1860 Democratic National Convention.
Douglas was defeated by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, as he won electoral votes from just two states.
Plaque at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, commemorating Douglas's "Protect The Flag" speech of April 25, 1861
Douglas's tomb
Douglas's widow, Adele, in mourning dress. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Douglas depicted on the Series 1875 $10,000 Certificate of Deposit

Douglas had previously defeated Lincoln in the 1858 United States Senate election in Illinois, known for the pivotal Lincoln–Douglas debates.

36th United States Congress

Meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.

President of the Senate John C. Breckinridge
President pro tempore Benjamin Fitzpatrick, until February 26, 1860 June 26, 1860 – December 2, 1860
President pro tempore Jesse D. Bright, June 12, 1860 – June 13, 1860
President pro tempore Solomon Foot, from February 16, 1861
Begin (March 4, 1859)
End (March 3, 1861)
Begin (March 4, 1859)
End (March 3, 1861)

Interim appointee lost nomination to finish the term Successor elected December 5, 1859.

John J. Crittenden

American statesman and politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky.

Crittenden as he appears at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Crittenden's Supreme Court nomination
Daguerreotype of John J. Crittenden, c. 1846. By Mathew Brady.
Lazarus W. Powell was Crittenden's opponent in the 1848 gubernatorial election.
President Millard Fillmore appointed Crittenden to his second term as U.S. attorney general.
Elizabeth Moss, Crittenden's third wife
John J. Crittenden in his elder years

So great was Crittenden's influence after his actions on the Kansas question that Abraham Lincoln felt that Crittenden's endorsement of Stephen Douglas cost Lincoln the Illinois senatorial election in 1858.

List of United States senators from South Carolina

South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution on May 23, 1788.

Elected to finish Evans' term.

List of United States senators from New Hampshire

Admitted to the Union on June 21, 1788.

rowspan=3 | Re-elected in 1859.

List of United States senators from Tennessee

Admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796.

Elected in 1858. Withdrew in anticipation of secession.

List of United States senators from Mississippi

Admitted to the Union on December 10, 1817, and elects senators to Class 1 and Class 2.

Re-elected in 1859. Withdrew.

List of United States senators from Minnesota

Admitted to the Union on May 11, 1858.

rowspan=3 | Elected in 1858. Retired.

List of United States senators from Iowa

Admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846, and elects United States senators to Class 2 and Class 3.

rowspan=3 | Elected in 1858.