41st United States Congress

President of the Senate Schuyler Colfax
Senate President pro tempore Henry B. Anthony

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

- 41st United States Congress

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James G. Blaine

American statesman and Republican politician who represented Maine in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1876, serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1869 to 1875, and then in the United States Senate from 1876 to 1881.

The offices of the Kennebec Journal, where Blaine got his start in politics as editor.
James G. Blaine in the 1860s
Blaine's residence in the capital city of Augusta is the home of Maine governors.
James G. Blaine in the 1870s
Exposition Hall of Cincinnati during the announcement of Rutherford B. Hayes as the Republican nominee
Blaine worked with President Hayes (pictured) at times, but was never among his chief defenders in the Senate
The Interstate Exposition Building (known as the "Glass Palace") during the convention; James A. Garfield is on the podium, waiting to speak.
Blaine (left) was present at Garfield's assassination.
Blaine's mansion in Dupont Circle
Blaine/Logan campaign poster
An 1884 cartoon ridicules Blaine as the tattooed-man with many indelible scandals.
An anti-Cleveland cartoon highlights the Halpin scandal.
Blaine, Benjamin Harrison, and Henry Cabot Lodge and their families on vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Blaine in his office, 1890
Sailors from the USS Baltimore (C-3) caused the major foreign affairs crisis of Blaine's second term as Secretary of State.
1890 political cartoon depicting Blaine "outplaying" British Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.
Political cartoon depicting the death and funeral of Blaine.

In March 1869, when Speaker Schuyler Colfax resigned from office at the end of the 40th Congress to become vice president, the highly regarded Blaine was the unanimous choice of the Republican Congressional Caucus to become Speaker of the House for the 41st Congress.

Hiram Rhodes Revels

American politician, minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a college administrator.

Letter dated January 25, 1870, from the Governor of the State of Mississippi and the Secretary of State of Mississippi that certified the election of Hiram Revels to the United States Senate.
Revels was both the first black American and the first person of avowed Native American ancestry to serve in the United States Senate.
Political cartoon: Revels (seated) replaces Jefferson Davis (left; dressed as Iago from William Shakespeare's Othello) in US Senate. Harper's Weekly February 19, 1870. Davis had been a senator from Mississippi until 1861.
Grave of Hiram Revels in Holly Springs

On February 25, 1870, Revels, on a party-line vote of 48 to 8, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats voting against, became the first African American to be seated in the United States Senate.

Alexander Ramsey

American politician.

Ramsey's house in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1960

He was re-elected in 1869 and held the office until March 3, 1875, serving in the 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd, and 43rd congresses.

Enforcement Act of 1870

The Enforcement Act of 1870, also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1870 or First Ku Klux Klan Act, or Force Act (41st Congress, Sess.

Constitution of the United States

H.R. 1293 was introduced by House Republican John Bingham from Ohio on February 21, 1870, and discussed on May 16, 1870.

John Sherman

Politician from the U.S. state of Ohio during the American Civil War and into the late nineteenth century.

Photograph by Mathew Brady
Sherman at age 19
Margaret Cecilia Stewart
Congressman John Sherman
Sherman worked with Justin Smith Morrill to pass tariff legislation in 1860.
A Demand Note (top) and a United States Note (bottom)
Senator John Sherman
A silver dollar of the type Sherman said he never saw in circulation
A cartoon from the April 9, 1870 issue of Harper's Weekly anticipates the resumption of government payments in precious-metal coins.
Hayes's cabinet in 1877
Sherman appointed John Jay to investigate corruption in the New York Custom House.
James A. Garfield emerged the unexpected nominee at the 1880 Republican National Convention.
While serving in the Senate, Sherman lived in this house at 1323 K St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Sherman in his Senate office, about 1894
An 1885 political cartoon accuses Sherman and Foraker of fanning section hatred for political gain.
An 1889 cartoon suggests that the monopolies held too much power over Congress.
A $100 Treasury Note, authorized by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, redeemable in gold or silver coin
Caricature by Mecachis published in Blanco y Negro (March 21, 1896) depicting Sherman, then Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the suggestion for the kind of diplomacy that should be enacted by Spain.
An 1897 political cartoon by Louis Dalrymple depicts Sherman as a young woman attempting to answer major U.S. diplomatic questions by playing the game He loves me ... he loves me not.
Sherman's home in Mansfield, Ohio

The 41st Congress passed the Enforcement Act of 1870 to enforce its civil rights Amendments among a hostile Southern population.

Richard Yates (politician, born 1815)

The Governor of Illinois during the American Civil War and has been considered one of the most effective war governors.

Statue by Polasek outside the Illinois State Capitol
Richard Yates

While in the Senate, Yates was Chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Thirty-ninth and Forty-first Congresses) and Chairman of the Committee on Territories (Fortieth Congress).

Justin Smith Morrill

American politician and entrepreneur who represented Vermont in the United States House of Representatives (1855–1867) and United States Senate (1867–1898).

Morrill pictured between 1855 and 1865
Justin Smith Morrill (pictured between 1865 and 1880)
Morrill Hall at Iowa State University, one of several Morrill Halls at colleges created by the Morrill Act
Mausoleum of Senator Justin Smith Morrill in Strafford, Vermont
The Morrill Homestead in Strafford, Vermont

He served as chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Forty-first through Forty-fourth Congresses) where he played a vital role in obtaining the current Library of Congress main building through his work on the Joint Select Committee on Additional Accommodations for the Library.

William P. Fessenden

American politician from the U.S. state of Maine.

Photograph by Mathew Brady
Running the "Machine"
An 1864 cartoon featuring Fessenden, Edwin Stanton, Abraham Lincoln, William Seward and Gideon Welles takes a swing at the Lincoln administration.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Fessenden as Treasury Secretary
Fessenden was one of only three people depicted on United States Fractional currency during their lifetime.
Frederic Porter Vinton's portrait of Fessenden, posthumous. Circa. 1870

He also served as a chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds during the 40th Congress, the Appropriations Committee during the 41st Congress and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Library, also during the 41st Congress.

James W. Grimes

American politician, serving as the third Governor of Iowa and a United States Senator from Iowa.

In the Senate, he served as chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia (in the 37th and 38th Congresses), and the Committee on Naval Affairs (in the 39th through 41st Congresses).

Samuel J. Randall

American politician from Pennsylvania who represented the Queen Village, Society Hill, and Northern Liberties neighborhoods of Philadelphia from 1863 to 1890 and served as the 29th speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1876 to 1881.

Randall served in the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry (headquarters shown) in 1861 and 1863.
Pennsylvania's first congressional district in 1862 (outlined in red)
Randall shortly after his election to Congress
Philadelphia industrial workers benefited from Randall's support for high tariffs.
Michael C. Kerr defeated Randall in the election for Speaker in 1875, but died in 1876.
The Electoral Commission decided the disputed 1876 presidential election.
Randall sided with the majority of Democrats in authorizing silver dollars, such as this Morgan dollar, in 1878.
Cartoon depicting "SJR", published in Harper's Weekly (September 25, 1880)
John G. Carlisle bested Randall for Speaker in 1883.
Posthumous portrait of Randall by William A. Greaves, 1891
Randall's grave in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia

With Grant, a Republican, elected president in 1868, and the 41st Congress as Republican-dominated as its immediate predecessors, Randall faced several more years in the minority.