1842 and 1843 United States House of Representatives elections
All 223 seats to the United States House of Representatives
122 seats needed for a majority
The Whig Party spectacularly lost the seemingly comfortable majority won in 1840. Whig President William Henry Harrison had died within a month of taking office. His successor President John Tyler was only nominally a Whig and had not been properly validated for alignment to Whig policy. Effectively an independent, Tyler was disliked by politicians and unpopular with voters of both parties, leaving the Whigs unexpectedly leaderless and embarrassed by visibly persistent political disarray. Despite the improving economy, rural voters favored Democrats, again rejecting Whig economic nationalism. Whigs won only 73 seats (including William Wright of New Jersey elected as an "Independent Whig" ). Democrats won a majority with 148 seats (including Henry Nes of Pennsylvania elected as an Independent Democrat[Note 3]). In Rhode Island, the Law and Order Party, formed in response to the Dorr Rebellion, won two seats.
Apportionment was based on the Census of 1840 and was unusual in that the number of House seats was decreased, from 242 to 223. The apportionment bill of 1840 mandated that all Representatives be elected from single-Representative contiguous districts, abolishing plural districts and at-large districts. Four states that did not comply with this new law delayed redistricting.
|Democratic||Whig||Law and Order|
|Missouri||At-large||August 1, 1842||5||3||5||3||0||0|
|Tennessee||District||August 3, 1842||11||2||6||1||5||3||0|
|Illinois||District||August 7, 1842||7||4||6||4||1||0|
|Arkansas||At-large||October 3, 1842||1||1||0||0|
|Georgia||At-large||October 3, 1842||8||1||8||8||0||9||0|
|New Jersey||District[Note 4]||October 8, 1842||5||1||4||4||1[Note 2]||5||0|
|Delaware||At-large||November 8, 1842||1||0||1||0|
|New York||District||November 8, 1842||34||6||24||4||10||10||0|
|Massachusetts||District||November 14, 1842||10||2||2||1||8||3||0|
|South Carolina||District||February 20–21, 1843||7||2||7||1||0||1||0|
|New Hampshire||At-large||March 3, 1843||4||1||4||1||0||0|
|Connecticut||District||April 5, 1843||4||2||4||4||0||6||0|
|Virginia||District||April 27, 1843||15||6||12||2||3||8||0|
|Louisiana||District||July 3–5, 1843||4||1||4||3||0||2||0|
|North Carolina||District||August 3, 1843||9||4||5||4||4||0|
|Alabama||District||August 7, 1843||7||2||6||1||1||1||0|
|Indiana||District||August 7, 1843||10||3||8||7||2||4||0|
|Kentucky||District||August 7, 1843||10||3||5||3||5||6||0|
|Rhode Island||District[Note 4]||August 29, 1843||2||0||0||2||2||2|
|Vermont||District||September 5, 1843||4||1||1||1||3||2||0|
|Maine||District||September 11, 1843||7||1||5||1||2||2||0|
|Ohio||District||October 10, 1843||21||2||12||5||9||3||0|
|Pennsylvania||District||October 10, 1843||24||4||12[Note 1]||3||12||1||0|
|Mississippi||At-large||November 6–7, 1843||4||2||4||2||0||0|
|Michigan||District[Note 4]||November 8, 1843||3||2||3||3||0||1||0|
|Maryland||District||February 14, 1844||6||2||0||2||6||0|
In 1842, there were two special elections in Massachusetts's 1st congressional district. Incumbent Robert C. Winthrop (Whig) resigned May 25, 1842 due to the death of his wife. A June election was held in which Nathan Appleton (Whig) was elected. Appleton resigned, however, September 28, 1842 and Winthrop was re-elected back to the seat November 29, 1842.
There was also a December 7, 1843 special election in Massachusetts's 10th congressional district in which Joseph Grinnell (Whig) was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the June 15, 1843 death of Barker Burnell (Whig).
- United States elections, 1842
- 27th United States Congress
- 28th United States Congress
- Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. ISBN 978-0786402830.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0029201701.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1994). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Third ed.). Congressional Quarterly Inc. ISBN 978-0871879967.
- "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives* 1789–Present". Office of the Historian, House of United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Office of the Historian (Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives)