United States Senate election in New York, 1861

The 1861 United States Senate election in New York was held on February 5, 1861, by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 3) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.


Whig William H. Seward had been re-elected in February 1855 to this seat, had become a Republican upon the foundation of that party in September 1855, and his term would expire on March 3, 1861. Seward did not seek re-election, instead being certain to be appointed to an office in the incoming Abraham Lincoln administration.

At the State election in November 1859, 23 Republicans and 9 Democrats were elected for a two-year term (1860-1861) in the State Senate. At the State election in November 1860, 93 Republicans and 35 Democrats were elected to the Assembly for the session of 1861. The 84th New York State Legislature met from January 1 to April 16, 1861, at Albany, New York.


Ira Harris was the candidate of the Republican Party. Harris had been a Whig assemblyman in 1845 and 1846, and a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1847 to 1859.

Ex-Governor Horatio Seymour (in office 1853-1854) was the candidate of the Democratic Party.


Both in the Assembly and the Senate a strict party vote confirmed the caucus selections.

In the Assembly 119 votes were given. Republicans Smith Anthony (Cayuga Co.), Martin Finch (Essex Co.), Henry A. Prendergast (Chautauqua Co.), Victor M. Rice (Erie Co.) and Perez H. Field (Ontario Co.); and Democrats Luke F. Cozans (NYC), Benjamin H. Long (Erie Co.), N. Holmes Odell (Westchester Co.) and Christian B. Woodruff (NYC); did not vote.

In the State Senate, 31 votes were given. William H. Ferry (Rep., 19th D.) was absent.


Ira Harris was the choice of both the Assembly and the Senate, and was declared elected.

1861 United States Senator election result
Office House Republican Democrat
U.S. Senator State Senate (32 members) Ira Harris 22 Horatio Seymour 9
State Assembly (128 members) Ira Harris 88 Horatio Seymour 31


Harris served one term, and remained in office until March 3, 1867.


See also

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