U.S. Senate, 1877 Election


Date: January 16, 1877
Cycle: 1877
Office: U.S. Senate
State: Minnesota
District: Statewide
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent Margin
William Windom Incumbent Man Republican 96 67.61 +42.25
Morton S. Wilkinson Man Democrat 36 25.35
Edmund Rice Man Democrat 3 2.11
James B. Wakefield Man Republican 3 2.11
Mark H. Dunnell Man Republican 2 1.41
Charles M. (C.M.) Start Man Republican 1 0.70
William L. Banning Man Democrat 1 0.70

Election by the state legislature in with each chamber voting separately. Windom won 26 of 39 votes in the state Senate with 11 for Wilkinson and one each for Wakefield and Banning. Windom won 70 of 103 votes in the state House with 25 for Wilkinson, three for Rice, two each for Wakefield and Dunnell, and one for Start. The legislature declared Windom the duly elected U.S. Senator in a joint convention on January 17, 1877.

Windom resigned his seat on March 7, 1881 after being appointed Secretary of the Treasury by James Garfield. Republican Alonzo J. Edgerton was appointed to fill the seat by Governor John Pillsbury.

Wilkinson was an attorney from Stillwater, former territorial Representative (HD 02, 1849-1850), Ramsey County Register of Deeds (1851-1853), and U.S. Senator (1859-1865).

Rice was a resident of St. Paul who served multiple terms in the state Senate (SD 01, 1864-1866; SD 23, 1873-1875) and state House (HD 01, 1867-1868; HD 24, 1872-1873, 1877-1879).

Wakefield was an attorney from Blue Earth, former state Representative (HD 14, 1857-1859; HD 20, 1863-1864, 1866-1867), former state Senator(SD 20, 1866-1871), sitting Lieutenant Governor (1876-1880), and eventual U.S. Representative (CD 02, 1883-1887).

Dunnell was an attorney from Winona, former state Representative (HD 11, 1867-1868), and sitting U.S. Representative (CD 01, 1871-1883; 1889-1891).

Start was an attorney from Rochester and Olmsted County Attorney. He would later serve as Attorney General (1880-1881) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1895-1913).

Banning was a former banker from St. Paul, former Republican state Representative (HD 21, 1861-1862), and Democratic-Greenback nominee for Governor in 1877.


  • Journal of the Senate of the Nineteenth Session of the Legislature of the State of Minnesota, 1877 (p. 39-40). Journal of the House of Representatives of the Nineteenth Session of the Legislature of the State of Minnesota, 1877 (p. 54, 61).