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In the hotly contested Speaker's election, Democrat John Millson of Virginia comes to within eighteen votes of success

Federal Government and Politics, iconic image
12/21/1859
Representatives had been meeting for more than two weeks on the usually routine task of electing a Speaker.  The sectional crisis made this year very different, however.  After the seventeenth ballot, southerners and other Democrats rallied behind John Millson of Virginia.  Millson fell just eighteen votes short of the number needed for election, the closest a non-Republican would come, and the struggle went on. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Richard Franklin Bensel, Yankee Leviathan: the origins of central state authority in America, 1859-1877 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 52.

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