William Pennington of New Jersey elected Speaker of the House on the forty-fourth ballot
Representatives had been meeting since December 5, 1859 on the usually routine task of electing a Speaker. After almost two months and forty-four ballots, Republican William Pennington of New Jersey was elected on a strict sectional vote with a count of 117 to 116 votes spread amongst his opposition. Pennington secured only one slave state vote. (By John Osborne)
Richard Franklin Bensel, Yankee Leviathan: the origins of central state authority in America, 1859-1877 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 54.