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Alabama's 8th congressional district: Wikis


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Alabama's 8th congressional district (obsolete)
Population (1960) 383,625
Created 1870 Census
Eliminated 1970 Census
Years 1873-1973

Alabama's 8th Congressional District, now obsolete, was established after the 1870 Census, which gave Alabama two additional seats in Congress.[1]

At present, Alabama has seven congressional districts represented in the United States House of Representatives. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alabama was apportioned eight congressional seats as a result of the 1880 census. In 1893-1913 there were nine seats, and on 1913-1933 there were ten seats, the maximum ever for Alabama. In 1970, Alabama lost its eighth seat when population could no longer support more than seven seats.


Notable representation

A diagrammatic history of the Alabama House Delegation

Among the men who represented the District in the House was former Confederate Brigadier General Joseph Wheeler of Courtland, Alabama. Born in 1836 in Georgia, Wheeler had previously served in the United States Army but resigned to support the Confederate States of America. Wheeler led the 19th Alabama Infantry Regiment into battle at the Battle of Shiloh in the American Civil War. Wheeler was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1880 as a Democrat but was ousted after a lengthy election contest by Greenback Party candidate William M. Lowe. Lowe died after only four months in office and was succeeded by Wheeler in a special election. Wheeler did not run in 1882 but was reelected in 1884 and served seven consecutive terms before resigning in 1900.

John Sparkman served as the 8th district representative from 1937-1946. On the same day he was elected in 1946, Sparkman was also elected, in a special election, to fill the United States Senate seat of John H. Bankhead II who had died in office. Sparkman immediately resigned the House to accept the Senate seat. [Note: In 1952 Sparkman was chosen as the vice presidential running mate of the unsuccessful Democratic candidate Adlai Ewing Stevenson II.] Sparkman previously had served as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives in 1946.

The District was lost due to reapportionment at the end of the 92nd United States Congress in 1973. Robert E. Jones, Jr. was the district's last representative.

Representation timeline

Congress Years Representative Party
43rd 1873 - 1875 Alexander White [2] Republican
44th 1875 - 1877 Burwell Boykin Lewis [2] Democratic
45th 1877 - 1879 William Willis Garth
46th 1879 - 1881 William M. Lowe Greenback
47th [3] 1881 - 1882 Joseph Wheeler Democratic
1882 William M. Lowe Greenback
1883 Joseph Wheeler Democratic
48th 1883 - 1885 Luke Pryor
49th-56th 1885 - 1900 Joseph Wheeler[4]
56th-63rd 1900 - 1914 William N. Richardson[5]
63rd 1914 - 1915 Christopher Columbus Harris[6]
64th-72nd 1915 - 1933 Edward B. Almon[7]
72nd-74th 1933 - 1937 Archibald Hill Carmichael[8]
75th-79th 1937 - 1946 John J. Sparkman[9]
79th-92nd 1947 - 1973 Robert E. Jones, Jr.[10]

Historical Boundaries

The district was elected at-large from the entire state until the 45th Congress, when it was established as a separate district in the northwestern part of the state.[11] The district occupies an area now held by Alabama's 5th congressional district, with the exception of a portion of Morgan County, which is part of the 4th district. Franklin County, which was part of the 8th district until after the 1890 Census, is also part of the modern 4th district.

Census Year Population Counties
1870[12] 130,173 Colbert, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan
1880 168,502
1890 176,088 Colbert, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan
1900 194,491
1910 218,342
1920 254,529
1930 282,241
1940 300,112
1950 321,459
1960 383,625


  1. ^ Official Congressional Directory. 44th Congress, 2nd session. 1st edition. Page 6 (1876)
  2. ^ a b District elected at-large
  3. ^ Lowe successfully challenged the election of Wheeler and assumed office on June 3, 1882. Lowe then died 4 months later and Wheeler was elected to fill the vacancy.
  4. ^ Resigned April 20, 1900
  5. ^ Assumed office August 6, 1900. Died March 31, 1914
  6. ^ Assumed office May 11, 1914
  7. ^ Died June 22, 1933
  8. ^ Assumed office November 14, 1933
  9. ^ Resigned November 6, 1946
  10. ^ Assumed office January 28, 1947
  11. ^ Official Congressional Directory. 45th Congress, 2nd session. 3rd edition. Page 5 (1878)
  12. ^ At-large until 1877



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