Ted Genoways: Not since the Civil War has a vote required 10 ballots or more to choose a speaker. He says in 1859, 101 Democrats and 109 Republicans held a vote for House speaker on Dec. 5, 1859. John Sherman led the Republican field with 66 votes; he was elected speaker on the second ballot. Chapter headings included “The Stupid Masses of the South” and “Revolution — Peacefully if We Can, Violently if We Must”. The House voted for days on a series of failed votes, often interrupted by ad hominem attacks.
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