March 8, 1876
|After three years of debate and controversy,
members of the U.S. Senate refused to allow P. B. S. Pinchback of Louisiana
to take his seat.
Pinchback had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the fall of 1872. Later, during the winter of 1873, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Over the course of the long debate concerning his case, he became a national political figure as well as a prominent name in Washington society.
Senators who opposed Pinchback argued that he had not been properly elected to office or that he was not qualified. However, some historians believe that it was actually the senators' wives who influenced their husbands' votes against him. They were apparently upset at the thought of having to mix socially with Mrs. Pinchback.