President of the Massachusetts Senate Article

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Seal of the Senate of Massachusetts.svg

The President of the Massachusetts Senate is the presiding officer. In the United States Congress, the Vice President of the United States is the ex officio President of the United States Senate. In Massachusetts, however, the President of the Senate is elected from and by the Senators. The President, therefore, typically comes from the majority party, and the President is then the de facto leader of that party.

The most recent President of the Massachusetts Senate was Harriette Chandler, a Democrat who served as acting President following Stan Rosenberg's decision in December 2017 to temporarily step down from his post while the Senate conducted investigations into allegations of sexual assault made against his husband, Bryon Hefner. Chandler moved from acting President to President of the Senate in February 2018. She relinquished that post on 26 July 2018, and was succeeded by Karen Spilka. Democrats have had a majority in the Senate since 1959. [1]

List of Presidents of the Massachusetts Senate

# President Picture Term Party Notes
1st Thomas Cushing Thomas Cushing, Member of Continental Congress.jpg October 25, 1780 - November 4, 1780 [2] Cushing was elected as the first President of the Massachusetts Senate, he resigned on November 4, 1780 because he was elected the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. [2]
2nd Jeremiah Powell November 4, 1780 [2]-1782
3rd Samuel Adams J S Copley - Samuel Adams.jpg 1782-1785
4th Samuel Phillips SamuelPhillips.jpeg 1785-87
5th Samuel Adams J S Copley - Samuel Adams.jpg 1787-1788
6th David Cobb David Cobb.png 1801-02
F Served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's at-large congressional seat from March 4, 1793 – March 4, 1795.
7th Harrison Gray Otis Harrisongrayotis.jpg 1805-06 F
8th John Bacon 1806-1807 DR
9th Samuel Dana 1807-1808 DR
10th Harrison Gray Otis Harrisongrayotis.jpg 1808-1811 F
11th Samuel Dana 1811-1813 DR
12th John Phillips John Phillips First Mayor of Boston.png 1813-1823 Served as the first Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts.
13th Nathaniel Silsbee Nathaniel Silsbee.png 1823-1826 F
14th John Mills 1826-1828
15th Sherman Leland Sherman Leland Massachusetts Senate President.png 1828-1829
16th Samuel Lathrop 1829-1831 F
17th James Fowler 1830-1831
18th Leverett Saltonstall Leverett Saltonstall I.png 1831 W
19th William Thorndike 1832
20th Benjamin T. Pickman 1833-1835
21st George Bliss 1835
22nd Horace Mann Horace Mann - Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, c1850.jpg 1836-1837 W
23rd Myron Lawrence 1838-1839 W
24th Daniel P. King Daniel Putnam King (1801-1850).jpg 1840-1841 W
25th Josiah Quincy, Jr. Josiah Quincy Jr.png 1842 W
26th Phineas W. Leland Phineas W. Leland.png 1843 D
27th Frederick Robinson 1843 D
28th Josiah Quincy, Jr. Josiah Quincy Jr.png 1844 W
29th Levi Lincoln, Jr. LLincolnJr.jpg 1845 DR
30th William B. Calhoun William Barron Calhoun.png 1846-1847 W
31st Zeno Scudder 1848 W
32nd Joseph M. Bell 1849 W
33rd Marshall Pinckney Wilder Marshall Pinckney Wilder (politician).png 1850 W
34th Henry Wilson Henry Wilson, VP of the United States.jpg 1851-1852 FS Was the 18th Vice President of the United States (1873–1875) and a Senator from Massachusetts (1855–1873).
35th Charles Henry Warren 1853 Whig
36th Charles Edward Cook 1854
37th Henry W. Benchley Henry Wetherby Benchley.png 1855 A
38th Elihu C. Baker 1856 A
39th Charles W. Upham Charles Wentworth Upham.png 1857-1858 W Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 6th district from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1855.
40th Charles Abner Phelps 1859-1860 R [3] Also served as the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1856.
41st William Claflin William Claflin - Brady-Handy.jpg 1861 R Also served as the 27th Governor of Massachusetts from 1869–1872, and as a member of the United States Congress from 1877–1881.
42nd John Henry Clifford JohnHClifford Photograph.jpg 1862 R Also served as the Massachusetts Attorney General and, from 1853 to 1854, as the 21st Governor of Massachusetts.
43rd Jonathan E. Field 1863-1865 R
44th Joseph Adams Pond 1866-October 28, 1867 Died in office at age 40.
45th George O. Brastow George Oliver Brastow.png 1868-1869 Also served as a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council, and as the first Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts.
46th Robert Carter Pitman Robert Carter Pitman.png 1869 Resigned
47th George O. Brastow George Oliver Brastow.png 1869 Also served as a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council, and as the first Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts.
48th Horace Hopkins Coolidge Horace Hopkins Coolidge.png 1870-1872
49th George B. Loring George B. Loring - Brady-Handy.jpg 1873-1876 R
50th John B. D. Cogswell John Bear Doane Cogswell.png 1877-1879 R
51st Robert R. Bishop Robert Roberts Bishop.png 1880-1882 R
52nd George Glover Crocker George Glover Crocker.png 1883 R
53rd George A. Bruce George Anson Bruce.png 1884 R Also served as the fourth Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts.
54th Albert E. Pillsbury Albert E. Pillsbury.png 1885-1886 R Served as the Attorney General of Massachusetts from 1891 to 1894. Drafted original bylaws of the NAACP.
55th Halsey J. Boardman Halsey J. Boardman.png 1887-1888 R
56th Harris C. Hartwell Harris C. Hartwell.png 1889 R
57th Henry H. Sprague Henry Harrison Sprague.png 1890-1891 R
58th Alfred S. Pinkerton Alfred S. Pinkerton.png 1892-1893 R
59th William M. Butler William Butler.jpg 1894-1895 R Also served as United States Senator from Massachusetts from November 13, 1924 to December 6, 1926 and was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1924 to 1928.
60th George P. Lawrence George P Lawrence Massachusetts Congressman circa 1908.png 1896-1897 R
61st George E. Smith George Edwin Smith.png 1898–1900 R
62nd Rufus A. Soule Rufus A. Soule.png 1901-1902 R
63rd George R. Jones George R. Jones Massachusetts Senate President.png 1903-1904 R
64th William F. Dana William F. Dana (President of the Mass. Senate).png 1905-1906 R
65th William D. Chapple William D. Chapple.png 1907-1908 R
66th Allen T. Treadway Allen Towner Treadway.png 1909-1911 R Served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1913 until January 3, 1945.
67th Levi H. Greenwood Levi H Greeenwood Massachusetts Senate President 1912-1913.png 1912-1913 R
68th Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge, bw head and shoulders photo portrait seated, 1919.jpg 1914-15 R Later served as the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929).
69th Henry Gordon Wells Henry Gordon Wells.png 1916-18 R
70th Edwin T. McKnight Edwin T. McKnight.png 1919-1920 R
71st Frank G. Allen Frank G Allen.png 1921-1924 R Also was the 51st Governor of Massachusetts.
72nd Wellington Wells Wellington Wells.png 1925-1928 R
73rd Gaspar G. Bacon 1929-1932 R
74th Erland F. Fish Erland F. Fish.png 1933-1934 R
75th James G. Moran James G. Moran.png 1935-1936 R Elected by 19 Democrats and 1 Republican. [4]
76th Samuel H. Wragg 1937-1938 R
77th Joseph R. Cotton 1939-1940 R
78th Angier L. Goodwin 1941 R
79th Jarvis Hunt 1942-1944 R
80th Arthur W. Coolidge 1945-1946 R
81st Donald W. Nicholson 1947 R
82nd Harris S. Richardson 1948 R
83rd Chester A. Dolan, Jr. 1949 D
Harris S. Richardson 1950 R
84th Richard I. Furbush 1951-1956 R
85th Newland H. Holmes 1957-1958 R
86th John E. Powers 1959-1964 D
87th Maurice A. Donahue Maurice Donahue 1960s Massachsuetts 11191699173.png 1964-1971 D
88th Kevin B. Harrington 1971-1978 D
89th William M. Bulger Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and Massachusetts Senate President William M. Bulger.jpg 1978-1996 D
90th Thomas Birmingham Tom birmingham.jpg 1996–2003 D
91st Robert Travaglini Robert Travaglini 1980s Massachusetts USA 9501943933.png 2003-2007 D
92nd Therese Murray 2007-2015 D
93rd Stan Rosenberg Senator Stan Rosenberg.JPG 2015-2017 D
94th Harriette Chandler 2017-2018 D
95th Karen Spilka 2018- D

A = American, D = Democratic, R = Republican, W = Whig


  1. ^ Boston Globe, September 21, 1988
  2. ^ a b c Massachusetts General Court - Senate (January 1, 1879), The Journal of the Senate for the year 1879, Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts General Court - Senate, p. 5
  3. ^ Brown, Edgar M. (1859), Annual Register of the Executive and Legislative Department of the Government of Massachusetts, 1859, Boston, Massachusetts: Alfred Mudge & Son Printers, p. 4.
  4. ^ Merrill, John (January 11, 1935). "Moran Wins in Senate, Faints". The Boston Daily Globe.


  • The Massachusetts State House, p. 141-42. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Boston, 1953.

External links