TROLLOPE began writing The American Senator on 4 June 1875 and completed it on 24 September 1875. Much of it was composed while he was visiting his son Frederick in Australia and returning home to England via New Zealand, Hawaii, and the United States.
Trollope sold the serial rights to Bentley for £600, and The American Senator appeared in Temple Bar from May 1876 to July 1877. Chapman and Hall bought the book rights for £1,200 and published the novel in three volumes in June 1877. Harper & Brothers brought out the authorized American edition, also in 1877.
The present edition is a reproduction of the Oxford World's Classics text first published in 1931 and reprinted in 1951 and 1962. The manuscript of The American Senator is in the Robert H. Taylor Collection of the Princeton University Library ( Princeton, New Jersey).