First Blacks In the United States Senate & GOP History

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In 1872 South Carolina: Blacks were elected to the statewide posts of Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General; and of 155 seats in the legislature, 96 filled by former slaves, or by men who shared their complexion.

First Blacks In the United States Senate

Hiram Rhodes Revels
(1822-1901)
Party: Republican
State: Mississippi
Term: 41st Congress (1870-1871)

Blanche K. Bruce
(1841-1881)
Party: Republican
State: Mississippi
Term: 44th-46th Congresses (1875-1881)

1868-1880        United States House of Representatives

John Willis Menard*
(1838-1893)
Party: Republican
District: Louisiana
Term: 40th Congress (1868)
*Elected to office, but not seated

Joseph H. Rainey
(1832-1887)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 41st-45th Congresses (1870-1879)

Jefferson F. Long
(1836-1901)
Party: Republican
State: Georgia
Term: 41st Congress (1870-1871)

Robert C. DeLarge
(1842-1874)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 42nd Congress (1871-1873)

Robert B. Elliott
(1842-1884)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 42nd-43rd Congresses (1871-1874)

Benjamin S. Turner
(1825-1894)
Party: Republican
State: Alabama
Term: 42nd Congress (1871-1873)

Josiah T. Walls
(1842-1905)
Party: Republican
State: Florida
Term: 42nd, 43rd and 44th Congresses
(1871-1873, 1873-1875 and 1875-1876)

Richard Harvey Cain
(1825-1887)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 43rd and 45th Congresses
(1873-1875 and 1877-1879)

John R. Lynch
(1847-1939)
Party: Republican
State: Mississippi
Term: 43rd-44th and 47th Congresses
(1873-1877 and 1882-1883)

James T. Rapier
(1837-1883)
Party: Republican
State: Alabama
Term: 43rd Congress (1873-1875)

Alonzo J. Ransier
(1834-1882)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 43rd Congress (1873-1875)

Jeremiah Haralson
(1846-1916)
Party: Republican
State: Alabama
Term: 44th Congress (1875-1877)

John Adams Hyman
(1840-1891)
Party: Republican
State: North Carolina
Term: 44th Congress (1875-1877)

Charles E. Nash
(1844-1913)
Party: Republican
State: Louisiana
Term: 44th Congress (1875-1877)

James E. O’Hara
(1844-1905)
Party: Republican
State: North Carolina
Term: 48th-49th Congresses (1883-1887)

Robert Smalls
(1839-1915)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 44th-45th, 47th and 48th-49th Congresses
(1875-1879, 1882-1883 and 1884-1887)

Henry P. Cheatham
(1857-1935)
Party: Republican
State: North Carolina
Term: 51st-52nd Congresses (1889-1893)

1880-1890        United States House of Representatives

John M. Langston
(1829-1897)
Party: Republican
State: Virginia
Term: 51st Congress (1890-1891)

Thomas E. Miller
(1849-1936)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 51st Congress (1890-1891)

George W. Murray
(1853-1926)
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 53rd-54th Congresses
(1983-1895 and 1896-1897)

1890-1900        United States House of Representatives

George H. White
(1852-1918)
Party: Republican
State: North Carolina
Term: 55th-58th Congresses (1897-1901)

1920-1930        United States House of Representatives

Oscar S. DePriest
(1871-1951)
Party: Republican
State: Illinois
Term: 71st-73rd Congresses (1929-1935)

1960-1970         United State Senate

Edward W. Brooke
(1919- )
Party: Republican
State: Massachusetts
Term: 90th-95th
Congresses (1967-1979)

1990-2000        United States House of Representatives

Gary A. Franks
(1953- )
Party: Republican
State: Connecticut
Term: 102nd-04th
Congresses (1991-1997)

J.C. Watts, Jr.
(1957- )
Party: Republican
State: Oklahoma
Term: 104th-07th
Congresses (1995-2003)

2010-2020          United States House of Representatives

Allen West
(1961- )
Party: Republican
State: Florida
Term: 112nd
Congress (2011-2013)

Tim Scott
(1960- )
Party: Republican
State: South Carolina
Term: 112nd
Congress (2011-2013)
US Senate (2013-?)

 

The founding event of the Republican Party is a matter of some dispute. Some point to a mass meeting in Ripon,
Wisconsin in March 1854; others cite a later gathering in Jackson, Michigan. In any event, there appeared to be a
spontaneous outpouring of anger following passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Large public meetings were held
in numerous Northern communities, some of which used the term “Republican.”

The ranks of the emerging Republican Party were filled by the following:

  • Northern Whigs united in their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but leaderless following the deaths of
    Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, both in 1852.
  • The Free-Soil Party, which had played a spoiler role in several presidential elections, but now was bereft of
    effective leadership
  • The Know-Nothing movement, whose roots lay in the fear of immigrants in general and Roman Catholics in
    particular Northern Democrats who deserted their Southern cousins over the slavery issue.
  • The new party experienced almost overnight success, winning control of the House of Representatives in the
    fall of 1854. Issues that brought the Republicans together included:


Repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska Act—the Republican opposition to the extension of slavery was based more on
economic concerns than moral ones

Support of the central route for the construction of the transcontinental railroad
Support of a Homestead Act, which would ease the process for settlers to own western lands
Support of high protective tariffs and liberal immigration laws—both were attractive to Northern manufacturers.

Importantly, the Republicans were the party of free working white men; they were opposed to the spread of slavery
because they did not want to compete against unpaid labor in the lands opening in the West. They were no
particular friends of the blacks, slave or free. Further, the Republicans were purely a sectional party; they did not
attempt to run candidates in the slave states. Their plan was to gain complete political control in the North; if they
did, they would have sufficient electoral strength to elect a president.

The Fundamental Principles of the Republican Party

 

  • I believe that the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability
    and responsibility must be honored.
  • I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or
    disability.
  • I believe in free enterprise and that encouraging individual initiative will continue to bring this nation
    opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
  • I believe government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they
    earn.
  • I believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be
    performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.
  • I believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
  • I believe America must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative
    ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
  • I believe in American values and that we should preserve our national strength and pride while working to
    extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
  • Finally, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and
    successful principles of government.


Blacks Rethink Democratic Party

Black Folks and The Republican Party

Black History and The Effects of Reconstruction

Brief History of North Carolina Republican Party

National Black Republican Associations (NBRA) History Test

Grand Old Party: Blacks might be surprised to compare Republican history with the Democrats’

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