The Harlem Republican Club was created in 2002 to create
a permanent and visible Republican presence in the Harlem community.
The new club's members worked tirelessly that year to help reelect
Governor George Pataki and look forward to carrying that energy forward
for many other Republican campaigns in the future.
Although the Harlem Republican Club is a fledgling
political organization, the history of Blacks and the Republican Party,
however, is a proud and storied past. Through very turbulent
times, Republicans not only abolished slavery in America but established
that Blacks have the right to vote. In fact, many Black
Republicans held office and were influential in state legislatures.
In 1869, the first to enter the US Congress were members of the
Republican Party, establishing a trend that was not broken until 1935
when the first Black Democrat was elected to Congress.
- The first candidate for President of the newly-created Republican
Party, John C. Freemont, runs with the slogan: "Free soil, free
labor, free speech, free men."
- With the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party firmly
establishes itself as a major political entity capable of holding
the presidency for 60 of the next 100 years.
- President Lincoln is the first US President to meet with a group
of Black Leaders.
- President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation freeing
- The Republican Party makes the abolition of slavery a plank on its
- Eleven Democrats break with their party and defect to the
Republican side to vote "yes" for the Thirteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, thereby outlawing slavery in America.
Republicans in Congress also work to pass the Fourteenth Amendment
in 1968 guaranteeing equal protection under the law and the
Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 specifically securing the right to vote
for American Blacks.
- The Republican Party becomes the first major party to favor the
right to vote for women in America. Twenty-four years later,
Congress passes the Nineteenth Amendment, thereby guaranteeing women
the right to vote. Of the 36 State legislatures that voted to
ratify the amendment, 26 were under Republican control.
- The first woman is elected to the United States Congress -
Republican Jeannette Rankin from Montana.
Black Republican History
- Oscar J. Dunn becomes Lt. Governor of Louisiana. P.B.S.
Pinchback and James Harris become the first Black delegates at a
major party convention for the Republican Party in Chicago.
- Hiriam R. Revels of Mississippi becomes the first Black member of
United States Senate.
- Robert B. Elliot chairs the South Carolina delegation to the
Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
- John R. Lynch is elected Speaker of the Mississippi House of
- Blanche K. Bruce of Mississppi becomes the first Black elected to
a full term in the United States Senate.
- John R. Lynch is the first Black to preside over a major party
convention when he delivers the keynote address at the Republican
- Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts is elected to the United States
Senate by popular vote.
- Arthur A. Fletcher is appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor under
President Richard M. Nixon; he later became a candidate for Chairman
of the Republican National Committee in 1976 and Chairman of the US
Commission of Civil Rights in 1990.
- President Gerald Ford appoints William T. Coleman to serve as
Secretary of Transportation.
- NAACP President Benjamin Hooks is invited to address the
Republican National Convention in Detriot.
- President George H.W. Bush appoints General Colin L. Powell to
serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- President Bush nominates Clarence Thomas for the United States
- President George W. Bush assembles the most diverse administration
in history, appointing
L. Powell as Secretary of State;
Condeleezza Rice as National Security Advisor;
Roderick R. Paige as Secretary of Education;
Alphonso Jackson as Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban
Claude Allen as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services;
S. MacKay, Jr. as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs;
D. Thompson as Deputy Attorney General;
Stephen A. Perry as Administrator of the United States General
addition, Norman Mineta and Elaine Chao become the first Asian
cabinet members as they are appointed Secretary of Transportation and