Fun Facts About Great and Achieving Republicans (A Corrective to GOP.com's Historical Whitewash):
The cool thing about the people discussed at the shiny new nickel of a site, GOP.com, is that if you tell only part of the story, you can make anyone seem just awesome. You may have already heard about the absurdity of citing Jackie Robinson as a Republican "hero." Well, the whole damn site is filled with historical myopia. To wit:
Samuel Curtis, cited at GOP.com for writing the Pacific Railway Act while an Iowa congressman, was also a general in the Union army. He sent the following message in a telegram in 1864 to Colonel John Chivington, who was fighting Native Americans in Colorado: "I want no peace till the Indians suffer more...No peace must be made without my directions." This led directly to the Sand Creek Massacre of a large group of Cheyenne. (Fun side note: Chivington loved to give lectures where he showed off the dozens of scalps he collected.)
The first African-American senator was indeed Hiram Revels (serving from 1870-1871), who was indeed a Republican from Mississippi, who did, in fact, after seeing that the Mississippi Republican party was rank with corruption, end up supporting Democrats in 1875 and was even appointed president of Alcorn College by the Democratic governor.
Samuel Pomeroy was a senator from Kansas from 1861-1873 who GOP.com mentions for having written the bill that established Yellowstone National Park. Mark Twain saw him as a quintessentially corrupt politician and based a character in The Gilded Age on Pomeroy. Pomeroy was accused of and once arrested for bribing a voter and corruption in one of the more sordid ethical scandals in Senate history.
John Langston, a representative from Virginia, 1890-1891, was a black Republican who was opposed by white Republicans in his state (to be sure, Democrats were total dicks about him, too).
Senator Everett Dirksen was a big supporter of civil rights. He was also a supporter of the Vietnam War through three presidents.
This doesn't even get into the absurdity of judging contemporary Republicans by the standards of the Radical Republicans of the 19th century. John Langston, for instance, wouldn't be seen with today's Republicans. Oh, and J. Ellen Foster? She was majorly for Prohibition. It's why she went Republican.