The first presidential candidate of the Republican party was John Charles Fremont, who was born Jan. 21, 1813.
Fremont was an explorer and military officer who served as the third U.S. military governor of California under President James K. Polk before his election as one of the first two U.S. senators from California.
He was nominated by the Republican party to run against James Buchanan in the 1856 election that the Democrat, Buchanan, won.
He made his first appearance on a U.S. stamp in 1898, eight years after his death. The 5¢ blue commemorative in the Trans-Mississippi Exposition issue has the inscription “Fremont on Rocky Mountains” and shows Fremont, known by many as “The Pathfinder,” planting the U.S. flag atop the Rocky Mountains (Scott 288).
He was honored once again nearly a century later, on one of the 29¢ stamps in the 1994 Legends of the West set (Scott 2869i, 2870i).