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Kansas topics in Chronicling America - Know Nothings

The Native American Party, later known as the American Party, and commonly known as the “Know-Nothings” was an American political party that had nativist ideals.  The party believed that too many German and Irish Catholics were migrating into America, and desired to curb immigration and nationalization.  The Native American Party largely operated through secret societies. One particularly well known secret society out of New York was called the Order of the Star Spangled Banner.  When asked members were asked about their organization and activities, members of the society responded by saying “I know nothing,” which led to the popular name of Know Nothings to be associated with the party as a whole. 

The Know-Nothings gained brief popularity in the elections of 1854, but started to decline once the party supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1856. 

Below are article links to a sampling of historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection.

Suggested search terms:  Know Nothing Party; Know Nothing; Know-Nothing; Know-Nothings; Know Nothings; Know Nothingism; Know Nothing Movement; Native American Party; American Party; Order of the Star Spangled Banner; “I know nothing”; Americanism

“Know Nothingism and Abolitionism,”The Kansas weekly herald. (Leavenworth, Kan.), 22 Dec. 1854.

“Facts for the People,”  Squatter sovereign. (Atchison, Kan. Terr.), 18 Sept. 1855.'

“The Victims,”Squatter sovereign. (Atchison, Kan. Terr.), 13 Nov. 1855.

 “Still Harping on My Daughter,”White Cloud Kansas chief. (White Cloud, Kan.), 13 May. 1858.

“Coming Around,”White Cloud Kansas chief. (White Cloud, Kan.), 16 Sept. 1858. 

“The German Convention,”White Cloud Kansas chief. (White Cloud, Kan.), 3 Oct. 1867.

“Americans,”The Emporia weekly news. (Emporia, Kan.), 25 Aug. 1887.

“The Italian in Politics,”The Wichita daily eagle. (Wichita, Kan.), 10 Apr. 1891.

“A Dip Into Political History,” The Topeka state journal. (Topeka, Kan.), 07 Oct. 1922.