KNOW NOTHINGISM; OR, THE AMERICAN PARTY.
Boston: E.W. Hinks & Co., 1855.
8vo, 16pp. Pamphlet circulated by the shortlived American, or Know Nothing Party, which backed Millard Fillmore for president in 1856. The party, a combination of several nativist organizations that had sprung up in the 1850s, had two essential doctrines: that "Americans should govern America" (i.e. native-born citizens) and that the power of the Roman Catholic Church must be opposed by limiting immigration from outside northern Europe and the British isles. Fillmore had given a speech in which he said, "If there be those, North or South, who desire an administration for the North as against the South, or for the South as against the North, they are not the men who should give their suffrages to me. For my own part, I know only my country, my whole country, and nothing but my country." This pamphlet lays out in detail the tenets and policies espoused by the party, and shows that nativism has deep roots in American politics. Trace foxing. Rare.