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American Party (Mass.)


Historical note

The inclusion of anti-Catholic sentiments in the American Party (or Know-Nothing Party) platform were a continuation of earlier anti-Catholic trends. One of the most famous incidents of anti-Catholic sentiment expression occurred August 11, 1834, when rioters looted and burned the Ursuline Convent of Mount Benedict in Charlestown, MA. Anti-Catholic violence erupted again in Philadelphia in 1835, and 13 people were killed in riots. Activities by the American Nativist Party in Kensington, Pennsylvania, in 1844 also sparked anti-Catholic riots. From its founding in the 1850s, the American Party continued to embrace these sentiments, as evidenced in its publications and meeting minutes.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Boston College collection of anti-Catholic documents


This collection documents popular and political manifestations of anti-Catholic prejudice in the United States during the nineteenth century. Materials document the burning of the Ursuline convent in Charlestown, MA in 1834; riots targeting Catholics in Philadelphia, PA; and the American Party during the 1850s-1860s.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1844-1930, undated; Majority of material found within 1854 - 1857