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Native American Party (with players pro and con)

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  • Capt. Bennett Fulmer (1816 - 1894)
    RR conductor who lived in Ward 16 of Philadelphia in 1860 ~• last residence: 808 North Sixteenth street, Philadlphia rode with Jesse Weber Bean to the July 1844 Southwark riots in Philadelphia as part...
  • Jesse Bean Davis (1815 - 1896)
    CAPTAIN JESSE B. DAVIS. For many years one of the best-known and most popular men of Montgomery county was Captain Jesse B. Davis of Norristown. His ancestors were Welsh and they were early settlers in...
    George Bellis (c.1810 - 1881)
    ~• a fish Merchant in Kensington (1850) ~• possibly related to this tree: Lived in Kensington section, then in Philadelphia County. Sought election as a member of the Native American Party. See sour...
  • Maj. Gen. Winfield Mason Scott, (USA) (1786 - 1866)
    Scott (June 13, 1786 – May 29, 1866) was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852.Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" and the "Grand Old Man of the A...
  • Henry A. S. Dearborn (1783 - 1851)
    He served as adjutant general of the Massachusetts Militia with the rank of major general from 1834 to 1843. Attempted Vice Presidential Nomination from wikipedia: "The Native American Party, a p...

disambiguation: A now defunct political organization of 19th century American opposed to suffrage for immigrant Catholics and what they saw as overly easy access to citizenship

icn_favorite.gif Important distinction: NOT all profiles associated with this project were members of the Native American Party. Some are merely central to the discussion as they were players in central events such as the Kensington Riots

This project stems from an examination of members of the Native American Party who were officials of the Party in the era of the Kensington Riots of May, 1844. But any documented member of the Party may be added.

Five Thousand Military Under Arms. Fourteen Killed and Fifty Wounded.
The U. States Government applied to for Aid. The Governor and Commander-in-Chief at the Head of the Volunteer Forces. From A Full and Complete Account of the Late Awful Riots in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia: John B. Perry, 1844.

"By 1852 the Know-Nothing party was achieving phenomenal growth. It did very well that year in state and local elections, and with passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 it won additional adherents from the ranks of conservatives who could support neither the proslavery Democrats nor antislavery Republicans. When Congress assembled on December 3, 1855, 43 representatives were avowed members of the Know-Nothing party." ~• Britannica
~• These were complicated times. A nativist of 1840 could by 1860 have become a member of any Party. The Whigs were gone, the Native American and Know Nothings had to choose the Democrats or the (new) Republican Party.

  • 1854 : Sheet Music Cover, “K N Quick Step”

"Nativists used songs to stir the party faithful and spread their message. As the nation’s leading center of sheet music publication, lower Manhattan was well-equipped to serve the anti-immigrant American Party, also called the “Know Nothings,” with printings of songs such as the “K N Quick Step.” "

"Paving the way for the Know Nothing movement were two men from New York City. Thomas R. Whitney, the son of a silversmith who opened his own shop, wrote the magnum opus of the Know Nothings, A Defense of the American Policy. William “Bill the Butcher” Poole was a gang leader, prizefighter and butcher in the Bowery (and would later be used as inspiration for the main character in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York). Whitney and Poole were from different social classes, but both had an enormous impact on their chosen party—and their paths crossed at a pivotal moment in the rise of nativism." Smithsonian magazine

My focus here has been almost solely on the early movement as it existed in Pennsylvania prior to the birth of the name Know Nothing, particularly Philadelphia where two riots took place in May and July of 1844.
Please contribute members from other regions.
~• Michael M. van Beuren, vol. curator (Sep. 2022)

events in Philadelphia

~• “ Natives were pulling support away from both of the older parties.” as Chronicled in the press of the day (in Fires of Philadelphia)

  • 1844, April 11th = 1st issue of the daily The Native American by Samuel Kramer
  • May riots included deaths and destruction of property =
  • Statement of purpose (21 years in America before right to vote)
    • Public Ledger (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)01 Jul 1844, MonPage 2
  • July 4th parade > followed by more riots in Southwark
  • In the 1854 Philadelphia mayoral election, Robert Taylor Conrad was the nominee of both the Whigs and Know Nothings (later known as the American Party). He won in a landslide, riding a wave of nativist sentiment that swept the United States in the mid-1850s.
  • 1857 Influence shown to wane as Isaac Hazlehurst loses gubernatorial election in PA.
  • The Coinage Act of 1864 stemmed from the influences of a Pennsylvanian & future Governor James Pollock who political base included the nativists through the Know Nothing Party. The Act of 1864 was promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase.
    • this little-remembered detail is much ignored in writings on the origins of "In God We Trust" on US currency.
  • much later there was a swing in the other direction, politically. See Mayor Daniel Miller Fox here on geni and in wikipedia. The progression went nativist > Know Nothing > Whig > Republican > Democrat in terms of political supremecy.
    • Silcox, Harry C. (1989). Philadelphia Politics from the Bottom Up: The Life of Irishman William McMullen, 1824–1901. The Balch Institute Press. pp. 70, 78. ISBN 9780944190012.


more party timeline

  • 1835 : New York's Native American Democratic Assoc. (Morse and Mayor Aaron Clark > which became the American Republican Party in 1843
  • 1836 : The publication of Maria Monk's Awful Disclosures > Often described as the "Uncle Tom's Cabin of nativism" • there being evidence that there was a market for anti-Catholic horror fiction
  • 1845, Oct. Col. Lemuel Paynter , elected Pres. of the Native Americans of the 1st Congressional District
  • 1845, Oct. various candidates and Native American Party statement ; Henry A. S. Dearborn
  • 1846 : " George Washington Woodward was nominated in 1845 by President James K. Polk as an associate justice. Supreme Court of the United States but the United States Senate voted 20–29 not to confirm him.[1] A major motivation for the failure of his nomination was nativist views that Woodward supported."
  • 1847: from wikipedia: "The Native American Party, a precursor to the Know Nothings, which had split from the Whig Party in 1845, met in September 1847 in Philadelphia, where they nominated Zachary Taylor for president while Dearborn was selected as his running mate." > but later the Whig Party party nominated Taylor as well with Fillmore as the vp nominee. This turn of events quashed the efforts of the Native Americans to promote its own slate for the White House.
  • 1848 October • In-fighting between Whigs and Nativists divides support in the 1848 elections (candidates listed) in an Hermaphrodite Party
  • 1856 : James Pollock elected Gov. of PA
  • 1892 : revival in Philadelphia : The New American Party

others, placed

lists of the dead and wounded (vary)

PA State Senators who either were supported by Nativists or were once in the Native American Party

Peleg Barrows Savery Democratic 1849 – 1851 ~• was once a Whig/"Hermaprodite"
Samuel G. Hamilton (Native American2) Philadelphia County 1852-1854

project originator's note: one of my great uncles of that generation was, as a young man, a member of the First Montgomery Troop which was called up to restore the peace after the first day of rioting. see Sgt. Jesse Weber Bean (CSA) . He even wrote about the rioting in a letter to his brother, Edwin. Their father served in the Pa, House and Jesse's father-in-law represented Philadelphia in the State Senate.