The Know Nothing Party—Violent Acts

During 1855 the Know Nothings carried the city elections in Indianapolis and Indiana, except for Evansville and Madison, and also captured the city elections in neighboring Ohio. Danger was associated with the elections, and in the cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, and Louisville there were riots and bloodshed between the Germans and Know Nothings. In Cincinnati mob violence grew to considerable proportions, and in Chicago rioting between the Germans and the police was curbed only by calling in the National Guard.

There was tension in the 1855 election in Indianapolis, but neither the Sentinel, the Daily Evening Republican, the Indiana Republican, nor the Indianapolis Daily Journal report any riots or bloodshed. . . .The Know Nothings arose in part because they feared that the Democrats had sold out to the foreign-born, and the Indianapolis Daily State Sentinel, a Democratic paper, condemned the Know Nothings outrages as being injustices to the foreign-born who had been loyal and useful American citizens. The Sentinel maintained a sympathetic attitude toward the German element throughout the election, and it minced no words in condemning the riots in the other midwestern cities.



Updated: 27 April 2004, RKB

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