Introduction Index Resources Credits

Mississippi & Presidential Elections

Washington & Lincoln

Taft's Trip to Mississippi

Woodrow Wilson

FDR & Senator Pat Harrison

W.T. Marshall Collection

JFK & The University of Mississippi


Nixon & Ford

Willie Morris Collection


Presidential Signed Documents

Presidents and the Blues

Presidential Deaths


Handwritten manuscript “Young America” circa 1856

By 1856, many former Unionist Whigs in Mississippi had joined the new American Party, more familiarly called the “Know-Nothing Party.” The political outgrowth of a secret nativist society whose coded response to a challenge was “I know nothing,” the American Party touted an exaggerated patriotism and a dislike for the non-Protestants and immigrants who tended to support the Democratic Party.

The handwritten prospectus for a Vicksburg newspaper entitled Young America boasts the motto “American’s Must Rule America.” Clearly affiliated with the Know-Nothings, the newspaper supports the candidacy of former president Millard Fillmore of New York and condemns the Democratic Party which “has brought the union on the brink of dissolving and the native American will have to keep their eyes open or the country is gone.” Democratic nominee James Buchannan won the race despite the Young American forecast that “we all know that it is impossible for him [Buchannan] to be elected he is bound to be beat badly.”

Handwritten manuscript “Young America” circa 1856

Handwritten manuscript “Young America” circa 1856

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