The Whig Party in Pennsylvania - Vol. 1

By Henry R. Mueller | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE WHIG PARTY 1854-1856.

IN the early part of 1854 there was a recrudescence of anti-Catholic sentiment, which was closely associated with intense hatred of foreigners. Heretofore, candidates in local elections had been defeated by an appeal to religious prejudices, but now the agitation was to assume state-wide proportions. In the past few years there had been a number of causes to increase the fear felt because of the alarming number of immigrants. In the election of 1852 assertions were made that the Democrats put up placards urging the Catholics to vote for Scott, with the anticipated result that many Protestants, generally Whigs and native-born, had rejected him but no foreign- or native-born Catholics had been attracted to him.1 The opposition, partly anti-Catholic, which had prevented the elevation of Campbell to the supreme court of the state, was deeply offended when Pierce made him Postmaster-General.2 The tour of Bedini, the nuncio of the Pope, in the latter part of 1853 and in the beginning of 1854, led to rioting in various cities of the United States. The anti-Catholic element occasionally condemned the rioters, but universally condemned the nuncio as the cause of the disorder. In order not to offend their supporters of German ancestry, the Whigs declared that it was

____________________
1
Pennsylvania Telegraph, November 10, 17, 1852.
2
Public Ledger, January 4; Evening Bulletin, March 8, 1853.

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