A Division of William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Commonwealth Museum Podcast...

Only the Native Born: The Know-Nothing Party In Massachusetts

Know Nothings flagOur podcast explores the surprising legacy of the Massachusetts Know Nothings. In 1854 this anti-immigrant party swept into power, electing the governor, all members of the state senate, and all but three members of the House of Representatives. What happened next? The story remains fascinating and instructive to this day. Anna Pinkert is our guide. (Running time: 11 minutes, 30 seconds)

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Anna Pinkert is a multimedia producer based in Boston, MA. Anna's work has appeared on public radio stations and in museum exhibit halls around the country, including WBUR, MPBN, WUMB, the Liberty Science Center, the Commonwealth Museum, the Houston Health Museum, and many more. Anna is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Special thanks to our guests:

Tyler Anbinder is Professor of History at George Washington University. His book, Nativism and Slavery focused on the role of the Know Nothing party in the years leading to the Civil War. He was a historical consultant for the Martin Scorcese film Gangs of New York.

Thomas Whalen is Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Boston University. His teaching interests include nineteenth and twentieth century American social and political history. His commentary is familiar to Boston television viewers as well as readers of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Additional narration: James Fisher. Research: Mirella Blum, Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta, Mary Concannon. Research on the Know Nothings and prohibition:  Law Offices of John P. Connell P.C. Thanks to Matt Leonard and WUMB. Executive Producer: Stephen Kenney

The podcast is produced by the Commonwealth Museum using primary source materials from the Massachusetts Archives.