Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 18, 2013

Adam Tate
Pages 105-118

South Carolina Catholics and the Know Nothing Challenge: The Charleston Elections of 1855

South Carolina Catholics defended themselves against the nativist attacks of the Know Nothings during the 1855 Charleston city elections by portraying themselves as loyal southerners and Americans. During the political battle, a number of South Carolina Democrats rose to defend their Catholic neighbors from nativist attacks. By the end of the election cycle, South Carolina Catholics had adopted a critique of centralized state power that gelled with broader Carolinian political concerns, bringing them closer to the South Carolina political and cultural mainstream.