1854 Know-Nothings Tin Box
Bruce, you've brought us a great piece of political folk art from the middle of the 19th century.
It's got a nice slogan on it, obviously, "God and our Native Land." It's probably related to the Know Nothings anti-immigrant group in the mid-19th century. Somebody has written in script in pencil here, "This belongs to the Know Nothings, June 1854."
So my assumption is that it's related to the Know Nothing political movement.
Yes. The Know Nothings were a political group in the middle of the 19th century. It was xenophobia. They wanted to keep immigrants out of this country. Cities were flooding with Roman Catholic immigrants at that time. And they demanded two things in their platform. One was that any candidate for government, for election, had been native born to this country. The other was that citizenship would only be granted to immigrants after 21 years. They were named the Know Nothings because they were a secret society. When asked about membership, they always replied that they knew nothing. Not one of the prettiest pictures in American political life.
No, not at all.
It's wonderfully painted. It's in good condition. I would say that on the marketplace today, this box would probably bring about $2,500.
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