A secret political party of the United States, which arose in
1853, who replied to every question asked about their society, “I know
nothing about it.” Their object was to accomplish the repeal of the
naturalisation laws, and of the law which excluded all but natives from
holding office. The party split on the slavery question and died out.
The chief principle of the party was that no one who had not been 21
years in the United States should be permitted to have any part in the
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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