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Chaos in the Streets: The Philadelphia Riots of 1844  > 



St. Augustine's is founded by Father Matthew J. Carr, O.S.A.


St. Augustine's Church is completed.


St. Augustine's Academy, a secondary school for Catholics, opens.


The "Sister Bell" to the Liberty Bell is transferred by the city of Philadelphia to St. Augustine's Church.


New York Protestant Association forms.


Samuel F.B. Morse writes Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the Unites States; Nativist mob attacks and burns an Ursuline convent and school in Charlestown, Mass.; St. Michael's dedicated by Bishop Kenrick.


Native American Association forms in New York.


Awful Disclosuresby Maria Monk is printed and sells 300,000 copies.


Native American Association calls for the restriction of immigration, lengthening of naturalization periods, and new taxes for immigrants.


St. Philip de Neri is founded and becomes the tenth Catholic Church in Philadelphia and its neighborhood districts.


New York Public School Society vs. John Hughes; "Belle-Air", the estate of the Rudolph family, is purchased by the Augustinians.


American Protestant Association forms in Philadelphia; Maclay Bill is passes in New York abolishing the private Protestant Society and unifying schools under a new board which allows local schools to select their own books;Bishop Kenrick composes a letter to the school board of Philadelphia in order to seek a resolution for Catholic Bible rights in public schools.


American Republican Party is founded in New York in coalition with the Whig Party; First classes held at Villanova College.

May 3, 1844

Nativists hold rally in Kensington and are driven by the site by angry Irish Catholic locals.

May 6, 1844

Nativists again attempt a rally in Kensington which erupts into rioting.

May 7, 1844

Nativists hold rally in Independence Square followed by continued rioting in Kensington.

May 8, 1844

St. Michael's Church and St. Augustine's Church are burned to the ground by rioters.

May 12, 1844

Bishop Kenrick closes Catholic Churches to Sunday services.

July 4, 1844

Nativists hold parade in the Southwark section of Philadelphia.

July 5-8, 1844

Rioting outside St. Philip de Neri Church in Southwark.


Native American Party hold their first convention in Philadelphia; Villanova closes it doors and does not reopen for class until 1846.


The rebuilt St. Augustine's is completed. The "Sister Bell", which was damaged in the burning of the church, is recast and sent to the Augustinian community at Villanova.


Order of the Star Spangled Banner is founded as a secret society of Nativists in New York City. Goes on to become the Know Nothing Party.


The State Assembly of Philadelphia creates a unified Philadelphia Police District which has authority in the city as well as the outlying districts of Northern Liberties, Spring Garden, and Kensington as well as the townships of Southwark, Moyamensing, and Penn.


Know Nothing Party formerly organizes in New York. Becomes known as the American Party in political circles.


Know Nothings have an estimated one million members in thirty-one states.


An estimated twenty persons are killed in Know Nothing riots in Louisville; The city of Philadelphia is consolidated to include the neighborhoods of Southwark and Kensington.


In Ohio a group of Nativists attempt to fix an election and a riot ensues.


Millard Fillmore nominated for President by the American Party but loses to James Buchanan. The American Party will soon absorb primarily into the Republican Party.


Six people are killed in the Know Nothing riots in Washington D.C.


Abraham Lincoln wins Presidency on the Republican Party ticket.