Anti-Immigrate Violence 1854

These immigrants were reviled as aliens who didn’t belong in America, strangers who would undermine the American way of life – they were (take a guess) — Irish and German! (Of course, that’s just what you were thinking, correcto?)  Violence against these aliens escalated in the mid-19th century, led by the “Know Nothing” anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic party.  On October 14, 1854, domestic terrorists from the state of Maine’s “Know Nothing” cell dumped burning tar and feathers over Johannes Bapst.  Bapst was a Swiss-born Jesuit missionary and educator who had fought for religious freedom for his parishioners.  Despite the horrendous treatment, Bapst did not go back to Switzerland and stayed in his adopted homeland.  After a lengthy semi-recovery from the tortuous ordeal, Bapst helped to found Boston College, later becoming its first president.  Image of the Bapst Library at Boston College, named in honor of the torture victim, unwanted immigrant, and college president.

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