Georgian Alexander H. Stephens saw evil in the nativist and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing party, just coming into notice in late 1854. He was opposed to secret organizations in a free republic, “where,” he says, “every man ought to have his principles written on his forehead.” Below he writes on 1 December 1854:
Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865
Riotous Living Out of the Public Treasury
“Public sentiment in this country is in a transition state, so far as the principle of party organization is concerned. Old parties, old names, old issues, and old organizations are passing away.
A day of new things, new issues, new leaders, and new organizations is at hand. The men now in power, holding their positions by the foulest coalition known in our history, seem not to foresee that doom which evidently awaits them.
Standing upon no policy but the division of the spoils, their time is taken up in revelry and riotous living out of the public treasury. But like Belshazzar at the feast, they have the handwriting on the wall, whether they can read it or not.”
(Life of Alexander H. Stephens, Richard M. Johnston & William Hand Browne, J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1883, pg. 286)