Where did the antiforeign movement, the “Know Nothings” get their name?

The secretive, anti-Catholic, and antiforeign movement, which flourished in the 1850s, received its name, the “Know Nothings”, because members, when questioned by outsiders, answered, “I know nothing.”

They pursued their aims through electoral politics, violence, and intimidation.

Also known as the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner and the American Party, the movement had adherents in Boston, New York, Baltimore, St. Louis, and elsewhere.