The American Party has been formulated under several incarnations. All have been fiercely loyal to America and its citizens. The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to other states as the Native American Party and became a national party in 1845. In 1855 it renamed itself the American Party
Generally mischaracterized as "nativist" the party was organized to work against the idea of unbridled and uncontrolled immigration, feeling that just like anything else, the measured and orderly inclusion of other races, creeds, colors and nationalities was the proper methodology to grow the population and that immigrants should assimilate into the culture and take on the history of their adopted new land.
The American Party has its roots in the many secret orders that grew up in the 1840s. The Order of United Americans and the Order of the Star-spangled Banner came to be the most important. These organizations baffled political managers of the older parties, since efforts to learn something of the leaders or designs of the movement were futile; all their inquiries of supposed members were met with a statement to the effect that they knew nothing. Hence members were called "Know-Nothings."
According to the Kentucky Encyclopedia, the American Party had about 50,000 followers in Kentucky by 1855. Many were former Whigs who feared that more immigrants like the Germans and Irish would upset the Compromise of 1850 and bring up the slavery issue again to cause a civil war. They were sure that Henry Clay's defeat in 1844 was due to illegal immigrant voting in key states like New York.
Efforts were concentrated on electing only native-born Americans to office and on agitating for a 25-year residence qualification for citizenship.
The modern incarnation of the party began in 1969 at meetings first in Indianapolis and later Louisville. These consisted of representatives from the 49 groups along with the District of Columbia who were responsible for getting George Wallace of Alabama on state ballots. At first there were no representatives from the state of Alabama because in Alabama Wallace was the nominee of the state Democrat Party and was carried on their ballot line. Representatives from Alabama did attend the Louisville meeting.
The party ran Congressman John G. Schmitz of California and publisher and speaker Thomas J. Anderson of Tennessee as its national ticket in 1972 and got nearly 1,200,000 votes. The split in the party happened after this election and actually took place in, I think, 1973.
As a side note the American Party's candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida, Dr. John Grady, received nearly 16% of the vote in 1974. This showing was so good that Dr. Grady left the party and ran for Senate as a republican in 1976. He got trounced. I fear that if we develop a successful candidate at the house or senate level that the Republicrats will try to peel them off. And Brian Melton of Virginia received 34% of the vote in a race for congress in, I believe, 1974.
Today, the American Party continues in the ideals of measured immigration by legal means, lower taxation, limited government, states' rights and the kind of United States envisioned by the founding fathers.