This article examines the life of North Carolinian Kenneth Rayner as one of the founders of the American Party, or Know-Nothings. Members of the American Party believed they needed to more than both major political parties at the time in order to save the United States from their corruption. Their main goals were opposition to immigration and Catholics, whom they regarded as anti-republican and easily swayed by demagogic politicians. Rayner recognized the threat posed by sectionalism and predicted that if the party failed, war would ravage the country. Rayner and the party's beliefs lack support, especially in the South and the party did not thrive.