American Protective Association


A secret proscriptive society in the United States, which was a disturbing factor in most Northern States during 18911897. It was founded by Henry F. Bowers, who established the first council at Clinton, Iowa, 1887, and reached its height in 1894. Members were bound by oath to endeavor to exclude Catholics entirely from public offices. Propaganda was carried on by literature and lectures; forged documents were used, especially an alleged “papal bull” calling for a massacre of Protestants. Capital was made out of the coming of Mgr. Satolli, papal delegate, and also out of the parochial-school question. Few prominent men acknowledged membership. It was associated with the Republican party, and a great source of vexation to it. In failing to prevent the nomination of William McKinley (1896) and also to secure representation in the Republican platform for some principles of the order, its prestige received a blow from which it never recovered.

MLA Citation

  • “American Protective Association”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 November 2019. Web. 26 February 2021. <>