How a Canandaigua kidnapping influenced American politics

Back in 1826, the Masons had members throughout the American political system. But when a prominent critic was abducted outside of the Canandaigua jail in 1826, their influence would be called into question. Outrage over the incident would lead to the formation of the Anti-Masonic party, cement a serious distrust of government and introduce the nominating convention for presidential candidates.

The Anti-Masons didn’t last as a political party but many of them ended up in the Whigs, who would eventually form the nucleus of the Republican party.

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