BARNBURNERS was the nickname of a progressive faction of the New York State Democratic Party in the 1840s. The name "Barnburner" came from the story of the Dutch farmer who was willing to burn his barn to get rid of the rats. In direct opposition to the southern wing of the Democratic Party, Barnburners supported the Wilmot Proviso, which proposed to ban slavery from the territories captured in the Mexican War. In 1848 the Barn-burners bolted from the Democrats and nominated the Free Soil candidate, Martin Van Buren, for president. The Barnburners' defection ensured the defeat of the Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass. In the 1850s most of the Barnburners joined the newly founded Republican Party.
Potter, David M. The Impending Crisis, 1848–1861. Edited and completed by Don E. Fehrenbacher. New York: Harper and Row, 1976.
Rayback, Joseph G. Free Soil: The Election of 1848. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1970.
Augustus H.Shearer/a. g.
barn1 / bärn/ • n. a large farm building used for storing grain, hay, or straw or for housing livestock. ∎ a large shed used for storing vehicles. ∎ a large and unattractive building: moved into that barn of a house.barn2 (abbr.: b) • n. Physics a unit of area, 10−28 square meters, used esp. in particle physics.
See also Robin Hood's barn at Robin.
Endersby et al . (1992);