The strangely named "Barnburners" were a faction in the Democratic Party here during the 1840s.

They were nicknamed after the legend of the farmer who was willing to burn his barn to get rid of the rats. Similarly, the Barnburners were said to be willing to destroy the Democratic party to achieve certain reforms.The Barnburners split from the Democrats in 1848 and nominated Martin Van Buren for president, which helped defeat Lewis Cass, the Democratic nominee.