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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/137

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 129 what moment, by some artful ruse, it may be precipitated upon our Territory." The holding of county meetings throughout the Territory was encouraged for the purpose of arousing pub- lic sentiment against the growing evil of slavery and for se- curing the election of men to office who could be relied upon to oppose its encroachments. The support of the anti-slavery newspapers in Oregon was urged. Likewise, the intense feeling on the other side of the ques- tion is evidenced in the comment made on this convention. Delazon Smith, the "Lion of Linn," was an eye witness of the proceedings and reported with satisfaction to the Statesman that only one of the participators was ever suspected of being a Democrat. 1 He said the issue in 1854 was the Maine Law, in 1855 Know Nothingism, and now it was to be Free Soilism and that the champions were the same in each case. He became sarcastic on the "artful ruse" expression, declaring that not one man in twenty, permanently residing in Oregon, wished to see it a slave state. The attitude of Bush was picturesquely characteristic. He refused to publish the proceedings of the meeting which he referred to as "a collection of old grannies." "It is decidedly icy in these nigger-struck dames to ask the Statesman to publish their stale fanaticism. . . If anything could make the people of Oregon desire slavery, it would be the agitation of the subject by such fanatics as these." 2 The first Oregon counterpart of the action of Eastern anti- Nebraska men in assuming the name of "Republican party/' early in 1856, is found in Jackson County in May of the same year. It was a nominating convention of "the Republicans of Jackson county" and was held at Lindley's school house, in Eden precinct. H. Colver addressed the meeting, "showing the aims, object and principles of the Republican movement." 3 After an expression that old dividing issues had passed away or had now faded into insignificance before the one great question, the meeting adopted a ringing platform. It declared i Statesman, July 14, 1855. albid. 3 See Oregon Argus, June 7, for report of proceedings.