Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/139

This page needs to be proofread.


POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 131 vention of November 15th, gave the Democrats a significant reminder, in endorsing the wisdom of the act of Congress organizing the Territory, which, "by applying the principle incorporated by Thos. Jefferson in the Ordinance of 1787, prohibits slavery in our Territory." The Yamhill Republicans declared with more grandiloquence than precision that they were for free Territories and free States, for free farms and free labor, free society and free school, free thought and free discussion, free speech and free press, free religion and free votes for freemen, Fremont and freedom. However, the politic Dr. McBride introduced a special resolution, which was adopted, expressing opposition to interference in any way with slavery in those states where it already existed. The Clack- amas convention of November 29th prefaced its resolutions with the "whereas," that the old Whig party was dead, the Know Nothing party was dying and the falsely called Democratic party ought to be dead and buried. It disavowed any intention of the Republicans to interfere with slavery in the states, but declared the General Government bound from principle and policy to guarantee freedom to all the Territories. Figuring prominently in this incipient Republican organization in the Territory were not a few whose names were to be writ large in the future annals of the state. The attitude of the three leading papers of the Territory toward the new Republican party is interesting and significant. That of the Statesman was exactly what might be expected. In an editorial, "A Black Republican Party in Oregon the Face for Next Year," 1 Bush shows the past opposition to Oregon Democracy to have been one and the same, whether fighting under the banner of Law and Order, No Party, People's Party, Whig, Temperance or Know Nothing; that the next front to be presented by this mongrel opposition was to be "Black Republican Disunion, . . . the true face of these fa- natics." A life-long and violent Whig, Editor Dryer of the Ore- gonian, found himself in a rather embarrassing position during i Statesman, September 19, 1856.