POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 133 On the other hand the Argus strongly supported the Re- publican organization. Its declaration was made November 1, 1856. In September a movement had been launched in Linn County for the raising of capital in the Territory for establishing a Republican paper. 1 But when Adams committed the Argus to the cause, the effort to start a new paper was given up and the Argus was recognized as the official Repub- lican organ. Adams declared the cardinal doctrines of the Oregon Republican party to be those demanding a free Terri- tory and a Pacific railroad. 2 While the Oregonian did not ally itself with the Republican movement, by 1856 it took up the issue definitely against slavery. It had had as little sympathy with abolitionism as had the Statesman. In 1853 it contained frequent insinuations against Mrs. Stowe and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and abolitionists in general. But it became aroused by the passage of the Kansas- Nebraska bill and by the series of events which followed in its train. When Delazon Smith's resolutions endorsing the bill were before the legislature of '54- J 55, R. J. Ladd of Umpqua county moved to strike out the 5th resolution which stated that the physical conditions in Oregon were unpropitious for the introduction of slavery and would operate to keep it out of the Territory. He declared that he did not want to discourage slave holders coming to Oregon with their prop- erty if they saw fit. It was the voice of a minority. But so completely was the slave power getting control of the Demo- cratic party of the United States and so subservient were the rank and file to party action and decrees, that it was not a wild and unreasonable fear on the part of those who saw in this minority the possibility of the encroachment of slavery in Ore- gon. It was this fear which gave zest to Republican organiza- tion. It was this fear that led the conservative Dryer to change his policy of "letting slavery alone." The progress of the civil strife in Kansas, in which the Ad- ministration had actively interfered in behalf of the pro- iSee Argus, October 4, 1856. albid., November i, 1856.
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/141
This page needs to be proofread.