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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/155

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 147 the pugnacious Dryer, who defied the hosts of slavery in lan- guage expressive and picturesque. 1 However, the Argus, as the Republican organ of the Ter- ritory, was looked upon as the true exponent of free state ideals. It contained more contributed articles on the subject at issue than any other paper, and Editor Adams wielded a pen as defiant and trenchant as that of Dryer. While the Constitutional convention was in session, in an editorial on "Aspects of Locofocoism," Adams gave a review of the politi- cal situation which was sufficiently suggestive and significant to warrant special attention. 2 He declared that among the Democrats in the Territory one pro-slavery man was equal to ten free state men. By which he meant that whereas the lat- ter, afraid of the displeasure of their leaders and fearing the taunt of "Black Republican," were silent and passive, the pro-slavery men, by their aggressive activity, their political tact and sagacity, their "brazen, boisterous effrontery," more than made up for their disparity in numbers. In support of this contention he offered several pertinent proofs or illustrations. First, that while the Democratic party probably had a free state strength of two to one, yet Jo Lane, a rabid, pro-slavery man, had been made the candidate for Congress over free state men of greater ability. Second, out of the five Democratic organs, three of them were doing their utmost to fasten slavery upon Oregon, while the other two evinced "such a craven and cowardly character" as to leave their real convictions in doubt. 3 Third, the "driven-nigger" majority meekly submitted and voted for Deady, the "nigger- driver's pet," for president of the Constitutional convention. Fourth, that while the Democratic party had reiterated it that each member was perfectly free to speak, write or vote pro or con on the subject without impairing his standing as a Demo- i"Come on, ye hirelings of slaveocracy, and *d d be he who first cries hold! Enough.' " Oregonian, June 27. 2Argus, September 5. 3The five papers Statesman, Jacksonville Herald, Table Rock Sentinel (Jack- sonville), Messenger, Times. The last three were the rabid slavery advocates. The Herald was established August i, 1857. Adams did not include the Standard, as it had been formally read out of the party.