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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/157

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 149 admission was made that "Every man here realizes and ac- knowledges that the number of voters in favor of introducing slavery into Oregon is at least 100 per cent greater than it was one year or eighteen months ago; we believe it is 300 per cent greater." After the June election, Bush threw open the columns of the Statesman for signed contributed articles on the slavery ques- tion. Judge Williams' famous free state letter appeared July 28, which will be noticed later. A few letters followed, pro and con. But as a rule free state contributors, other than Democrats, looked to the Argus as their medium, and of the free state Democrats, very few, indeed, had anything to con- tribute. On the other hand the pro-slavery agitators were in- clined to turn to the pronounced pro-slavery organs. One of the contributors was F. B. Martin, of Yamhill County, who argued that cheaper labor was needed to develop the agri- cultural resources of the country, and that Oregon's salubrious climate would be beneficial to Negro slaves. 1 J. W. Mack, of Lane county, argued against the contention that nature had decreed against slavery in Oregon. 2 John Whiteaker, destined to become the first state governor, avowed strong pro-slavery sentiments and announced that making Oregon a free state would abolitionize the country and be a decided step in the direction of "equality of the races." 3 The Jacksonville Sentinel stated the issue unreservedly, and bluntly committed the Oregon Democracy to the Southern causeĀ : "There is no longer any doubt but the issue will here- after be narrowed down to slavery and anti-slavery. The Black Republicans will rally under the banner of Free State and Free Soil in Oregon and the pro-slavery party under the Consti- tution and the measures to perpetuate the Union." 4 But the ne plus ultra of the slavery propaganda in Oregon was found in the Occidental Messenger. It was established i Statesman, August 4. 2! hid., August 1 8. 3 Reprint in Statesman, October 27, from Occidental Messenger. 4Quoted in the Argus, July 25. The editor of the Sentinel was W. G. T'Vault, the first editor of the Spectator, issued at Oregon City, February 5, 1846.