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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/165

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 157 the nation could point to a bright and living example of Democratic policy, wrought out to a perfect demonstration in Oregon, as contrasted with conditions in Kansas, which had suffered from foreign Black Republican interference. He de- clared that Oregon Democrats, in their future policy would regard the question as settled and would recognize no difference in individual membership and influence between those who in the late election had voted for, and who had voted against slavery. "The watchword shall be harmony." In another editorial in the same issue, Bush admonished eastern papers not to misinterpret the vote against slavery. He assured them that the majority of the Oregon electors were Southern born and bred, while a large majority of the Northern men were sound, Constitutional men, who would be characterized by the Black Republican press as "pro- slaveryites." "Let not Black Republicanism lay the flattering unction to its soul that we are free soilish here. We are as far from that as California or Virginia." The Messenger refused to accept the result as final. Main- taining the doctrine of equal rights between the States, and that the Territories were common property, it contended that the people of a Territory, in the formation of a state govern- ment, had no power to exclude slave-holders, as the exercise of such a right would invalidate the common partnership. "As great an evil as disunion would be, we consider there is still a greater, and that is, submission to the unrestricted will of a reckless fanaticism which overrides the barriers erected by the Constitution for the protection of the minority, and tramples with ruthless iron heel, upon the plainest principles of justice and equality." Thus early was the standard of secession raised in Oregon. Before the election, C. E. Pickett, a zealous slavery apostle, self-imported from California, had written a letter to the Messenger advocating the call of a con- vention of pro-slavery men during the coming winter, whether the Constitution was adopted or not. 1 He expressed the belief i Republished in Statesman, November 10.