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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/166

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158 W. C. WOODWARD that a line of policy could be agreed upon that would ensure them the balance of power in Oregon. The regular session of the Territorial legislature met De- cember 17. The organization or "hard" Democrats secured control of the assembly, officers being chosen on the issue of their allegiance to the fifth, sixth and seventh resolutions which had been adopted by the Democratic Territorial Convention in the spring. The assembly considered that it was meeting in an interregnum between a territorial and a state form of govern- ment, with the result that little was accomplished at this ses^ sion. However, some discussions took place which are very significant, from a political point of view. Wm. Allen, a "soft" Democrat from Yamhill county, offered the following preamble and resolutionĀ : "Whereas, it has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that Con- gress has no power to prohibit the introduction of slavery into the TerritoriesĀ ; and, whereas, slavery is tolerated by the Con- stitution of the United States, therefore, Resolved that the chair appoint a committee of three to report what legislation is necessary to protect the rights of persons holding slaves in this Territory." 1 After following the heated Oregon newspaper controversies which followed so closely the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill and the troubles in Kansas, it is a matter of no little sur- prise to note the scant and tardy attention given the rendering of the Dred Scott decision. Apparently, it was looked upon by both the Democratic and the Opposition press as a two- edged sword, each being willing to allow the other to make the first attempt at wielding the dangerous weapon. The Oregon- ian ignored it. The Argus of August 29 reproduced Lincoln's Springfield, Illinois, speech of June 20, in answer to Douglas on the decision, but made no editorial comment until Septem- ber 5. There was published in the Pacific Christian Advocate, in the absence of the editor, T. H. Pearne, a clipping from an exchange, headed "Judge Taney in 1819." In the article the i Proceedings in Oregonian, December 26.