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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/171

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 163 In the spring of the year 1857, the Democratic party an- nounced its policy of ignoring the question of slavery as a political issue. In line with that policy it declared for the settlement of the question in Oregon in accordance with the doctrine of popular sovereignty. In the pursuance of such a course, the people of Oregon, after a period of turmoil, de- clared decisively against slavery. In the very month follow- ing that decision of the people, by which the Oregon Democ- racy had apparently so successfully evaded a dangerous issue, the Democrats were confronted with the dilemma presented by the Dred Scott Decision. Some, maintaining their alle- giance to the principle of popular sovereignty, seized one horn of the dilemma, while others, more zealous in the cause of the slavery propaganda than in the maintenance of party consist- ency, seized the other. At the close of the year 1857 this read- justment had begun. The line of separation was not yet clearly marked, but it was indicated.