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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/258

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250 W. C. WOODWARD masses in preference to the dicta of a few who had usurped authority, Slater pledged his best efforts to the support of the ticket. Early in the spring the Republicans began organizing with a new determination to establish a permanent and independent party, free from all connection with Democratic factions. As an illustration of what was taking place over the state, a city mass meeting was held at Portland, March 5, "for the purpose of organizing a party which shall be opposed to the present (so-called) Democratic party of Oregon." The resolutions adopted called for the thorough organization of the National Republican party in Oregon; utterly repudiated the doctrines of abolitionism and denied that it constituted any part of the Republican creed ; declared unreservedly for the full and free application to the Territories of the doctrine of popular sov- ereignty. 1 This last resolution indicates the heresy of Oregon Republicanism on the great issue of squatter sovereignty, further evidence of which was to be frequently given. Among those addressing the meeting was Dryer. In the next issue of the Oregonian he strongly endorsed the meeting and from this time may be considered a Republican. In the spring of 1858 he had denounced the idea of political organization of the opposition as likely to prove as baneful as that of the Salem Clique. But in December he had turned squarely about and urged the necessity of the organization of a political party by the People of Oregon as the only remedy for the existing evils under Clique rule. 2 In February, 1859, he referred to the call made by "W. T. Matlock and four other residents of Clackamas county calling themselves a 'Republican Central Committee' " for a state convention to be held at Salem, April 21. He could not withhold some insinuations as to the presumption of a few Clackamas county politicians, self-constituted as leaders, but concluded with expressing the hope that the convention would prove successful in organizing the forces against the ruling dynasty. 3 All of which indicated that Dryer was "coming i Oregonian, March 12. aOregonian, Dec. 4, 1858. 3lbid., Feb. 5, 1859.