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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/310

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302 W. C. WOODWARD gon and take a part in the approaching campaign. 1 Such vigorous objection was made to the idea of an interloper being made so prolminent in Oregon affairs, that the matter was quietly but quickly dropped. But Baker was kept informed on the trend of political affairs in Oregon and received encour- agement from his northern political friends to remove and cast his political fortunes with Oregon Republicans. 2 He had made a great name for himself in California as an orator and occupied a prominent place, in the political activities of that state. But he was a man of the highest political ambition, and having failed of election to the United States Senate from California, looked with favor upon the overtures from Oregon. In the first weeks of the year I860 3 he took up his residence with his family at Salem and entered at once, upon the political activities of his newly-adopted home. His position was a dif- ficult one. The reason for his removal to Oregon was under- stood by all. It was natural for those Republicans who had been fighting the battles of the party in days oif adversity to look with some jealousy and suspicion upon an outsider who now came in with the ostensible purpose of claiming the first great reward of the party success which now seemed possible. The old spirit of "Oregon offices for Oregonians" was still prevalent. But Baker was a past master in the arts of a politician. He had all the physical endowments that go to make a successful public man the handsome appearance of a fine physique, dignified, courtly bearing, an incomparable voice. At the same time he had those winning graces of mind and heart which gave him a personal magnetism that was irre- sistible. He was a politician, but he was more. He gave an impression of a kindly, sincere interest in those about him which the mere affectations of a political demagogue would not inspire. The richness and power of his eloquence was 1 Davenport in Oregon Historical Quarterly for December, 1908, whose ac- count of the appearance of Baker in Oregon has been followed by the writer. 2 Dryer stated publicly in October, 1860, that both he and Logan had re- quested Baker to come to Oregon and run for United States Senator. See Argus, Oct. 27, 1860. 3 Col. Baker arrived at Portland, Feb. 21, 1860.