Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/326

This page needs to be proofread.

318 W. C. WOODWARD United States senators without reference to political complex- ion. The mask has fallen and behold, men of Oregon, the loathsome mess it concealed." The anti-Lane faction was victorious in the organization of the Assembly, B. F. Harding of Marion being elected speaker of the house and Luther Elkins of Linn, president of the senate. To prevent a quorum in the latter, six of the Lane- Smith members withdrew and went into hiding, their purpose being to make impossible the election of senators unsatisfactory to their faction. In fact it was asserted by the Breckinridge Democrats that no legislation should take place until Delazon Smith was elected senator, his term having expired before Lane's. Warrants were issued for the arrest of the absconding senators but they could not be found. The two Democratic conventions were in session at Eugene at this time. The Breck- inridge convention heartily endorsed the action of the six sena- tors as "preventing the consummation of a gross and infamous fraud upon the Democratic masses of this state by the accom- plishment of the election of a Black Republican to the Senate of the United States, as the fruit of a corrupt and infamous secret coalition." The Douglas convention referred to the abscondence as "part and parcel of that great revolutionary scheme initiated by those who seceded from the National Democratic convention/' After unsuccessful balloting for United States senators, the legislature adjourned. Gov. Whiteaker, though a strong parti- san of the Breckinridge faction, issued an appeal to the absent senators to return to their aeats, which they did on Septem- ber 24. They were censured by the senate, in a vote of 8 to 7. The result of the first ballot after the re-assembling of the legislature, taken October 1, was: For the long term Nesmith 16, Smith 19, Baker 12, Williams 2, Curry 1. For the short term Grover 17, Willams 11, Holbrook 11, Curry 7, Drew 2. After ten ineffective ballots, adjournment was made until the following day. On the fourth ballot of the next day, the vote stood : Long term Deady 22, Nesmith 27 ; short