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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/327

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 319 term Baker 26, Williams 20. Twenty-six votes were neces- sary to elect. Oregon had chosen as her United States sena- tors, J. W. Nesmith, a Douglas Democrat, and Col. E. D. Baker, a Republican. The first step in the political revolution of 1860 had been taken. The contest had been a long and complicated one. The Douglas Democrats were reluctant to vote for even so conserv- ative a Republican as Baker, and held out in the hope of effecting some satisfactory compromise with their factional opponents. But they refused absolutely to vote for Smith of the other side and were as insistent on the election of their own candidate, Nesmith. But the Breckinridge party stead- fastly refused to support Nesmith unless Smith were made the other senator. Compromise was thus impossible. These conditions were set forth in an address issued by the fifteen Democrats who voted for Baker, explaining their action. 1 They contended that it was better to combine with the Repub- licans than have no senators at all, especially as Baker was a non-interventionist who really differed but little from them in his views and would make Oregon a worthy senator. 2 The Democratic press was practically a unit in denouncing the coalition, but the Statesman defended it, hurling defiance at "the Yanceyites," upon whom it threw the burden of respon- sibility because of their determination to elect disunionists to the Senate.3 The Republican press was jubilant. "Glorious Result," was the caption of the article in the Argus, October 6, announcing the "glorious news." Adams made the first open, unreserved public reference to the means by which it was accomplished when he said "The combination by which it was effected was made by the people in June and has been honorably and fairly carried out by their representatives." He had a good word for Nesmith the first ever seen in the Argus 1 Statesman, Oct. 8. 2 In his correspondence dated Nov. i, 1863, to the San Francisco Bulletin, M. P. Deady maintained that Baker owed more to the existence of the Oregon Indian war debt for his election, than had ever been told; that those who held war scrip, concluding that it would be necessary to have an advocate on the Re- publican side of Congress before an appropriation would be made for the payment of the debt, lent a potent influence in favor of Baker. 3 Statesman, Oct. 5.