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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/339

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 331 meeting was held at Portland in the Willamette theater. 1 Stir- ring speeches were made by Dr. A. G. Henry of Yamhill, and by J. H. Mitchell and Geo. B. Currey of Portland- The Port- land Times said that as the last speaker left the stand, a sud- den removal or change of the scenery at the rear of the stage exposed to view the unfurled banner of the Union and, as if by electricity, the audience arose to their feet in enthusiastic cheers for the flag. It is significant that one of the very first Union Clubs to be started in Oregon was organized in a settle- ment of foreign citizens, at Aurora, May 17. Dr. Wm. Keil, a native Prussian, had established a German settlement in this section of Marion county in 1855. 2 Dr. Keil addressed the meeting along with others. Ringing resolutions were passed pledging heartiest support of the Government "against all foes from without or traitors within."3 A strong club was or- ganized and Union sentiment ran high. "The German brass band enlivened the exercises by playing national airs in their best style." What took place at Aurora was soon taking place over the state. This general manifestation of Union sentiment brought to light the real animus of the majority of the Democratic papers and the Southern Democrats generally, most of whom had been protesting their loyalty in a negative sort of way. Slater belittled and scoffed at the Union meetings, branding them as a mere scheme of designing politicians to deceive the people into the embrace of Republicanism under the cloak of an effort to save the Union. 4 "As mght be expected/' said the Oregon- ian, "the Advertisers opposes the formation of Union Clubs. While secessionists are plotting treason everywhere, while the Knights of the Golden Circle are carrying on their murderous and cowardly schemes, while bloody treason stalks red-handed 1 Argus, May u. 2 Dr. Keil made the settlement as a practical test of his communistic theories. Aurora became the Republican stronghold of Marion county and a center of Union sentiment. 3 Argus, May 25. 4 Union, May 25. 5 The Portland Advertiser, edited by Ex-Governor Curry, had pronounced most emphatically for the integrity of the Union, but like the Corvallis Union, had suffered a relapse.