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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/344

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336 W. C. WOODWARD vertiser, in preference to the Salem Statesman, Portland Times and Jacksonville Sentinel, and their ideas of the national crisis were shaped accordingly. Applegate gave a striking pic- ture of conditions as he observed them. Demonstrating as it does so forcibly what an influence was exerted by these uncon- fessed secession papers, extracts of this letter, written by a man of such standing and influence, are here reproduced at some length : "If you would obtain a correct idea of the universal in- fluence of the press, go among the people at large and be- hold the thirst for newspaper reading. As you pass along the road in hot summer weather, when the, farmer has re- turned from his work and the doors are thrown open to invite the precious breeze, on the porch or just within you will see the man of the house with his paper, swallowing down the editorial as a more delicious morsel than the viands preparing for his dinner. If he is a Democrat of the Jo Lane school, it is the Corvallis Union, the Adver- tiser or some paper of that character, upon which he feeds ; and whatever he finds in its sound columns, if not there condemned, whether murder, rebellion or treason, it is Democratic and good enough for him. Go into his house, and upon a table, packed away in a shelf or per- haps spread upon the wall, you will find the source of his political information and faith in a formidable array of Advertisers, Oregon Democrats or something of that kind. Possibly a stray number of the Oregonian or Statesman may be found containing the President's message; if so, probably the conversation will turn upon the message and you will find in nine cases in ten that he has not read it, but merely what his paper said about it. 'I commenced to read it but got disgusted with the Hell-fired thing. I haven't got time to read such d d abolition stuff and I thought if God would forgive me for commencin' to read sich trash, I'd not do so no more. I'm a Union man, but I don't go nothing on coercion. I think Lincoln's done more to destroy the Union than any other man. I think the abolitionists better mind their own business; and if they don't, I tell you the Southerners will larn um a lesson. Talk about Lincoln whippin' the South! the Northern men is all cowards/ "