POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 337 During these early months of the great struggle a period of uncertainty and confusion throughout the Union the Statesman, more than any other Oregon paper, displayed the rare gift of the interpretation of events and of the character of the men intimately connected with them. Indeed the keenness of political insight displayed, in the light of the history of after years, seems almost to have approached the prophetic. In a long editorial, October 21, 1861, on "President Lincoln," it de- clared that he, almost alone of the great actors in the drama, was without any incentive to ordinary ambition; that he was President for four years embracing a period weightier with events than the seventy years of all his predecessors. "If he can pass through that period with respectable success, he will have laid up in the storehouse of history greater fame than either Jackson or Washington derived from the Presidential office. If he fails, the future will attribute it to his incapacity rather than the power of his adversaries and he will never be forgiven the crime of being born. Believing the perpetuation of the Union to be the sole object of the President, we desire to foster no sentiment adverse to the design." More striking examples of the political prescience of the Statesman were to follow as the struggle progressed. Such sentiments as these, coming from a source from which had formerly emanated the most violent strictures of the Black Republicans, tended toward making the Statesman the recognized champion of the Union cause in Oregon.
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