Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/347

This page needs to be proofread.

POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 339 have. In September he wrote the Statesman from the East, whither he had gone: "I notice the secessionists of Oregon are anxious to 'reorganize the Democratic party'. I hope no honest man will put his foot into that pitfall. . . What more occasion have we in Oregon for defunct political parties than they have in Kentucky or Missouri? Do you hear of Democrats, Republicans or Whigs there? They have two parties and but two Union and disunion. Let us so divide in Oregon while this dreadful danger hangs over our common country." In its issue of December 2 the Statesman declared expressly for the formation of a Union party, uniting all the Union men of the state, as the only way to defeat treason. Oregon was declared to be, stronger proportionately for seces- sion than was Missouri. The need of united action on the part of Union men was therefore evident. In September the Oregonian had expressed the conviction that party lines and party triumphs should be forgotten in the one great cause of saving the Union. 1 No suggestions were offered as to how the Union movement should be effected. The first definite suggestions made public for such are to be, found in an unsigned article appearing in the Weekly Oregonian 2 of November 23, contributed by a resident of the southern part of the state. Immediate organization was urged in order to check the disloyal plans of the enemy. The plan of proce- dure suggested as the most practicable was the immediate for- mation of state central Union committees, with correspondence committees in and for every county. These committees were to ignore party lines absolutely. There should be no indecision in this respect, no matter who demurred or what his party prominence. It should be clearly understood that the integ- rity of the Union was not to be immolated at the shrine of any party. The committees were to distribute among the voters the speeches of such men as Holt, Dickinson and Everett and 1 Oregonian, Sep. 21, editorial, "The Duty of Patriots." 2 The publication of the Oregonian as a daily paper began in February, 1861. Hereafter, however, as heretofore, the weekly edition is the one referred to unless otherwise specified.