352 L. B. SHIPPER at the close of the eighteenth and the opening of the nineteenth centuries. The little weekly newspapers of Salem, Portland, Corvallis and The Dalles showed a virulence, a gall-steeped vehemence, that needed no Freneau as master in the art. At the storm center of this particular event were found General Joseph Lane, candidate, in 1860, for the vice-presidency on the ticket of the Southern wing of Democracy, together with his faction in Oregon, and, on the other hand, the "Salem Clique", a dictatorial political ring, the moving spirit of which was Asahel Bush, editor and owner of the Oregon Statesman. For a decade, Asahel Bush had been the political arbiter of Oregon; he made and unmade fortunes; his approbation must be secured before a future of public life might be dreamed of ; his opposition hounded a man to civic oblivion. During the Territorial period even Federal appointees were made to yield obedience or were practically forced to seek some more salu- brious clime. With this power Joseph Lane had worked and won until the national convention of 1856; at that time a growing coolness had resulted in a dissolution of the alliance, and henceforth Bush and Lane were bitterest opponents. Never- theless, so great had been Lane's personal popularity that when Oregon was admitted as a state he continued his already long career in Congress as Territorial Delegate by having the honor of being the first Senator selected. His choice for the lower House was also victorious, altho Lane was charged with "bribery and treachery the most foul and disgraceful" 3 in controlling the convention which nominated candidates. This was in 1859. Less than a year later, while the term of Lansing Stout, Member of Congress from Oregon, had still a year to run, the question of his successor was uppermost. It was evident that an election must take place sometime in the year 1860, in order that, when March 4, 1861, should end the 36th Congress, Oregon might be duly represented. Early in February the Oregon Weekly Union, 3 of Corvallis, 2 Statesman, 5 June, 1860. 3 Feb. 4, 1860.
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/360
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