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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/361

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AN ECHO OF CAMPAIGN OF SIXTY 353 the organ of Lane, entered upon a consideration of the legal date for the election. The Constitution of the State provided for biennial elections of state officials, to be held on the first Monday of June in the even numbered years. The schedule also stipulated that the first Representative to Congress should be selected at this time, in 1858. The Union held that, in the absence of any act by the Legislature making further pro- vision, the contention advanced, to the effect that the Constitu- tion of the United States precluded the fixing of the time by a state constitution, was purely captious. It therefore advised that the Democratic Convention nominate not only candidates for state offices but also a candidate to succeed Mr. Stout. The Convention, held at Eugene City on the 17th of April, was dominated by the Lane faction, and a Lane man, Mr. Sheil, was accordingly nominated.* Such domination and such action had been foreseen by the astute editor of the Statesman, and accordingly the proper moral sentiment against the, legality of an election of a mem- ber of Congress in June had been assiduously cultivated. In the issue of this sheet, next after the action of the convention, an editorial leader came out flatly on the topic :* "The democracy here regard this project of electing a Con- gressman in June, without law or authority, as unwarranted and worse than unnecessary ; as having been devised to further distract and debauch the democratic party, and defy the popu- lar will. We have no doubt that in November an election of a Congressman will be held by authority of law, and then the democratic vote of Marion, Polk, Washington and other coun- ties will be polled for a Democrat. And the man then elected will get the seat." On election day, 5 June, the Statesman rounded out its cam- paign by a long leader 6 in which the downward course of democracy under the Lane blight was traced in detail. This series of perfidious acts culminated in the selection, at a con- 4 Union, 24 Apr., 1860. 5 Apr., 1860. 65 June, 1860,