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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/365

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AN ECHO OF CAMPAIGN OF SIXTY 357 the Lane desperadoes expect to accomplish by that high handed proceeding? If O'Sheil is weak enough to contest Thayer's seat (and he is weak enough to do nearly any foolish thing) Thayer can and will show the facts, and the unlawful things resorted to to prevent the people from voting for him." There would have been 8000 votes cast had not unprincipled and tyrannical officials barred them out. As it was, Thayer received 4,099 votes. 18 That only the faction controlled from Salem considered that this was a real election, is shown by the fact that for Sheil there were but 131 votes, and all of these, with the exception of seven, were cast in one county. Logan had eight votes and Lane, five, probably from some deep sympathizers who were not satisfied merely by doing their best to have their favorite preside over the Senate of the United States. "O'Sheil" was weak enough to contest Thayer's seat when the Thirty-seventh Congress organized ; but, as has been noted above, Thayer was seated, and retained his seat till near the end of the extraordinary session. It was not until the 30th of July that Mr. H. L. Dawes reported, for the commit- tee on elections, in regard to the case. It was a peculiar situation for a committee composed of Republicans in over- whelming majority of the nine members of the committee, only one was from a slave-holding state, and four were from New England. The choice, providing either of the contestants should be seated, lay between a Lane man, in sympathy with secession principles, and a Douglas democrat who had scarce- ly a suspicion of legality in his claim to a seat. The commit- tee, however, reported unanimously in favor of putting Mr. Sheil in place of the sitting contestant. Mr. Thayer was, na- turally/ 9 accorded the privilege of justifying his presence; and his defense smacked strongly of the doctrine that the Statesman had been impressing upon the electorate of Oregon the previous summer. He held that the Constitution of the 1 8 Statesman, 3 Dec., 1860. 19 Cong. Globe, ist. Sesa., 37th. Cong., 353 seq.