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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/47

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 39 half of the integrity and unity of the party in Oregon, bidding defiance to the unmerited assaults of the political opposition. Whenever the Democracy should organize the Statesman would be the uncompromising advocate of regular nominations the only manner by which a party could give efficiency to its action and success to its principles. Thus in its very saluta- tory it made a tacit argument for party organization, thereby suggesting its own raison d'etre. Bush at once began the movement for organization. He wrote letters to Democrats asking for contributed articles in favor of such political ac- tion, 1 which explains the rather spontaneous effusions in the Statesman by "Pro Bono Publico," "Jeffersoniari," "Dem- ocracy," and their political kinsmen, from over the Territory. But at the same time Bush did not allow the enthusiasm of youth to overthrow the caution of the successful, practical politician he was. Requested to urge the importance of elect- ing democrats to the legislature in the June election, 1851, he replied that in the absence of an organization such a course would lose them more Whig votes than it would gain them Democratic. 2 In the very next issue following the election, however, which had revealed encouraging Democratic strength, the leading editorial in the Statesman was headed, "Organiza- tion of Democracy." 3 The choice of a delegate to Congress was also before the people in the Spring of 1851. Thurston, after an able and diligent term, was on the way home to face opposition for his unfair treatment of Dr. McLoughlin in the donation land bill. Lane had been mentioned to succeed him and in March was unanimously nominated at a meeting of the citizens of Yam- hill County at LaFayette, at which Lane's personal friend, Gen. Joel Palmer, presided. The prospect of a contest between two such influential and aggressive Democrats was far from reassuring to Bush and those who were carefully laying plans for the organization of their party. Harmony and unanimity i Private Correspondence, Bush to M. P. Deady, April i, 1851. albid, May 17, 1851. sStatesman, June 13, 1851.