40 W. C. WOODWARD
of action were necessary for success, and such a contest as this, which threatened factional strife and jealousy was much to be deprecated. Bush felt the delicacy and embarrassment of his position keenly and declared privately that he would pursue an independent course in his paper and uphold party rather than its individual members. The assuming of an attitude of neutrality by Bush, in the light of his later career, is almost unthinkable. The political situation was thus greatly relieved by the death of the returning delegate. On May 2nd, the Statesman announced the demise of Thurston and likewise noticed the return of Lane from the California mines. In the next issue, May 9th, Bush came out strongly for Lane, explaining the Statesman's previous neutral attitude in the fact of there being no organization or nomination to decide between the Democratic candidates. But now there was but one candidate in the field and the Statesman would support him in behalf of the political creed of which he was the exponent. It believed thoroughly in his devotion to the principles, usages and interests of the great Democratic party. Bush thus forced to the front the recognition of political differences in the delegate question, there being no opposing Whig candidate—a position which he had refused to take on the legislative ticket. At the same time the Oregonian, which in its first issue, December 4th, 1850, had announced active allegiance to the "present administration and all the principles of the great Whig party" was now becoming non-partisan in tone. It demanded only a high-minded man of ability and would not stop to inquire to what party he belonged. Meanwhile another candidate entered the field in the person of W. H. Willson. Though primarily representing the Missionary influence which had supported Thurston, he, too, was a Democrat. Hence, Bush, though personally favorable to Lane, and having announced that he would support him, is evidently so solicitous for party harmony that he has not a word more to say in his
- Bush to Deady, April 17, 1851.
- Oregonian, March 8, 1851.