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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/50

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42 W. C. WOODWARD Republican and Democrat and Federal or Whig; and that Democratic principles are 1 as applicable to Oregon as to any other portion of the nation. These and other arguments were voiced continually in the Statesman. The democrats were already looking toward a state organization under which they could elect their own officials and it was urged that party machinery should be perfected in anticipation of statehood. 2 Extracts from Eastern papers, both Whig and Democratic, appear, in which the system of party organization and dis- cipline is upheld. The opposite position was as firmly taken by the Whigs. They maintained that the people of Oregon, far from the cen- ter of political strife, should not be distracted by the fires of partisan passion. Attention should rather be turned to the local needs of Oregon. The citizens of the Territory should work unitedly in behalf of those material interests which were not political in their nature. The zeal of the Democrats in the matter was attributed to the ambition of aspiring politi- cians for place and power. In reply the Statesman asked "Who first roused the slumbering fires of party feeling in Oregon? Ask the party which has swarmed the Territory with Whig officers, pledged and sworn to aid the schemes and promote the interests of Whiggery." The Whigs asserted that Gen. Lane was opposed to party organization, calling to mind his declaration of non-partisanship in the preceding campaign. In answer Bush quoted a letter from Lane, from Washington, dated December 22, 1851, in which he said: "I am glad to witness your efforts to get a Democratic organization. Lose no time in urging the Democrats to organize and unite. All local and sectional issues should be dropped. With the or- ganization and union of the Democracy all will be well in Ore- gon." 3 This was a rude awakening to the Whigs who had accepted the olive branch held out to them by Lane in June. iStatesman, July 15, 1851. 2Statesman, June 13, 1851. Oregon Weekly Times, Nov. 22, 1851. The Times, published at Portland, was the successor of the Western Star, which had been published at Milwaukie until June, 1851- 3Statesman, February 24, 1852.