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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/60

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52 W. C. WOODWARD tional convention was not called. Bush, in stating his oppo- sition to the convention privately, said that if Scott's election were certain and the petition for the election of officers certain not to be granted it would alter the case amazingly; but that in the prospect of the election of Pierce and of the passage of the memorial at the next session of Congress, they had a double prospect of relief. 1 In the legislature of '52-'53, the lower house voted 14 to 9 to submit the question of calling a constitutional convention to the people. 2 But the council, which was more strongly Democratic, rejected the proposi- tion. 3 With the news of the election of Pierce the ardor of the Democrats for statehood was cooled, for Whig officials would now give way to Democratic appointees. On the other hand, the Whigs who had so strenuously opposed the move- ment now began to see its merits. The Democrats already had control of the legislative branch of the government and the executive would now be theirs. Judge Nelson had resigned and Lane had been instructed to pre- vent the confirmation of a successor by the Senate until the hoped-for Democratic administration should come into power, which would give the Durhamites the control of the judiciary. 4 The well laid plans of the Democratic leaders were rapidly de- veloping. Nevertheless they did not expect to take any chances, even with their own party administration. The purpose of the first Democratic Territorial Convention was stated in the call to be the nomination of a candidate for delegate to Congress and "to recommend to the executive of the United States suitable persons to fill the various federal offices in this ter- ritory." 5 The appointments when made were very satisfac- tory indeed, all the officials but one being Oregonians. This gave the Democrats an appreciated opportunity for comparing i Bush to Deady, September 3, 1852. 2Statesman, January 22, 1853. 3lbid., March 12, 1853. In the same issue Bush recedes from the pro- nounced ground he had taken in the past. He says, editorially, the question should be "well and dispassionately" considered and speaks of the heavy expense of a state government. 4Bush to Deady, February, 1852. sStatesman, January 22, 1853.