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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/65

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 57 tern of internal improvements by the general government ; en- couragement of home productions by a discriminating tariff upon manufactures, adequate to the expenditures of an eco- nomic administration of the government; the construction of a railroad by the general government, from the Mississippi river to some point on the Pacific Coast, within the old bound- aries of Oregon. Having given up the plea of non-partisanship, an unnatural position for a man of Dryer's pugnacious temperament, the Oregonian becomes at once a valiant party champion. Taking up his platform in detail, week after week, Dryer enunciates Whig principles and justifies Whig organization. He dwells especially upon the doctrine of internal improvements by the federal government a doctrine which would appeal strongly to isolated Oregon. The vulnerable mark in the armor of the Oregon Democracy was immediately discovered. The incon- sistency was shown of Democrats resolving that the building of a Pacific railroad by the general government was of para- mount importance, while at the same time Democratic leaders and statesmen were declaring that the government had not the constitutional authority to make public improvements. Be- fore the end of the year the Whigs were definitely urged by the Oregonian to organize at once in every county. 1 "The stu- pendous scheme of a grand Pacific railroad" was declared to be purely a Whig policy, destined to be the leading doctrine of the Whig party in Oregon. Dryer recognized in this the trump card of Whiggery in the Territory and he was deter- mined that it should not be stolen by the presumptuous Dur- hamites. On March 7th of the following year the movement toward actual organization was launched at a public meeting of the lOregonian, November 4, 1853: "Heretofore the Whigs have not deemed it expedient to organize in opposition to this hand of political marauders, supposing themselves to be in a hopeless minority. But the time has now come when further submission to the locofoco party would be highly criminal. Therefore we ask every Whig in Oregon to come out from among the Durham wolves. Let us take pur position unfurl our banners proclaim our principles and charge manfully into the Philistine camp."