58 W. C. WOODWARD Whigs of Portland. 1 After attacking the abuses of Durham rule, they sent to their "brother Whigs throughout the Ter- ritory a full, frank and unalterable notice that henceforth and forever we stand on the platform of the Republican Whig party." They nominated a ticket to be voted upon at the ap- proaching city election and made recommendation to the vari- ous counties to present full Whig tickets for county and terri- torial officers at the next June election. As a result of this meeting the Oregonian exultantly announced that the Whig party for the first time in Oregon stood out in bold relief, pre- pared and determined to do battle with a common enemy in a common cause ; that the siren song of "Democracy" had been chanted for the last time, to Whig ears. General Whig organization followed. It was not yet thor- ough and complete and was not distinctively Whig in every county. Washington county was a Whig stronghold and its convention, held May 6, 1854, issued a clear statement justify- ing organization. 2 The assembled delegates declared that they had tried in vain to induce all parties to lay 1 aside preju- dices of national parties ; had sought to sustain good men for office regardless of politics, but that their overtures of peace had been met with bitter hostility. They had found themselves a proscribed class, treated like a conquered people. This con- vention, so far as the newspapers of the time show, made one of the very first references in Oregon to the opening struggle over the organization of those western territories, which strug- gle was big with the destinies of the nation. A rap was taken at Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska bill in the declaration : "We re- gard the several compromises made by Congress and acquiesced in by the people, as final, conclusive and binding." It is some- what diverting to find these Whigs resolving that the federal offices of the Territory should be filled by citizens of Oregon ! The present governor, Davis, was a Democrat and had been imported from Indiana. lOregonian, March n, 1854. 2lbid., May 13, 1854.
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