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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/68

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60 W. C. WOODWARD question "that the people may fully understand what they are supporting." The general interest in the subject is reflected in the numerous clippings from the eastern papers in the Oregon press during the year 1853, relative to prohibition in general and the working of the Maine law in particular. The Oregon Territory Temperance Association met at Salem in April, 1854, and resolved that the Maine law, modified so as not to con- flict with the Territorial government, should be considered as the platform of the Territory. It was recommended that the friends of temperance meet at the various county seats on the first Tuesday in May to nominate candidates for the legis- lative assembly. Reports of the Marion and Yamhill county conventions show the movement to be strongly political. 1 The Yamhill resolutions declare that it is a political issue ; that the interests of temperance are paramount to all ordinary political issues and that the participants pledge themselves to vote for no candidate for the legislature who is not known to be in favor of the Maine liquor law. Thus in 1854, the first year in which the Democrats contend with organized opposition, that opposition does not present a united front, but is divided in two organizations. While the Maine law partisans had no unity with either of the old parties it was natural that the two minority parties in the Territory should tend to make common cause against the Durhamites. This they did in part, apparently without well concerted pur- pose. There was no uniformity of procedure. For example, in Marion county there was a Maine Law, but no Whig ticket and the vote shows that the Whigs supported the Maine Law candidates. That one of the latter receiving the highest vote, Orange Jacobs, was but 12 votes behind the low Democratic nominee. In Washington county there was a Whig but no Maine Law ticket. In Polk, where the relative strength of the Democrats and Maine Laws proved about 4 to 1, there were no Whig candidates, but in a few instances the candidates were de- nominated, "Maine Law- Whig", thus indicating coalition. Yam- lOregonian, May 13, 1854.