Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/72

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64 W. C. WOODWARD Portland on November 8, a district Democratic convention of Washington and Columbia counties, to make a nomination to fill a vacancy in the council of the legislature. The resolu- tions adopted are devoted almost entirely to the new heresy which is utterly condemned. The assembled Democrats de- clare uncompromising war against all their enemies, whether under the guise of "No Party party, Know Nothings, Native Americans or live Whigs," all of which are the natural allies of the Federal party. But the Durham leaders were clearly panic stricken. There was something insidious and baffling in the march of the movement. It was not only rapidly con- solidating the opposition, but it was beginning to make in- roads on their own forces. They stormed and denounced but it was like firing into the air. The stealthy enemy exposed no visible point of attack. At this crisis in the fortunes of Oregon Democracy, there appeared in the Statesman of November 1, 1854, a sensational and far-reaching exposure. In the words of Bush, "A friend, who says that through idle curiosity he was induced to become a member of the 'Supreme Order of the Star Spangled Ban- ner' or Know 'Nothings, has placed in our hands a full and complete exposure of the whole organization, embracing their form of initiation, oaths, obligations, signs, grips, tokens and pass words, the particulars of what has transpired at most of their meetings at this place and a list of the members here." 1 He characterizes the whole thing as the most ridiculous piece of bigotry, intolerance and stupidity grown persons were ever engaged in. He is pleased to find from the list that nearly all the members are Whigs natural Know Nothings, who should have been admitted without initiation. He regrets, however, to find the names of a few Democrats. Two of the latter are ambitious for legislative honors but they are plainly told that their political days are numbered. In this issue Bush reveals enough to excite a furor and promises further develop- ments in the future, including the publication of a list of iThe Statesman was published at Salem at this time.