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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/73

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 65 membership. The next issue of the Statesman is almost wholly devoted to anti-Know Nothingism. The tempest stirred up by the exposure is evident. Bush was ordered to give the name of his informant. 1 He refused. He was told he would be held personally responsible. 2 In reply he hurled defiance at his threateners and continued his exposures week after week. The Salem Know Nothings changed their places of meeting, they did everything to escape the implacable Bush. But the disclosures continued until the whole history and secret opera- tions of the order were exposed. 3 This was a decided repulse to Americanism in Oregon. It was not that its operations were found to be heinous. Pub- licity robbed it of that subtle element of mystery which had been its principal asset. Furthermore, with the free use of the lash, the Durham leader headed off an incipient stampede. Bush was now cordially hated but thoroughly feared. His power was unquestioned. He ordered Democrats to stand clear of any connection with the "wolves in sheep's clothing'* and emphasized his admonition with a covert threat: "Mark the prediction. There is not a man of prominence or influence belonging to the damning conspiracy in Oregon whose con- nection with it will not be known in less than six months. They are doomed men." 4 Democrats were inclined to take the imperious editor at his word. It was a venturesome man in Oregon politics at this period who would dare the dis- pleasure of Bush. Many wavering ones, Democrats in par- ticular, reconsidered the advisability of becoming associated with the proscribed Know Nothings. i Bush received his information through a printer employed on the Statesman named Beebe, who joined the Salem Wigwam as a spy. Private letter, D. W. Craig to Geo. H. Himes, August 9, 1909. aPersonal conversation with Hon. Geo. H. Williams. For a week or more following the first exposure, the latter, armed, daily escorted Bush to his office past threatening Know Nothings. 3Statesman, November 28, December 12, 1854; January 2, June 16, June 23, 1855- 4lbid., December 12, 1854. "What Democrat does not feel proud in the consciousness that he is pure and free from niggerism, Know Nothingism and all the other isms of the day? Who had not rather be a straight forward, consistent, fearless Democrat, than a shame-faced Know Nothing, skulking around from one garret to another in the darkness of the night."