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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/82

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74 W. C. WOODWARD CHAPTER V THE DEMOCRATIC REGIME The story of the organization of Oregon Democracy has been told its early triumphs have been recounted. These victories made it plain that the Democratic party held the political mas- tery in the new Territory. The present purpose is to make a brief study of the manner and spirit in which this authority was exercised. To review briefly, the election of Pierce in 1852, followed by the appointment of Oregon Democrats to the Territorial offices, had delighted the Durhamites. The latter now controlled all three departments of government. No cloud darkened their political horizon. But they had hardly ceased their self-con- gratulation before the sky became o'ercast. The failure of Judge Pratt, the Durham leader, to be confirmed by the Senate as Chief Justice, has been mentioned as the only discomfiture of the Democrats at this time. Geo. H. Williams was sent from Iowa to fill the position. While he was an uncompromising Democrat and had been appointed without his knowledge or consent, 1 the fact remained that he was an alien. He was hold- ing an office which rightfully belonged, from the Oregon view- point, to an Oregonian. However, while Pratt's defeat caused temporary dissatisfaction, little complaint was raised. But when after a very brief service as Associate Justice, Mat- thew P. Deady was displaced without just cause, 2 the Durham- ites began to show their teeth. Aside from the mere fact of his being an Oregon man, Deady was eminently qualified for judicial service and was very popular. As a result, the recep- tion given his successor, O. B. McFadden, of Pennsylvania, was decidedly warm, though not in the usual accepted sense. The Statesman, Nov. 22, 1853, showed in a two column edi- torial the injustice of Deady's removal and openly criticized iGeo. H. Williams, in Oregon Historical Quarterly for March, 1901, p. 2. 2The only explanation given was that Deady, whose first name was Matthew, was serving under a commission which had been made out in favor of Mordecai P. Deady.