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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/88

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80 W. C. WOODWARD ian. "In any other country but Oregon this war would have a tendency to unite men in a common cause." 1 In the enrollment of volunteer companies, among the commissioned officers a few Whigs and Know Nothings had received appointments, largely as surgeons. This was the occasion of a storm of opposition headed by Bush. To think that despised Know Nothings, re- cently so thoroughly repudiated by the people, should come into position by appointment and that by a Democratic gov- ernor ! It was preposterous, incredible. 2 The Statesman went into one continued paroxysm of frenzy, equal to that which had affected it a few months previous in the anti-Know Nothing campaign. The intractable Bush did not hesitate to threaten the governor : "Mark these words : henceforth in Oregon it is the doctrine of the Democratic party that public offices of no kind shall be conferred upon members of the Know Nothing order or its sympathizers and upholders. And no man who vio- lates that doctrine will be sustained by the Democracy." A petition was gotten up and copies sent to the faithful throughout the Territory asking that as many signers as pos- sible be secured and that it be forwarded to Gov. Curry at once "by first mail if can be". The petition read : "To His Excellency: The undersigned, Democratic and anti-Know Nothing voters of Oregon, earnestly petition your excellency to cause to be displaced all members of the Know Nothing party or supporters of that party holding public station, directly or indirectly under you, and that their places be filled by compe- tent Democrats." And all this hue and cry from the mere fact that a half dozen insignificant offices were held by those other than Democrats ! It was nothing to the Clique that the appoin- tees were capable and that the need was urgent. This was apparently an issue of far greater import to them than the pro- tection of life in Southern Oregon and the success of the troops in restoring order. The Oregonian condemned in strongest terms the attempt to introduce party politics into that branch of lOregonian, November 17, 1855. 2Statesman, November 3 and November 10.