Page:Political Censorship in the Oregon Spectator.djvu/4

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In his final editorial, Curry vehemently reproved the association and its treasurer, Governor Abernethy, saying: "It [The Spectator] . . . has become the property of one individual, subject to his will, pleasure and dictation and intended to be made the advocate of his peculiar doctrines and opinions—the instrument of his petty ambition."[1] He declared that "since the censorship of the press in Oregon" he had lost all desire to edit the Spectator, preferring to "wait until the time shall come when the truth shall not be interdicted, nor the press muzzled."[2]

Three months later Curry established the second printed English-language newspaper in the Pacific Northwest—named, significantly, the Oregon City Oregon Free Press.[3] It soon adopted a motto: "Here shall the Press the people's rights maintain, Unawed by influence and unbribed by gain."[4] Curry's first editorial in the Free Press presented his views about the dismissal:

Some two months ago, when we were so unceremoniously deprived of the honor of editing the Governor's paper—the Oregon Spectator—and no longer permitted to bask in the sunshine of official favor, we were, of course, dreadfully cast down, and being so "cut off from the grace," had no idea, at the time, of coming before the public so soon again in our editorial capacity.

In reference to that expulsion, it may not be amiss here to remark, in passing, that we have been misrepresented and abused by a few miserable scribblers, who scarcely know how to spell their own names correctly (to say nothing about writing the English language correctly), and after their abortions have been published by the only press, at that time, in the country, that press has been closed upon us, and ourself denied the privilege of occupying even a space of ten lines in its columns, in reply.[5]

The Spectator, in its next edition, ignored Curry's comments.[6]

Until August 14, 1848, when the Oregon Country became a Territory, the Free Press served as a mouthpiece for opposition to the provisional government. The newspaper was discontinued on December 16, 1848, when its printer left for the California gold fields, and Curry's health, in his words, had reached a "wretched condition."[7]

Meanwhile, a third newspaper had been founded in Oregon, the Tualatin Plains Oregon American and Evangelical Unionist. Estab-

  1. Oregon Spectator, Jan. 20, 1848, 2:2.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Oregon Free Press, April 8, 1848.
  4. Ibid., June 10, 1848.
  5. Ibid., April 8, 1848, 2:2.
  6. Oregon Spectator, April 20, 1848.
  7. Oregon Free Press, Dec. 16, 1848, 2:1.