Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 3/Political History of Oregon from 1865 to 1876 (part 2)
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POLITICAL HISTORY OF OREGON FROM 1865 TO 1876.
By Wm. D. Fenton.
On February 24, 1873, the Board of Capitol Building Commissioners was organized with John F. Miller, president, and plans for a state capitol prepared by Krumbein & Gilbert were adopted; and pursuant to the joint resolution of the legislature of 1872 the commission selected block 84 in Salem as the site, the selection being made May 13, 1873, and the foundation of the present state capitol was laid May 17 of that year. An appropriation of $100,000 was made in 1872, and the building was completed so as to be occupied by the legislature in September, 1876. The building commissioners were Henry Klippel, Samuel Allen, and E. L. Bristow.
The legislative assembly for the year 1874 convened September 14, and concluded its labors October 23. This was the eighth biennial session. R. B. Cochran, of Lane, was elected president of the senate, and John C. Drain was elected speaker of the house. Among the prominent members of the senate mention may be made of John Myers, of Clackamas; J. F. Watson, of Douglas; J. N. Dolph, of Multnomah; T. R. Cornelius, of Washington; R. B. Cochran, of Lane; Dr. James A. Richardson, of Marion, and Sol Hirsch, of Multnomah. Among the members of the house of prominence may be mentioned the names of C. G. Chandler, of Baker; James Bruce, of Benton; G. W. Riddle, John C. Drain, and D. W. Stearns, of Douglas; W. J. Plymale, of Jackson; F. X. Matthieu and A. N. Gilbert, of Marion; Raleigh Stott and John M. Gearin, of Multnomah; E. B. Dufur and Robert Mays, of Wasco; Lee Laughlin, E.G. Bradshaw, and William Galloway, of Yamhill. On September 17, 1874, the legislative assembly, in joint convention, canvassed the vote of the state for governor at the general election in 1874, which resulted as follows: L. F. Grover, democrat, nine thousand seven hundred and thirteen; T. F. Campbell, independent, six thousand five hundred and thirty-two; J. C.Tolman, republican, nine thousand one hundred and sixty-three votes; showing a plurality in favor of L. F. Grover over T. F. Campbell, three thousand one hundred and eighty-one, and over J. C. Tolman of five hundred and fifty. The oath of office was administered to the governor-elect by B. F. Bonham, then chief justice. At that session Henry Klippel, R. P. Boise, and H. Stapleton were elected capitol building commissioners to serve for the ensuing term of two years.
The legislative assembly for the year 1876 convened September 11. John Whiteaker was elected president of the senate, and J. K. Weatherford speaker of the house. Among the new members of the senate elected that year mention may be made of the names of G. W. Colvig, of Douglas; T. A. Davis and M. C. George, of Multnomah; A. S. Watt, of Washington; E. C. Bradshaw, of Yamhill; John Myers, of Clackamas, and John Whiteaker, of Lane. On September 19, 1876, the senate voted for United States senator, and Jesse Applegate received seven votes; L. F. Grover, twenty; T. F. Campbell, one; J. W. Nesmith, one; and on the next day in joint convention Grover received forty-four votes; Nesmith, eleven; Applegate, thirty-two, and Campbell, two. On Friday, September 22, Applegate received thirty-three votes; Nesmith, five; Grover, forty-eight, and bell, four; and L. F. Grover was declared duly elected senator for six years from March 4, 1877. J. F. Watson was elected judge of the second judicial district over J. M. Thompson by a vote of three thousand two hundred and sixty-two to three thousand and sixty-nine. R. P. Boise judge of the third judicial district over B. F. Bonham by a vote of four thousand two hundred and thirteen to four thousand and thirty-eight. L. L. McArthur was elected judge of the fifth judicial district without opposition, receiving three thousand five hundred and forty-one votes. At this election H. K. Hanna was elected district attorney of the first judicial district over C. B. Watson by one thousand one hundred and sixty to nine hundred and seventy-five; and S. H. Hazard in the second judicial district over W. B. Higby by a vote of three thousand two hundred and thirty to three thousand one hundred and fifty-seven; and in the third judicial district George H. Burnett over W. M. Ramsey, four thousand one hundred and eighteen to four thousand and twenty-five; in the fourth judicial district Raleigh Stott over F. R. Strong by a vote of three thousand four hundred and seventy-seven to two thousand nine hundred and fifty-six; and in the fifth judicial district L. B. Ison over Robert Eakin by a vote of two thousand three hundred and seventy-six to one thousand nine hundred and thirty-one.
A state census for the year 1875 showed a population of one hundred and four thousand nine hundred and twenty, excluding Indians and Chinese. The total cost of the state house up to August 31, 1876, as shown by the Board of Capitol Building Commissioners, is $201,728.63. At a special election held October 25, 1875, for representative in the forty-fourth congress, L. F. Lane received nine thousand three hundred and seventy-three votes; Henry Warren, nine thousand one hundred and six; G. M. Whitney, eight hundred and thirty-seven; G. W. Dimmick, three hundred and forty-five; and scattering, thirteen votes.
Speaking of the railroad contest, it may be mentioned that on April 6, 1866, the east side road had its opening ceremonies in honor of its work of construction. The celebration occurred about three fourths of a mile from the Stark-street ferry landing at East Portland, and about five hundred rods from the east bank of the Willamette River, not far from where the old asylum for the insane stood, near what is now East Twelfth and Hawthorne Avenue. It is said that in honor of the event flags were flying from every available flagstaff in the city. Processions were formed in the city and marched to the spot, preceded by the Aurora Brass Band. The orator of the day was Hon. John H. Mitchell. It is estimated that five thousand people were present. The shovel used bore on it a beautiful silver plate, attached to the front of the handle, with this inscription: "Presented by Sam M. Smith to the Oregon Central Railroad Company, Portland, April 16, 1868. Ground broken with this shovel for the first railroad in Oregon." President Moores drove the first stake and threw out the first sod in the construction of the Oregon Central Railroad, now the Oregon and California, amid the huzzas of the multitude.
At the general election held on the first day of June, 1868, Joseph S. Smith, democrat, received eleven thousand seven hundred and fifty-four votes, and David Logan, republican, ten thousand five hundred and fifty-five votes.
The total assessed value of the state for the year 1866 was $25,560,312.63, and for the year 1875, $41,436,086.
A brief history of the various state conventions, and of the political issues tendered thereby, may not be without interest. The democratic state convention met at Portland April 5, 1866, and nominated James D. Fay of Jackson for congress on the sixth ballot, over Joseph S. Smith, who at one time had fifty-nines votes to his five; Gates, twenty-four. James K. Kelly of Wasco was nominated for governor; L. F. Lane of Multnomah for secretary of state; John C. Bell of Marion for state treasurer; James O'Meara for state printer; P. P. Prim judge of the first judicial district; James R. Neil prosecuting attorney of the first judicial district; George B. Dorris prosecuting attorney of the second judicial district; J. W. Johnson of Marion prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district, and James H. Slater of Union prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district.
On March 19, 1868, the democratic state convention met at Oro Fino Hall, in Portland, Oregon, and nominated Joseph S. Smith of Marion for congress; S. F. Chad wick, John Burnett, and J. H. Slater presidential electors, and instructed the delegates to the national convention to vote for George H. Pendleton for president. The convention met and nominated W. G. T'Vault for prosecuting attorney of the first judicial district; L. F. Mosher judge and R. S. Strahan prosecuting attorney of the second judicial district; W. F. Trimble judge and J. H. Reed prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district; William B. Las well prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district.
The democratic state convention which met at Albany, Oregon, March 23, 1870, nominated James H. Slater for congress; L. F. Grover for governor; S. F. Chad wick secretary of state; L. Fleischner treasurer; Thomas Patterson state printer; B. F. Bonham judge and N. L. Butler prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district; R. E. Bybee prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district; L. L. Me Arthur judge and W. B. Laswell prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district; A. J. Thayer judge of the second judicial district.
The democratic convention which met at The Dalles Wednesday, April 10, 1872, elected James W. Nesmith chairman, and nominated John Burnett of Benton for congress; George R. Helm of Linn, L. F. Lane of Douglas, and N. H. Gates of Wasco presidential electors; P. P. Prim judge and J. R. Neil district attorney of the first judicial district; C. W. Fitch district attorney of" the second judicial district; J. J. Shaw district attorney of the third judicial district; C. B. Bellinger district attorney of the fourth judicial district, and W. B. Laswll district attorney of the fifth judicial district.
The democratic convention which met Wednesday, March 18, 1874, at Albany, nominated L. F. Grover for governor; George A. LaDow of Umatilla for congress; S. F. Chad wick for secretary of state; A. H. Brown for treasurer; M. V. Brown for state printer; E. J. Dawne superintendent of public instruction; William B. Laswell prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district; L. F. Mosher judge of the second judicial district; C. W. Fitch district attorney of the second judicial district; H. K. Hanna district attorney of the first judicial district, and J. J. Whitney district attorney of the third judicial district.
The democratic convention which met Wednesday, April 26, 1876, at Salem, elected Henry Klippel chairman, and nominated L. F. Lane for congress by acclamation; B. F. Bonham judge of the third judicial district; W. M. Ramsey district attorney of the third judicial district; F. R. Strong district attorney of the fourth judicial district; H. K. Hanna district attorney of the first judicial district; L. B. Ison district attorney of the fifth judicial district; S. H. Hazard district attorney of the second judicial district; L. L. McArthur judge of the fifth judicial district, and J. M. Thompson judge of the second judicial district. Henry Klippel of Jackson, W. B. Laswell of Grant, and E. A. Cronin of Multnoraah were nominated as presidential electors. The election for congressman at this time occurred November 7, 1876, at which Richard Williams, the republican candidate, received fifteen thousand three hundred and forty-seven votes and Lafayette Lane, democrat, received fourteen thousand two hundred and twenty-nine votes. The republican electors were W. H. Odell, J. W. Watts, and J. C. Cartwright, and received an average vote of fifteen thousand two hundred and six against the democratic vote of fourteen thousand one hundred and thirty-six. Growing out of the fact that J. W. Watts was at the time of his election postmaster at Lafayette, and of the further fact that the presidential election was close and that several states of the South were contested, there was a contest made by E. A. Cronin as to the right to issue the electoral certificate in favor of J. W. Watts. A change of one electoral vote would have resulted in the election of Samuel J. Tilden as president and Thomas A. Hendricks as vice president of the United States instead of Rutherford B. Hayes, president, and William A. Wheeler, vice president. The electoral commission created by act of congress refused to sustain the action of Governor Grover who declined to issue a certificate to J. W. Watts, but counted all three of the electoral votes for Hayes and Wheeler.
The union state convention met at Corvallis March 29, 1866, and this convention was held under the auspices of what was then known as the union party, and later the union republican party, and still later the republican party. This convention nominated Rufus Mallory on the first ballot for congress, the vote being: Mallory, sixty-three; Bowlby, twenty-three; Henderson, seven; Baker, twenty-eight. George L. Woods of Wasco was nominated for governor; Samuel E. May of Marion for secretary of state; E. N. Cooke of Marion for state treasurer; W. A. McPherson of Linn for state printer; B. F. Dowell w T as nominated judge for the first judicial district and D. M. C. Gault district-attorney; J. F. Watson was nominated district attorney of the second judicial district; P. C. Sullivan of the third; M. F. Mulkey of the fourth, and C. R. Meigs of the fifth. In the election held in June Mallory received ten thousand three hundred and sixty-two votes; Fay, his opponent, received nine thousand eight hundred and nine votes. The union ticket was successful by a small majority.
The union state convention met at Salem March 25, 1868, and nominated David Logan for congress on the second ballot over P. C. Sullivan, of Polk, by a vote of fifty-six to fifty-one, two votes scattering. Orange Jacobs, Wilson Bowlby, and A. B. Meacham were nominated as presidential electors; John Kelsey judge of the second judicial district; W. W. Upton judge of the fourth judicial district; D. M. Risdon prosecuting attorney of the second judicial district; J. C. Powell prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district; A. C. Gibbs prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district; C. M. Foster prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district. The convention instructed its delegates for Ulysses S. Grant for president.
The union republican convention met at Portland Thursday, April 7, 1870, and nominated Joseph G. Wilson for congress; Gen. Joel Palmer for governor; James Elkins for secretary of state; M. Hirsch for state treasurer; H. R. Kincaid for state printer; E. B. Watson district attorney of the first judicial district; J. A. Odell district attorney of the second judicial district; J. C. Powell district attorney of the third judicial district; A. C. Gibbs district attorney of the fourth judicial district; D. W. Lichtenthaler prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicia] district; John Kelsey judge of the second judicial district; R. P. Boise of the third judicial district, and B. Whitten of the fifth. A. J. Thaver was elected judge of the secoiid judicial district by a majority of eighty-six; R. P. Boise judge of the third judicial district by a majority of eighteen; L. L. McArthur judge of the fifth judicial by a majority of six hundred and seventy-eight; H. K. Hanna was elected district attorney of the first judicial district by a majority of one hundred and ninety-six; C. W. Fitch district attorney of the second judicial district by a majority of sixty votes; N. L. Butler district attorney of the third judicial district by a majority of one hundred and nine; A. C. Gibbs prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district by a majority of four hundred and twelve votes, and W. B. Laswell prosecuting attorney of the fifth judicial district by a majority of six hundred and sixty-nine.
The republican state convention met on Wednesday, March 29, 1872, at Portland, and elected Rufus Mallory chairman. J. G. Wilson was nominated by unanimous vote for congress; F. A. Chenoweth district attorney of the second judicial district; W. D. Hare, J. F. Gazley, and A. B. Meacham presidential electors.
The republican state convention which met at Salem April 8, 1874, nominated J. C. Tolman of Jackson for governor; D. G. Clark of Benton for treasurer; C. M. Foster of Baker for secretary of state; E. M. Waite of Marion for state printer; L. L. Rowland of Wasco for superintendent of public instruction; John Kelsey judge of the second judicial district; F. A. Chenoweth district attorney of the second judicial district; N. B. Humphrey district attorney of the third judicial district; W. Carey Johnson judge of the fourth judicial district; J. C. Moreland district attorney of the fourth judicial district; J. C. Cartwright district attorney of the fifth judicial district.
The independent state convention met at Salern April 15, 1874, and nominated T. W. Davenport for congress; Thomas F. Campbell of Polk for governor; James H. Douthitt for secretary of state; D. Beach of Linn for treasurer; William M. Hand of Wasco for state printer; M. M. Oglesby of Douglas for superintendent of public instruction. It also nominated John Burnett for judge of the second judicial district; J. J. Walton district attorney of the second judicial district; Tilman Ford district attorney of the third judicial district; 0. Humason district attorney of the fifth judicial district; E. D. Shattuck judge of the fourth judicial district, and H. Y. Thompson district attorney. The Oregonian, then edited by William Lair Hill, supported the ticket nominated by this convention. In the state convention thirteen counties were represented.
The republican state convention met Wednesday, May 3, 1876, at Portland, and nominated W. H. Odell, J. W. Watts, and J. C. Cartwight as presidential electors and Richard Williams for congress. It also nominated as district attorney of the first judicial district C. B.Watson; second judicial district, W. B. Higby; third judicial district, George H. Burnett; fourth judicial district, Raleigh Stott; fifth judicial district, S. B. Eakin; and J. F. Watson judge of the second judicial district; R. P. Boise judge of the third. The independent movement which was so strong in 1874 and which was mainly a protest against republican management, disappeared in the election in 1876.
The union republican convention which convened on March 29, 1866, adopted a platform of nine resolutions. The first expressed abiding confidence in the justice, intelligence, and patriotism of the people of the United States, and that they had firmness and wisdom to preserve the Union their valor had sustained; the second recognized honest difference of opinion as to the best plan of reconstruction, but deprecated the obstinacy or pride of opinion that gave strength to the enemies of the Union through discord and division among its friends; the third resolution expressed a desire for full recognition of all the civil and political privileges of the states lately in revolt as soon as compatible with national safety and the protection of the loyal people in these states; the fourth resolution reads as follows: "The name of the man or of the party that would propose to the nation to repudiate its just pecuniary obligations should be consigned to everlasting infamy;' the fifth expresses devotion to the soldiers and the cause for which they fought, and the sixth expresses a pledge to support the rights of the states in their domestic affairs, and at the same time a pledge to preserve the general government in its whole constitutional vigor; the seventh declared that the doctrine of nullification and secession held by the so-called democratic party is antagonistic to the perpetuity of the Union and destructive of the peace, order, and prosperity of the American people; the eighth pledged the party to maintain the national Union, and the ninth opposed taxation of the sale of mineral lands.
The democratic state convention which met April 5, 1866, adopted a platform consisting of eleven resolutions, the first of which expressed devotion to equal and exact justice to all men; support of the states in their rights and of the federal government in all its vigor; a jealous care of the elective franchise; supremacy of the civil over the military power; expressed opposition to centralized power; favored economy, education, morality, religious freedom, free speech, free press, and the writ of habeas corpus. The second denounced the majority in congress in its refusal to admit the representatives of eleven states; sustained President Johnson in his controversy with the republican majority; approved his veto of the f reedmen's bureau and civil rights bills. The third resolution declared its sympathy with and support of President Johnson in his contest, and the fourth denounced the assumption that the democratic party was in. favor of repudiation, nullification, and secession as false and slanderous. The fifth resolution was in these words: "Resolved, That we indorse the sentiment of Senator Douglas that this government was made on a white basis for the benefit of the white man, and we are opposed to extending the right of suffrage to any other than white men." The sixth denounced the exemption of United States bonds from taxation, and favored their full taxation. The seventh condemned the protective tariff, and the eighth denounced the national banks and declared "that the existence of national banks after the experience we have had with and without them, especially in times of peace, is a subject of just alarm.' The ninth resolution denounced the squandering of the public money by state officers. The tenth praises the patriotic soldiers of the war, but denounces the republican party as trying to turn the late war into a party triumph, and a war of conquest instead of the suppression of a rebellion; a war for the negro instead of the white man. The eleventh resolution favors the free use of mines.
The union state convention which met March 25, 1868, instructed its delegates for Grant for president, and adopted a platform of nine resolutions. The first is expressive of the duty to maintain the Union; the second indorses the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments, and the reconstruction acts; the third favors the admission of the rebel states to representation as soon as it was safe so to do; the fourth opposes the payment of the national debt, contracted in specie, in legal tender; the fifth declares that congress had no right to interfere with the elective franchise where a state is represented in congress, and has a civil government not overthrown by rebellion; the sixth demanded the protection of all citizens, native or naturalized; the seventh encouraged foreign immigration; the eighth pledged its support to the soldiers and sailors, and favored liberal pensions; and the ninth resolution favored liberal appropriations of land and money by the government to aid in the construction of railroads.
The democratic state convention which convened on March 19, 1868, adopted a platform containing twelve resolutions, the first of which pledged the convention to adherence and unswerving fidelity to the time-honored principles of the party; the second declared that the federal government was one of limited powers, defined by the constitution; the third denied that the constitution authorized congress to legislate upon internal affairs of the state; and the subsequent portions of the platform, in substance, declared in favor of the maintenance of the constitution; opposed to sharing with the servile races the priceless political heritage achieved alone by white men and by them transmitted to their posterity; and declared that good faith and justice to all demands that the public debts should be paid in like currency as contracted, and that United States securities should be taxed as other property; that taxation should be upon the property instead of the industries, and protested against the reconstruction acts; condemned the usurpation of the judiciary and executive by congress; expressed sympathy with the Irish people in their efforts to secure for themselves liberty, and declared that the government must protect alike native and naturalized citizens at home or abroad; resolved in favor of a judicious system of railroad improvement in Oregon to develop the vast resources, and for this purpose asked congress to make liberal donations. This convention instructed its delegates for George H. Pendleton for president.
The democratic state convention which met March 23, 1870, adopted a lengthy platform of thirteen resolutions, in substance declaring the attachment of the party to the principles of the republic; denouncing political partisans at Washington and the reconstruction measures as "a nefarious scheme, revolutionary in design, treasonable in execution.' It also condemned the then senators as misrepresenting the wishes and outraging the sentiments of the people of the state; denounced the bestowal of the elective franchise upon Indians, negroes, and Chinese, and denounced the ratification of the recent amendments to the constitution; urged the repeal of the Burlingame treaty between the United States and China; denounced special privileges as to burdens of taxation, and adopted the eighth resolution which reads, "that the continual payment of the semiannual interest on the bonded debt of the United States without abatement, together with other numerous expenses for which the people are taxed, make a burden too intolerable to be borne without an effort to find some speedy measures of relief;that the amount of the bonded debt was increased more than twofold by the venal, illegal, and unjustifiable terms of its contraction, and that there was neither justice nor wisdom in the repeated payment of the principal by the continued payment of the interest; that it is no part of good policy or good government to embarrass the energies of all labor and all business enterprises by excessive and oppressive taxation for the exclusive benefit of a combination of untaxed capital; that to relieve the country and restore prosperity we favor an equitable adjustment of the bonded debt of the United States. This resolution was challenged by the republicans as a direct expression of a desire to repudiate the national debt. The ninth resolution condemns the payment of bonds in specie and pensions in currency, and declared that "this evinces a design on the part of the moneyed aristocracy to influence the restablishment of a policy favoring the aggrandizement of the rich at the expense of the poor, a policy which has for its object the aggregation of wealth and power on the one hand, and misery, poverty, and slavery on the other, a policy fitted only to a monarchial form of government.' The platform closes by favoring a revenue tariff; denouncing protection for the sake of protection; favoring the adoption of an amendment rescinding the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, and favoring land grants to railroads; it denounces the action of the governor and resigning members of the last legislature as a conspiracy to overthrow the state government and collect taxes to speculate in bonds, warrants, and other securities, and approved the action of the democratic members who strove to maintain the legislative session.
The republican state convention which met April 7, 1870, adopted its platform under the name of the "Union Republican Party,' and expressed its views in eleven resolutions. It declared its devotion to the Union; fidelity to the constitution and amendments, and the laws of congress; indorsed the administration of President Grant; expressed confidence in the administration of our foreign relations, and especially in relation to our claim against Great Britian, and the fourth resolution was as follows: "We denounce all forms of repudiation as a national crime; and the national honor requires the payment of the public indebtedness in the uttermost good faith to all creditors at home or abroad, not only according to the letter, but the spirit of the laws under which it was contracted. And for this purpose we favor strict economy in the administration of the national government, and the application to such payment of all surplus revenue from whatever sources derived, and that taxation should be equalized and reduced as rapidly as the national faith will permit.' The platform expresses sympathy with men of all nationalities, striving for self-government; opposes any change in the naturalization laws which shall admit to citizenship foreigners not now entitled thereto; favors a judicious system of railroad and river improvements, and insists upon congress making liberal grants of aid; favors a tariff for revenue with such discriminations in favor of domestic manufactures as will not diminish its efficiency for the purposes of revenue; favors universal amnesty to those people whose states have been restored to their full relations to the Union; favors education and opposes any diversion of the common school funds to any other purpose than the support of the common schools. Declares that it recognizes in the union republican party the measures and men who saved the government from destruction, and that its continuance in power is the only safeguard to national peace and prosperity.
The democratic state convention which met April 10, 1872, adopted a platform of nine resolutions, in substance declaring in favor of a strict construction of the constitution; the restoration of the states to their rights; opposes corruption in all departments of the government; declares against privileged classes or capital; expresses its approval of a tariff to raise money only for the necessary expenses of the federal government, and not for benefit of monopolies. It condemns as unconstitutional the reconstruction and Ku Klux laws, and the fraud and corruption in the administration, and declares that the freedom, welfare, and rights of the people are superior to the interests of incorporations, and should be protected against the exactions of oppressive monopolies. It favors the appropriation of swamp land funds to internal improvement and common schools, and indorses the construction of the locks at Oregon City, and favors like improvement of the Columbia River; indorses the state administration in securing land grants that otherwise would have gone to corporations.
The union republican state convention which convened March 20, 1872, adopted a platform consisting of fourteen resolutions. The first declares its fidelity to the constitution and its amendments; commended the administration of President Grant, and denounces all forms and degrees of repudiation of the national debt as affirmed by the democratic party and its sympathizers as not only national calamities, but positive crimes, and declared that its party would never consent to a suspicion of lack of honor or justice in the complete satisfaction of that debt. It recognized no distinction between native and foreign born citizens, and favored complete amnesty to all people of the states lately in rebellion; favored the encouragement of railroads by the general government of the United States and the disposal of the public domain so as to secure the same to actual settlers; favored a revenue tariff with such adjustment of duties as gives liberal wages to labor and remunerative prices to agriculture; condemns the expenditure of $200,000 of the common school fund on the locks at Oregon City; condemns the last legislature in respect to the disposal of swamp lands, the increase of salaries of state and county officers, and the Portland charter bill; favored a bounty of one hundred and sixty acres for each soldier; demanded the repeal of the litigant act; expressed its approval of aid from the federal government for the construction of a railroad from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City, and from Jackson County to Humboldt County, California, and pledged its party representatives to support the same. It favored a discriminating license of the liquor traffic and national aid to build a wagon road from Portland to The Dalles, and favored the continuance of its party in power.
The democratic state convention which met March 18, 1874, adopted a platform consisting of fourteen resolutions. The chairman of the committee on resolutions in that convention was C. B. Bellinger. It declared in favor of the rights of the states; asserted that the danger of corruption in public office was the greatest issue, and that the cardinal principle of the party's future political action was "retrenchment, economy, and reform," and that this was imperatively demanded; opposed the so-called "salary grab,' the actions of ring politicians and land monopolies, and appealed to honest men everywhere, without regard to past political affiliations, to join the representatives of the party in branding, as they deserved, "these corrupt leeches on the body politic, and assist us to purge official stations of their unwholesome and baneful presence.' It condemned the national administration and federal interference at the polls; favored the regulation and control of corporations by the legislature, and declared in favor of a speedy return to specie payments, just and equal taxation for support of federal and state governments, and opposed all discrimination in the assessment of federal revenue for the purposes of protection; favored free navigation and improvement of the Columbia and the construction of a breakwater at Port Orford, improvement of the Coquille and Willamette rivers, and the construction of a railroad from Portland to Salt Lake City and an early completion of the Oregon and California Railroad to the state line. The platform approved the "Patrons of Husbandy," commonly known as the "Grange," and opposed schoolbook monopolies; favored the reduction of fees of clerks and sheriffs, and an amendment to the state constitution permitting the state printing to be let to the highest bidder, and favored the retention of the litigant act. It opposed the state buying, leasing, or speculating in anything not directly belonging to the state's business; favored the construction of a wagon road from Portland to The Dalles, and congressional aid to build the railroad from Portland to Salt Lake, and for continuation of the Oregon Central from St. Joseph to Junction City.
The republican platform adopted April 8, 1874, consisted of fifteen resolutions, and was a general eulogy of honest government; defined and declared the uses of a political party, and the necessity therefor; expressed a desire to control corporate franchises; opposed interference by state officials with conventions; demanded political reform and honest economy; sympathized with the agricultural classes; demanded congressional aid for rivers and harbors and liberal grants of public land in the aid of the construction of railroads and other public works, and particularly of the railroad from Portland to Salt Lake, the construction of the Oregon Central from St. Joseph to Junction City, the improvement of the Willamette River, and congressional aid for a wagon road from Rogue-river Valley to the coast and Portland to The Dalles; opposed the purchase or lease of the locks at Oregon City; favored the repeal of the litigant law, Portland charter, and the law for the increase of salaries and. the schoolbook monopoly; favored the payment of the expenses or claims growing out of the Indian wars in 1872 and 1873 in Southern Oregon, and favored the regulation of the sale of liquor so as to restrain abuses, and favored the opening of the Wallowa Valley to settlement.
The independent state convention which convened. on April 15, 1874, adopted a platform consisting of fifteen resolutions, and condemned the extravagance of the state and national administrations, and declared that there was no ground to hope for a remedy for these evils through the agencies of the two political parties that had heretofore ruled the country. It condemned the multiplication of offices, state and national; favored means, both state and national, which would give cheap transportation, and to this end favored the construction of a railroad to Salt Lake and the completion of the Oregon and California Railroad to the south line of the state; the construction of the Oregon Central from St. Joseph to Junction City, and the completion of the same to Astoria; the construction of roads across the mountain chains; the wagon road from The Dalles to Portland, and demanded that freight rates should be fixed by law, state and national; that there should be a return to the salaries of the constitution, and a repeal of the law increasing the same; and a law protecting the state against the extravagant charges of the state printer. It declared itself in favor of the common schools and the repeal of the schoolbook monopoly and litigant act; it opposed the purchase of the locks at Oregon City; condemned the swamp land legislation and the lease of the lands thereunder; declared that personal character was the test of fitness for office; expressed its desire to regulate the liquor traffic by local precinct option and civil damage laws, and noted, with approval, the uprising of the agricultural masses.
At this time the Portland Bulletin was published as a daily paper at Portland, Oregon, in opposition to the Oregonian, and was considered the regular organ of the republican party, and was edited by James O'Meara.
The democratic state convention which met April 26, 1876, adopted a platform consisting of three resolutions. It declared for the common schools; for religious freedom; commended the lower house of congress for its reforms, and reaffirmed the democratic platform for the year 1874.
The republican state convention which met May 3, 1876, adopted a platform consisting of nine resolutions, declaring its fidelity to the constitution and the Union; in favor of the preservation of the liberties of the people and the impartial administration of the laws; economy in public office and in favor of public schools, protective tariff, specie payment, and approved the resumption act; favored the prosecution of all criminals, having special reference to the star route and whisky ring, and other scandals exposed by the democratic congress; demanded national candidates of tried integrity and in accord with the fruits of the war; denounced the present state administration, which had contracted a debt of $300,000.
It is thus seen that from 1865 up to 1874 the issues which divided the people into two political parties were practically those which grew out of the results of the civil war and the legislation following the adoption of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the constitution. It was not till 1874 that the old issues which had hitherto divided the political parties of the nation and state since 1861 ceased to be vital. The period from 1865 to 1876, embraced in this paper, witnessed that bitterness of political controversy and division of the people growing out of the great issues settled by the civil war and developed by the legislation rendered necessary thereby.
It has not been the purpose in this paper to give expression of approval or disapproval to any political event, platform, or action during the period named. The pur- pose has been to record the chief events of a political character, and to take note of some of the men who were active in the public affairs of this state during that time.
LEGISLATURE OF 1866.
The members of the senate were as follows: Baker S. Ison. Benton J. R. Bayley. Clackamas W. C. Johnson. Grant L. O. Stearns. Jackson J. N. T. Miller. Lane H. C. Huston. Linn R. H. Crawford, William Cyrus. Marion Samuel Brown, J. C. Cartwright Multnomah J. N. Dolph, David Powell. Polk W. D. Jeffries. Umatilla N. Ford.
The following- senators held over from the session of 1864: Baker and Umatilla James M. Pyle. Douglas James Watson. Douglas, Coos, and Curry G. S. Hinsdale. Josephine C. M. Caldwell. Lane S. B. Cranston. Wasco Z. Donnell. Washington, Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook T. R. Cornelius. Yamhill Joel Palmer.
Members of the house: Baker A. C. Loring. Baker and Union W. C. Hindman. Benton F. A. Chenoweth, James Gingles. Clackamas J. D. Locey, J. D. Garrett, W. A. Starkweather. Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook Cyrus Olney. Coos and Curry F. G. Lockhart. Douglas B. Hermann, James Cole, M. M. Melvin. Grant Thomas H. Brentz, M. M. McKean. Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/70 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/71 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/72 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/73 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/74 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/75 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/76 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/77 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/78 Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu/79