Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/255

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 247 Democrats for their refusal to admit Kansas. Influenced by these various motives, the Republican organization in Congress, encouraged by such prominent Republicans as Horace Greeley, determined to test its strength against the Administration forces by opposing the Oregon bill. Accordingly, when, in January, of the second session of this Congress, the bill for the admission of Oregon was reported in the house, the Republican policy of opposition was declared. But when the party managers undertook to rally the full Re- publican strength against the bill, they encountered serious defection in the ranks. Fifteen Republicans, led by Eli Thayer of Massachusetts, refused to regard the Oregon bill as a party measure, which it had really now become. The most strenuous efforts were made to enforce party discipline upon them but in vain. Viewing the question upon its own merits, they declared that the people of Oregon had proceeded in accordance with the accustomed usages, had acted in good faith and were en- titled to statehood. Hence they voted for the bill, with the Administration forces, as opposed to the Republican organiza- tion and the Southern extremists. On February 12, 1859, the house passed the bill by a vote of 114 to 108 and two days later the President affixed his signature. Oregon was at last a state and the eager hopes of a decade were realized. The passage of the admission bill seemed to reinstate Lane partially with Oregon Democrats, though not with Bush and the Clique with whom the break was irrevocable. The general attitude toward Lane is reflected in the actions of the county Democratic conventions held in the spring of 1859. The Polk county Democrats declared that they would not aid in building up a personal party for any man, no matter what his present position and future prospects might be. They demanded a strict adherence to the doctrine of rotation in office. 1 On the other hand, the Clackamas Democrats viewed "with pride and re- newed confidence the continuous and untiring zeal of our fel- low-citizen, the Hon. Jos. Lane, in his efforts to secure the highest good of Oregon and we believe that but for his per- i Statesman, April 12, 1859.