256 * W. C. WOODWARD lowed at all the proceedings of the old colonial assemblies in pre-revolutionary days ! It indicates clearly what the doctrine of popular sovereignty meant to Oregonians. The State Democratic platform of 1859 stated that the de- cision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case was acknowledged by the Democratic party as a correct interpreta- tion of the Constitution on the question of slavery. This was a palpable evasion as there were no less than three distinct in- terpretations of that decision among the Democrats. The Douglas phase of the doctrine, that of absolute non-interven- tion, was still very generally held by the rank and file of the Oregon democracy. Many, however, were now following the lead of Lane, who maintained that slavery existed in the Ter- ritories by virtue of the Constitution and that the people of the Terrtories had no authority either to establish it or pro- hibit its introduction. Bush hence charged him with having deserted the Democratic principle of popular sovereignty and with having taken up "the quibble devised by some place-seeking demagogues, to cheat unthinking Southern extensionists." 1 Lane had merely advanced to the Buchanan or Administration interpretation, but Bush refused to recognize the latter as Dem- ocratic doctrine. The radical Democratic position was voiced by Editor O'Meara in the Standard, who declared for positive intervention by Congress for the protection of slavery in the Territories. He charged that whoever held a different doctrine was a Black Republican. He attacked Douglas for his Freeport speech doctrine, as either a demagogue or "a very thick-headed numbskull," charging him with utterances treasonable and sub- versive of the Constitution. 2 In the campaign, Lansing Stout, the Democratic candidate for Congressman, supported the Administration doctrine and even approached that of the interventionists, maintaining that the people were obliged to enact laws for the protection of slaves in the Territories. He was supported on the stump by Smith and Lane, who spent most of their time in denouncing i Statesman, editorial, "Then and Now", Nov. 22, 1859. zQuoted in Argus, May 28.
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/264
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