Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/315

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POLITICAL PARTIES IN OREGON 307 beat you and General Lane for the Senate. Come on and make your fight." 1 Smith accepted the challenge and the two made a joint canvass of the county, fighting each other by day and generally sleeping in the same bed at night. 2 While in the county Williams cautiously broached the subject to his fellow Democrats of an alliance with the Republicans as the only means of defeating their pro-slavery opponents. Two efforts were made in this direction at mass meetings held at Albany, attended by both parties. But on both occasions, the Demo- crats avowed their Democracy and the Republicans their Re- publicanism so strenuously, the meetings ended in confusion and united action was despaired of. The abhorrence which many Democrats still cherished at any connection with Black Republicans, was hard to overcome. Finally an absolutely secret caucus of seventeen men was held for the purpose of making out a fusion ticket. Active Democrats in the caucus were Anderson Cox, W. R. Bishop, M. D. Byland and Harri- son Johnson. John Conner was the leading Republican present, and was made chairman. In making up the legislative, ticket, Bishop demanded that a rather illiterate Democrat named Barton Curl, from his part of the county, be named. Curl was a rabid Democrat and "offensively partisan" and was strenuously objected to by the, Republicans. Bishop was in- sistent in his demand. He knew that Curl alone could carry the Democratic vote of the "Santiam forks," the hotbed of Democracy in that part of the state, and that vote would be essential for carrying the county. The Republicans yielded reluctantly. The conditions of alliance were clearly stated to be that the members of the legislative ticket, if elected, were to vote for Col. Baker and some Douglas Democrat for United States senators. The ticket was issued the public knew not by whom nor whence. Four members of the legislature were to be chosen and three of the nominees on the fusion ticket were elected. One Lane-Smith nominee was successful by a 1 Williams' address before the legislature of 1899, in Oregon Historical Quar- for March, 1907, p. 22. 2 Conversation with Judge Williams.