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About Oregon spectator. (Oregon City, O.T. [i.e. Or.]) 1846-1855 | View This Issue
B. A. a. UHC, EMTOBvW. nJHONU, T.
In assuming tho dudes and responsibilities
of the editorial department of the " Specta
tor," it is due to our readers that we should
state briefly th principles and objecti by
which we shall be governed in the manage
roent of the pepw.
First : it will be one of our chief objects to
support, cherish, and cultivatethat spirit of
friendly union, under the influence of which
the members of our provisional government
of Oregon first came together in compact,
and said "upon these principles we will unite
for purposes of mutual protection and de
fence, and for the preservation of peace and
good order amongst ourselves," A spirit
growing out of that great principle of human
freedom, so beautifully expressed in the de
claration of American independence a prin
ciple embodied in, and pervading the whole
constitution of the wiso and happy govern
ment of the United States a principle, in.
deed, which must ever form the chief corner
stone of all freo governments. Let every
man who thinks himself a.ohampion of free,
dom and democracy,' read the following, and
see if ho can better it : " All men are born
free and equal." Jefferson. " Ono man is
not born with a boot on his leg, and another
with saddle on his back." Napolem.
We shall, also, under a sense of duty, la
bor to support the government of Oregon, un
til it shall have been superceded by the gen
eral government of the United States not
that wo expect to support every measure that
may have been or may hereafter be adopted
by the house of representatives and approved
by the governor: No! We shall at all times
claim and exercise the privilege of calling in
question the propriety, utility, or constitution
ality of any measure, oithor while pending
in the house, or after it has become a law.
But whflo we claim the privilege to express
any defect wo may discover either in the
laws themselves, or their administration, we
shall still feel ourself bound to support the
laws, as a whole, believing that, in all free
governments, the main body of the rules
whichlney adopt for their own government,
wiiye good. Indeed, if tho majority of free,
men could do otherwise than adopt rules and
regulations founded upon principles of jus.
tice, then would all free governments be, in
reality, what monarchists have pronounced
and labored hard to prove them, precarious,
and incompetent of Self-support. But as there
is no other ground upon which rational be.
ings can agrco in forming a social compact
for themselves, but the law of justice,1 fol.
Iowa that the main body of those laws must
bo just and equitable. So with Oregon; all
will admit that hor articles of corr act, and
moat' of her statutary provisions, are based
upon the principles of justice and equity; al.
though' public bentiment, excited and mad.
dened by repeated public declamations, may
have led her astray on some particular sub.
ject for the moment yet, it is impossible for
her to remain in support of any measure un
juet or oppreeiV , while the correcting pow
er la in the beJtfe of those who, have to suf-
fer 'tit inoonvenlenbtee and evils of such un-
justlaw, and experience must thoreforo soon
bring her back" to the imrnutablo principles
of justice. A rational being will not wan
tonly puniebnimaelf. "-
Of our Dolrtfee, we hied aay but little, as
they have been ao often .'.pyWloly expressed.
Let it suffice to say, wo believe in solf.gov.
ernment ; that a majority of the whole poo.
plaThoMihe sovereign power; that it can
never depart from them except by usurpation
sustained by force of arms. Much has-been
said of delegated powers, and many politi.
cians think, when the people have called
them to perform certain specific duties, that
they aro vested with all the authority of the
supreme power ; we regard all such, as mis
taken bigots. ' Tho power delegated must,
from the very nature of things, be specific
and limited, and nover can be supreme while
the government remains free, for if free, tho
tho majority of the wholo peoplo must rule.
In conducting tho " Spectator," wo shull
open its columns to tho prudent discussion of
the following subjects, viz : Politics, litera
ture, agriculture, morality, temperance, do.
mestic and political economy, national poli
cy, education, common school and manual
labor systems, commerce, local affairs, A:c.;
in short, pur sheet is open to all Subjects ex
cept purely sectarianism and uncalled-for and
unprofitable partyism. We would not be un
derstood to condemn true party spirit, by any
means far from it ; wo believe it ono of tho
best safe-guards of a freo government. But
there is a kind of partyism unworthy of the
name of party spirit, which ought more pro
perly to bo termed faction which, assuming
the character of true party spirit, causes
much mischief, and should not bo encour
aged by any periodical, professing the public
good ; and even party spirit itself may be,
and otlen is, perverted from its legitimate
use, and made an instrument of much evil.
To oxtrnct the good and suppress tho evil,
will bo our earnest desire and constant ef
fort. We are aware that many will look with
surprise, and perhaps 'suspicion, too, at tho
word " politics," placed at the head of tho
list of subjects to be discussed in the "Spec
tator," from the fact, that heretofore the pri
vileges of the paper havo been closed against
politics entirely. We understand tho 8th or
tide of the constitution of the Oregon Print
ing Association, as published in the first num
ber of tho " Spectator," to exclude ex parte
politics only. This we believe to have been
tho true meaning of the association when they
adopted that article. Moreover, politics, as
wc understand the term, means tho science
of government, and not the effervescence of
fermenting partyism, or the noisy froth of
Taking this view of the subject, how the
only paper published in the territory could
exclude from its columns politics in every
sense of the word, is to us, an enigma, the
solution of which wo shall never attempt.
Thus, throwing our columns open to all
subjects, we most cordially invite all who
desire to promote the interest of tho country,
in any sense of tho term, to contribute freely
to fill those columns. The wholo field of sci
ence, politics, literature and natural history,
is open to the author in Oregon. Let him
who delights in studying the nature of the
wild beasts of tho forest, give us a descrip.
tion of these animals, together with a sketch
of their history as observed in Oregon, and
the differenco between them here and else
where, for thoro is said to be a striking dif.
ference. Let him-who is pleased with tho
song, the rich and beautiful plumage, and
the interesting "manners and customs" of
the feathered tribe, do likewise. If any is
pleased with the beautiful and endless varie
ty of flowers that decorate the plains of the
Multnomah and other parts of Oregon, let
him givo us tho result of his observations.
To the geologist and mineralogist, wo extend
the same general invitation.CXll will be in.
toresting, and mora or less useful to the corn,
But what shall we say to tho agriculturist,
the practical farmer? Ho, above all others,
has the powor to promote tho prosperity, and
increase tho happiness of his countrymen;
and yet lie U the laait be persuaded W com.
municate his knowledge, Experiments, obser
vations, juid discoveries, tojua fellow-laborcrs.
Oh, yo delinquents!, whon wluyouwako up
and redeem your characters from the impu
tutionfl your dorolictlonstiavo heaped ii'ion
you? Come! in the name of Cores! arouse
yourselves; put down that false pride which
tollH you, you cannot writo well enough for
a newspaper that you will misspell somo
words, and thut your languago will not lie
sufficiently eloquent ; put it all down! Wo
want no fine-spun tissue of pretty word; wc
want common sense, sound judgment, and
matters of fuct, however expressed. Come,
then, lot us hoar from you ; should you per
chance misspell a word, we will correct it,
and no one will ever lo tho wiser of it.
Such of our friends as have read tho Spec
tator up to tho last number published, must
be fully aware of the peculiarly embarrass
ing circumstances under which wo enter on
our editorial course. Believing, however, a
generous peoplo will properly appreciate tho
influence of those circumstances, we forbcur
all comment or remark, and frankly submit
ourself and our sentiments to tho test of u
OCT In appealing to tho friends and sup-
! porters of tho "Spectator," wo feel that wr
have some advantage over most editors, and
if wo should avail ourself of it, we hope our
friends will excuse us. Tho Washington
press is owned, not by tho editor, hut by un j
association of tho citizens. Wc therefore can
havo no )ecuniary interest in the success of'j
the paper, but as u friend to literature and the
diffusion of knowledge, we can but desire thut
the operation may prove successful. There
fore, we take 4.'ie liberty to appal to the pro
prietors : Gentlemen, you have once mani
fested a generous spirit of public enterprise,
even, when we were a small people compared
with our present population; when our pros
pects were not so promising as at present
nn cflbrt was made to obtain a printing press
in Oregon; tho umbunt necessary was reudi
ly subscribed, and the liberality of our fol.
low.citizen, Geo. Abcr'ncthy, generously ten
dered in advance, tho funds suifubfe. Your
efforts, thus fur, havo been entirely success,
ful; the press has been obtained; it is now in
operation ; the greatest difficulties aro mir
mounted, but the work 'is not yet done; un
oflbrt still remains to bo mudc; the Spcctutor
must be encouraged and supported, or the
operation cannot be profitable, but sadly the
My friends, nllow us to ask, what liuvo
you done for tho paper? What effort have
you made to incrcoso its circulation ? Re
member, it is your own interest, not ours ;
therefore, wo havo spoken freely. Exertion
is necessary. Tho wholo number of sub
scribers, up to this time, is only ono hundred
and fifty-five, in a population that ought to
furnish nt least five hundred.
03" The Falls Association was instituted
in January, 1844, for tho mutual advance
ment of its members, in discussion and com.
position, sinco when, many animated debates,
on interesting and usoful subjects, have ta
ken place perhaps, we might say, too ani
mated occasionally, whon the question aflec
ted our peculiar political situation; if no vory
weighty results havo been produced, it ten.
ded at least to relievo tho monotony of our
drizzly winters, and something more, if wo
may infer from the numerous assemblage oft.
times witnessed on tho nights of meeting.
Tho essays and compositions having been
preserved, we shall, with tho permission of
tho members, occasionally cull from the re.
pository, such an we may concoivo worthy of
placing in a spare column of tho " Spccta
tor," as among the early effusions of Oregon
03" Wo can but express our humble thankw
to tho Almighty for tho preservation of our
life, through tho late sevoro illness with which
wo havo boon afflicted.
From tho Krpoaltory of tho Fall Awclallii.
Upon Mount Hood I aland,
And with rapt tfaxo explore
The valley, and that patriot bond
Upon Columbia ahorv.
If tho contemplation of ruins of former
greatness, with tho long grass o'crtopping
tliu mouldering walls, given rise to melan
choly reflections and sombre thoughts, how
opposite nnil exceedingly delightful, aro the
feelings engendered and excited by a medi
tative view of scenes, just bursting from tor.
pitudo and insignificance, into lilo and ani.
mated importance u sterile and savago wil
derness just budding into n fertile and civil
ized region ; such feelings aro mine us I
take my fancied stand on yonder snow-olad
peak, with naught above mo, save heuven's
high canopy, ami the occasional pass.-' of
the lordly eagle, who, floating mid air on
his expansive wings, screams with delight
his prui.se of love and liberty. There, with
a breast throbbing with rapturous hope, I
view tho plains of fur west Oregon, grailu.
ally givo forth the pleasing demonstration of
tho presence of the Anglo-Saxon race, "not
as conquerors with roll of drum not us the
flying with silence and with fear," bur proud,
erect and free tliu improver of nature ami
tillorof the soil producing vegetation where
none o'er grew before, and whom ono blade
was only seen, making tens appear what
obstacles has not thut race removed, lo make
advantages apparent, and what transitions
will they not produce in this selected urtioii
of tho western world ! A few short years
will scarce mil o'er, ere, intend of'glanciug
far and wijffj to find a well tilled farm ami
comfortable ulxxle, 'twill bo more difficult !
s)int out u sfxit without ouch an appciidugc,
where now the mills appear but rure, their
absence will bo rarer Mill; und muiiy a siol,
where curls the smoke from mutted wigwum
barely m.cii, hundreds id' well filled hearths
will blaze around, sending forth their rolling
columns to the skies, as u mighty cloud of
incense, from the ehmrfiil groups within.
Cities will arise and towns spnng from their
sites, as if In spell of genius' nuigie wauil,
und genius 'lb the genius of enterprise, in
dustry, and skill. Kaeb revolting year will
bring her thousands un the wings of ho'ic, !
add their portions of divided toil, und reup
the benefits of our temperate clime and vir
gin soil. Mcthiuks I sec the present start
ing baud of hardy pioneers, the Muter band,
of thai w hich last urrived, on tiptoe, watching
to move at tho command. O on they come,
and each year echoes still, they come ! Then
will tho gluK-y surface of thy basaltic bar
rier'd stream, O, proud Columbia, Which now
rolls ut my feet, with naught to stud thy bo
som hut the rude canoe, bo fretted and cba.
fed witli mimic surf, by the sail. less und inn-
jestic monuments of Fulton then will thy
old companions, the lofty and gigantic pines,
fall victims to tho demand of that loviuthun,
steam-; and where now ono solitary craft is
uuehored seen, the towering musts of hun
dreds will appear, bringing tho treasures and
luxuries of the Puuific, und receiving, in re.
turn, the more solid and useful surplus of
Oregon's multifurious productions. Thy
shores, so uninviting at this moment, will
then he whurfed und warehoused along their
margins, and strong built forts will frown
from thy u'orhauging orags thy emhuu
churc, with bar so dangerous to the stranger,
will cause no longer fear or droud, lor watch
ful pilots, with experienced knowledge, will
steer each hark to port, sufc from tho rocks,
tho shoals, the waves, and wind. Thy no
bio narno, till now ulmost unknown, wil pass
from hence to the Polynesian isles, from
isles to Indus, Chiiiu anil Japan, as un ampin
depot of desired stores a refitting ort of
the North Pacific, and where resides that
enterprising band who crossed tho mountain
barrier from tho east. Yes, Oregon, thou
once despised land of crags and peaks ! soon
shall thy vales bo bluzoncd to tho world, as
richer than thoso climes where minos abound:
thy treasures grain, more precious far,
than pearls or gems from fumediGolconda'a
depths for, whore pale famine holds hor'"'
melancholy court, or golden lands yield no
amount of food, the balanco of exchange
Will in thy favor be, afclifetQ death. And
though tho hazy fog or moisture hangs dark
ening o'or thy plains for n4r three long
and dreary. monthsof -winter, and tho dim
sun scarce glimmre through tho storm, vol