Page Eight 80th Anniversary EbmoNrrTHE1 Oregon Statesman' Hot'PviiQ: State J Constitutional jConvention in Session a'Month at Old Courthouse Here; Prior to Convention Statehood Plan Thrice Rejected by People Peady President , ... By Charles H. Carey ? President Oregon Historical Society AT the old county court bouse in Salem, between August 17 and September 18,"l857i sat the great convention ihat framed .Oregon's state constitution. We have had some ex citing political battles in Oregon, but it may j be safely said that no issue of politics that ever was raised here excited more bitter debate, or excited! such general interest,. as did the question of statehood or no statehood, a question that was continually before the people in one "form or another throughout, the entire period from 1848, when the. territory was organized, until statehood was achieved,: February, 14, 1859. The Territorial legislature O met annually, as provided by the Organic Act adopted by Congress; and at every session, the question came up, generally, when urged by the democrats. Three times the statehood bill passed the Legisla ture and was submitted to vote of the people, and three times it was voted down by a narrow margin. But, finally, by a remarkable re versal of the opinion of those op posed, the plan to have a constitu tion and a state was carried by a great majority. How this change of heart was brought about will be explained be low. The vote was taken on the first Monday of June, 1857, the final count showing 7617 in favor of holding a Convention to adopt a Constitution, as against 1679 op posed, or a majority of 5938 in favor. Delegates to the Conven tion were elected at this election. 7195 Ayes, 3215 Nays On Ratification Issue Although the Convention was spirited in debate at times, it was conducted with decorum, and the work was done with scrupulous fidelity, as well as with remark able success. The Constitution thus framed was approved by popular rote at a special: election, held No vember 9, 1857, the vote being 7195 for, as against 3215 op posed, showing an affirmative majority of .",980. Congress cre ated the- state under this Consti tution and the bill was signed by President Buchanan, February 14. 18 5'!). a date that marks Ore gon's admission into the Union. For forty-five years this Con stitution remained in force without change or amendment. ,In fact, it was not until the adoption of the Initiative and Referendum Amend ment of 1902, that the habit of amending was acquired. Since that, over one hundred amendments have been voted upon by the voters, and approximately one-half of these have been adopted. ine convention itseix was re markable' for the ability of its dele gates. It sat at a period when every man was interested in pol a - uics, ana was weu lniormea on the principles of representative government. Most of the delegates would have been recognized as leaders in any assembly of able mien, and many of them were af terward called upon by . their fel low citizens for service under the new. government. The debates of the Convention were notable for the ability and breadth of the ar gument, 'and some of the speeches were masterpieces of forensic ora tory. Representative men Took Part in Conclave Among the most conspicuous of the members there may be men tioned Judge Matthew P. Deady, who served as president of the Con. vention, and who presided with dig nity and fairness. At $he close of the labors of the body, he made a brief speech in support of the Constitution as drafted. At times, during the sessions, he vacated the chair and participated in the de bates. Others who took active part in the debates included Cyrus Ol- ney, of Clatsop County, E. D. Shat tuck, ' of Washington County, Thomas J. Dryer, of Multnomah County, J. K. Kelly and A. L. Love- joy, of Clackamas County, J. R. McBnde, of Yamhill County, Reu ben P. Boise, of Polk County, John H. Reed and P. P. Prim, of Jack son County, Jesse Applegate, of Umpqua County, Stephen F. Chad wick, of Douglas County, Delazon Smith, of Linn County, L. F. G ro ver and George H. Williams, of Marion County. These and many others served on important committees. The Convention consisted of six ty delegates, two-thirds of whom were democrats, the remainder be ing whigs and free state republi cans. It was promptly oreanized. Statesman Old, Bat Wide Awake . ' ' hi I By C. H. Brock hagen . publisher. The Portland Telegram "TF it is 'by reason of strength' that a man attains A the age1 of fourscore years It is no less evidence of exceptional Vitality when that composite personality which we call a newspaper successfully endures the' vicissitudes pf a long lifetime, renewing its strength and maintaining always the spirit and ambitious pur pose of indomitable youth. j "Such im unworn veteran is The Statesman, which is one of the oldest newspapers in Oregon. In its unprejudiced reporting of current events and its well . considered pmment upon them, The 1 Statesman has justified its fcame as it has helped to make as well as to relate the'history of its period a period coinciding very nearlyjwith the lifetime of the state. I "On its 80th birthday, The Statesman is to be con gratulated'on its worthy record of public service and its rich inheritance of honorable tradition, but age, in itself,- meanil little in the active life of a daily news paper. The Statesman is fortunate that its 80 years has grounded it deep in the respect and regard of Oregon. but it is more fortunate in its conception of the past a$fnothing more than a stout foundation, oh which to buijd the future. : "The Statesman assumes ho prosy pose of ven- erable age.vt aspires to be no chimney corner oracle, , but takes its' place briskly in the busy procession of to day, pushing forward with a lively step rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. l"As editor and publisher of The Portland Tele gram, whichi ir its 64th year ranks among the elder papers of the state, I speak for myself and for all the members of pie Telegram family when I wish The Statesman rfiany happy returns of this anniversary, counting off- years of growing influence and useful ness and of! increasing prosperity for- this pioneer newspaper and the community it serves." si BUCKET BRIGADE IN ,80f l! - i . I' :r yf:.--X i ::hM I n- v ' ' J ' ' i ' 1 : r : . , .... 1 ' : ' ... i : - - ' ----- 1 ' '"""1 ' -" '; ''" ' V;V': ':- ' ' ' - j . . r "--"-,'' - . - - J , 1 and the usual standing "cofnmittees were appointed: By common -consent the burning, question "of slav ery was avoided,. happy; expedient being found in a; plan for. submit ting to - popular- vote in separate schedules that issue, and also ' the kindred question of permitting free colored people to- -reside in the state. -The debates developed considerable- difference of. opinion on many subjects, but most . of ,the real work, as usual in such assem blies, was done by the committees, and finally jn the last few lays'of the session, the instrument took shape s with speed and general ap proval. Statesman was Po werf ul Influence in Conclave. v , The '.Oregon Statesman at that period was the most influential of the newspapers published in the Territory, with the possible excep tion -of the -Weekly Oregonian: The first - mentioned, under" the c vigor ous and able editorship of.Asahel Bush, led the democrats, while. the Oregonian, with Thomas J.? Dryer as editor, was at that time a whig journal, although soon . after . the I organization of the Republican par-1 ty it espoused . the new party's I policies and candidates. Both of I these papers had reports of the day tt day proceedings. Dryer, himself a delegate, had engaged Patrick Malone, an able reporter from San Francisco. Mr. Bush was not a 1 delegate, but attended the j sessions in person, and there is a I tradition that he also used the ser- f vices of a young lawyer named W. I W. Paee. afterward a nrominent I judge. The reports in. these two Bome were derived from slavery,- including a large part of papers were full and comprehen- constitutions of Iora, Maine, Mass- the democrats as well as the whigs, sive, and without them'the details cl8ett. Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, became' apprehensive lest the Bu of the daily debates and 'proceed- Connecticut, Wisconsin and Texas, chanan administration at Wash ings would have been lost. For The jcUry article was original ington, backed by Congress, would although an official journal was wxm ine ix)nvenuen. force slavery on Oregon, and they accurately kept, this was a formal Mention has been made of the feared that the local courts and report, and merely gave a skeleton sudden change of (sentiment among Iaws would be ineffective to pre- of the essential transactions.. The the voters of Oreefen Territorv that VCTlt tne flooding of the Territory Convention, did, : indeed," consider resulted in a strong vote for state- Wltn slaves The remedy, the only the advisability of having a short- hood, j notwithstanding repeated remedJr seemed to lie in the prompt hand reporter to take down the I previous reiectionaf. Perhan noth. noting for statehood, and the pro- debates, but gave it up on account ling shows more clearly the import- J nibiton of slavery by popular vote. a. . 1 . I ... . ? . . Ttin.. 1 A. - 1 1- 01 cosi,. as matters siana, . me i ance oi the slavery question in the I fi'wu iu slavery Deuevea State owes to the enterprise and minds of the voters of 1857. The tnat the maJority of the voters diligence of Mr. Bush and r Mr. change was in rrtgat measure due I would vote for such prohibition, but Dryer the valuable detailed record to a decision of the United Stato they feared that if action were lone published in their newspapers, a Supreme Court lnthi Dred Rrntt delayed the influx of immigrants great feat considering the time and case, which overthrew the so-called ft"om slave 'holding states might circumstances. Missouri Compromise, by which Verse the situation and fasten Sources of Constitution Congress bad fctteppted to estab- fty' on the tate.- The immed- From Other States Ii,n Permanent lne between free tefas therefore favored by The original constitution was de- "d slave territory. the anti-slavery element that had rived in great part from the In- The decision indirectly affected oppsed statehood in the earlier diana Constitution of 1851,, but such a Territory as Oregon, and by e,ectionsv implication changed what was lo- xae -nvention hall heard very . cally believed to b its fundamental little about prohibition of slavery, Uw on the subjecf of slavery. In but it resounded with oratory on brief, the situation may be thus every other political subject. Cor- described: While Oregon was north porations were attecked, the state of the Missouri ompromise line, university was opposed, and a num and, moreover, wile Congress in ber of anti-Jiquor petitions were creating, the Territory had con- presented. One delegate, hailing firmed tht. laws that the Provision- from Wasco County, wanted the al Government had-taken over from part of the Territory lying east of Iowa, including th prohibition of the Cascader left out of the State, slavery as set ou in these laws, and another delegate from Coos all this was now t count as rioth- County proposed the right of Inz. Congress had no power to secession by the southern counties, pass such laws, an hereafter when in case t new state should be states are erected y popular vote, carved out of these arid some coun- ' the people will havjp the sole power ties in northern California. On to decide whether tje new state will the whole, however, the Convention be slave or free. This overruled, in was disinclined to wander into by effect, earlier decidons of the Ore- paths, and it kept to the middle of gon Supreme Courf, which had ex- the road. The Constitution it pressly decided that the institution created was a model for a small of slavery waa illegal in that Ter- rural state in the far west. bSng j o ' especiaUy restricted as to expense, Dred Scott Cas Force 1 and making legislative sessions bi- rLfHZSi i : v ennial lMUad oS under' The Dred Scott decision became tfc T..i j th. .ubjec. .f h..&d politicl dU- the S!rm jJde. t aTViI MEKETA 8TBKETS WAS BUILT IN 1885 FOR 1 i. ArTEK KEMODELINO." IT WAS ALSO HOME OFNCE OF OREGON ' LAND CO HOOVER WORKED AS OrFICE BOX BEFORE QOIN( TO A T AJI FO XL. U W- -Coprrirtt .rtMy -.i st.dio, cussion everywhere throughout the duty, and the County Judges' to act uv n aj tion more impoi Oregon region. .. SALEM TOOK JPRIDR IW ITS FIRR TEAMS. Btin.DISO AT LEFT. S. W CORVPR (yyuti.M'.,. .v Union, but noWi V, . ' -UK to ac ?ld FIRST national BANK. BUiLDiNo in rear, jttatr Nsnitl Itinn .T. 77 . . . I '-oanty commissioners. Econ HERE HEIBBE&T rtZIL. I 1 AS. .1 . a we omy was the watchword. But f f i. use opposed to 'citMy wal by rp means neglected.