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Oregon Territory Joins the Union
Volume Two Number Four

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Oregon Trail 1859

She Flies With Her Own Wings

Mon., Feb. 14 -- President Buchanan notified Congress that he had signed the bill. Oregon is admitted, but the war debt is not paid, and our agents tell us that it will not be at the present time. Our people are already overburdened with taxation. The General Government of the U.S. have appropriated about $75,000 for a Penitentiary and a like sum for a Capitol and public buildings, and a large amount for a library, all of which has been squandered and destroyed by the party in power.

We have no capital, no public buildings, no library, and no visible means to support or sustain a State Government, yet we must do it, and for what? Why, that Jo Lane and Delazone Smith can occupy seats in the U.S. Senate, and Mr. L. Grover in the House of Representatives of the Congress, and draw from the National Treasury $10,000 a year each.

The majority of the people of Oregon have become the charmed victims of party conjurations and political drugs and have been duped into its support, until at last we have a State -- the State of Oregon -- comprising about 45,000 inhabitants.

No state, except Oregon, has ever been admitted into the Union without some provision being made, or at least, an evidence of the power and ability to support and sustain itself. But, in this case, the parent Government having neglected its offspring entirely, and required the youngest of the family to protect itself -- to go out even to war against a common enemy, and fight its own battles, asking her to fly with her own wings.

A long dreary winter of unusual inclemency has destroyed a large amount of their stock; no appropriations for the Indian Department have been made, and no money provided to pay the people what the present Government justly owe them upon contracts made by their officers.

The effects and consequences are in the future, and whenever the people are (which they assuredly will be) compelled to feel deep in their pockets, and bring forth the last dollar to pay the expenses of a State Government organization, they will begin to appreciate the consequences of doing a large business on a small borrowed capital.

They have admitted us as a sovereign State into the Union and we have now the glorious satisfaction to know that Oregon is a State, and that she is represented in the U.S. Congress by Jo Lane, Delazon Smith and L.F. Grover, who have, in advance, bartered away the character, rights, honor and interests of the people to secure to themselves $10,000 per year each, and henceforth enable them to rule and govern Democratic Oregon as may best suit their purposes and interests. Weekly Oregonian


The above story is only one of several from this edition. Line art of Oregon's early state seals plus the story of how Oregon became a territory without meeting the population requirements for becoming a state in the union.

Continue the Oregon Trail saga!

Read our Number Five of the series, Oregon Trail 1863 War Disrupts Manifest Destiny.


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Bridget E. Smith, editor & publisher

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Historical Gazette
Published in Portland, Oregon
© 1991-