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Important Dates in Michigan's Quest for Statehood - Background Reading

1802 A provision in the Ohio state constitution states that Ohio's boundary should extend "from the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan to the most northerly extreme of the Miami (Maumee) Bay."
1805 The Michigan Territory is created. (Ohio has been a state since 1803.) Ohio's boundary is set as that in the Northwest Ordinance despite Ohio's constitutional provision.
1817 Surveyor William Harris runs the Ohio boundary line according to Ohio's constitution.
1818 Surveyor John A. Fulton runs the Ohio-Michigan boundary according to the provisions of the 1787 Ordinance. Both Ohio and Michigan claim the land between the Harris and Fulton lines, the "Toledo Strip" (a narrow 486 square mile area).
October 1832 Michigan voters begin the statehood process.
December 11, 1833 Lucius Lyon, Michigan's delegate to Congress, presents the first formal petition requesting Michigan's admission into the Union. The survey line problem is rediscovered, and a new survey is ordered. Surveyor Andrew Talcott and assistant Robert E. Lee run a line that agrees with the Fulton line. Meanwhile, Congress accepts the Harris line as official.
Early 1834 Congress rejects the request to call a constitutional convention despite a census that shows that Michigan has over 85,000 residents-25,000 more than necessary.
December 26, 1834 The Michigan Territorial Council authorizes the appointment of three commissioners to negotiate the boundary dispute between Ohio and Michigan. Governor Lucas rejects any such negotiation and organizes the "Toledo Strip" area into a new Ohio county to be named "Lucas County."
February 1835 The Michigan Territorial Council passes the Pains and Penalties Act. This act makes it illegal for anyone who is not a Michigan resident to exercise official jurisdiction in the "Toledo Strip" upon "pain" of a $1,000 fine and five years imprisonment.
Early April 1835 Supporters of both Michigan and Ohio hold elections in the "Toledo Strip."
April 25, 1835 Ohio orders the remarking of the survey that placed the "Toledo Strip" in Ohio.
May 11 to June 24, 1835 Michiganians meet in Detroit and prepare a constitution.
June 1835 Ohio adopts "special measures," including ordering the convening of a special court session in the disputed territory in early September.
July 15, 1835 Monroe County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Wood is wounded in Toledo-the only casualty during the "Toledo War."
August 1835 Michigan's legislative council rejects compromise measures proposed by President Jackson's commissioners.
August 29, 1835 President Jackson fires Michigan Territorial Governor Stevens T. Mason.
Early September 1835 Michigan troops enter Toledo, but Ohioans still hold court.
September 1835 John S. Horner replaces Mason as territorial governor.
October 5 and 6, 1835 Michigan voters adopt the state's first constitution. They elect Stevens T. Mason as governor, Edward Mundy as lieutenant governor and a legislature.
November 1, 1835 Michigan's legislature convenes, passes 7 laws and elects two U.S. Senators (Lucius Lyon and John Norvell).
December 1835 Michigan's senators and congressman (Isaac E. Crary) go to Washington but are seated only as "spectators" with no chance to reply to Ohio legislators claims in Congress.
Early 1836 Congress debates Michigan's request for admission to the Union.
June 15, 1836 President Jackson signs the Northern Ohio Boundary Bill passed by Congress. The law gives Toledo to Ohio and offers Michigan the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula and immediate statehood. If Michigan agrees, it can become a state. Michigan must hold a convention, however, to approve the compromise measure.
September 12, 1836 Delegates are elected to consider the Congressional compromise.
September 26-30, 1836 Forty-nine elected delegates representing 27 counties meet in Ann Arbor. They reject the compromise offered by Congress.
December 14, 1836 Elected delegates meet again in Ann Arbor for a second Convention of Assent and accept the congressional compromise.
January 1837 Congress debates the proceedings of Michigan's two conventions.
January 26, 1837 President Jackson signs the bill passed by Congress that admits Michigan as the nation's 26th state.

Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.

Updated 08/02/2010

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