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situation in the disputed territory, by virtue required the wisdom and experience of an of any commission or authority not derived older man. This controversy brought him from the Territory or the United States Gov- into sharp collision with men in high official ernment, was a valid law; and he strongly in position and distinguished for long experience timated that if an armed force should invade and eminent ability. His correspondence on the Territory for the purpose of establishing the subject is marked by its directness, its the jurisdiction of Ohio by force of arms, the clearness of statement, its cogency of arguauthorities of Michigan might properly repel ment. His voluminous correspondence with force with force, in defense of their rights, and the President, the Secretary of State, the Secre. if this did not avail, it might become the duty tary of War, the Governor of Ohio, and with of the President to render more effective aid. Messrs. Rush and Howard, the commissioners, A question of national importance arose, and and his messages to the legislatire council, all greatly perplexed the authorities at the Fede- evince ability of more than ordinary power, ral capital. A hostile collision was imminent. and a zeal in urging the claims and defending The President was anxious to avoid such a the rights of the Territory, whose chief execuconflict and ardently desired an amicable tive officer he was. With the Governor of Ohio arrangement of the matter; and for that pur- he was, of courso, brought into sharp collision. pose appointed two commissioners, Hon. Rich. With the wishes of General Jackson, then Presiard Rush and Hon. Benjamin C. Howard, to dent, and whom above all men he admired, he visit and intercede with the governors of Ohio could not comply; and preferred to retire from and Michigan. They arrived in Ohio April 1, his office rather than decline to do what he 1835, and for four or five weeks thereafter were thought duty demanded of him. ... engaged in efforts to effect their object, some- But on the real question at issue, the questimes in Ohio, sometimes in Michigan, often by tion as to the true boundary line under the acts personal interviews with the governors and of Congress, and the legality of the proposed sometimes by correspondence. But the effort action of Ohio in extending her jurisdiction was not a success, and on the 5th of May they and establishing and maintaining her offices by returned to Washington.
force within the Territory, there is no evidence During those negotiations Governor Mason that General Jackson took any view different stood firmly by the right of Michigan to the from that of Governor Mason; and it is certain long conceded jurisdiction over the tract in that the attorney general, his legal advisor, dispute and to the enforcing of the laws of was clear in his opinion that Michigan was Michigan within it, and refused to give any right in her view on this point, and that the sanction to the organizing of counties or town- executive should maintain the established jurisships or courts within it under Obio authori- diction, and that too by force, if invaded from ties. They proposed to him to allow the juris- abroad. And this, too, was the expressed view diction of Ohio to be extended, and that Micbi of at least some of the members of the cabinet. gan and Ohio should exercise concurrent juris But the President was anxious to avoid all diction, and that the officers of both should to trouble, and it was said that he was particugether exercise authority; but to this be re- larly anxious to pacify and conciliate the State fused his assent. They urged him to abandon of Ohio, whose large voto might be important all idea of force and with hold his assont to the in the presidential election which was near at exercise of it, but he considered it his duty to hand. He was willing to avoid the threatened preserve the integrity of the Territory and to collision by allowing Ohio for the time being allow the executive officers to enforce the laws to establish her jurisdiction, and her newly of Michigan within its borders, and if the cir- appointed judges and other officers within the cumstances demanded it, he would refuso no Territory; and that the executive of Michigan aid which the executive might properly fur. should abstain from resistance in the meantime, nish.
and cease to perform what in the view of the This controversy gave great annoyance and governor was his sworn official duty. On this trouble to Governor Mason. A young man they disagreed, and Governor Mason was renearly twenty-four years of age had to bear re- moved from office. sponsibilities and perform official duties which In this long and bitter controversy, Governor Mason at no time stood alone. The legislative any of the troublesome questions which the council were always with bim, and by their anomalous condition suggests, ever mooted. legislative acts they not only proclaimed their In the performance of executive duties Govrights but provided sufficient means for secur- ernor Mason was assiduous and untiring. As ing and defending them. The poople were a man he was genial, kind and companionable, with him, and most heartily and zealously sup- and his personal popularity never ceased. ported him and bis measures, and gloried in the From the organization of the State, the chivalrous spirit with which he defended their genius of her people was exemplified by the cause.
enactment of laws for the building of four railOn the 11th day of September, 1835, the roads, several of which under new names were troops having returned from Toledo to Monroe, destined to be eminently successful. For a they were received by Governor Mason, and history of the railroads of the State the reader the hearty acclamations with which his short is referred to chapter entitled Railroads. address was received, gave ample evidence of Special attention was given during Governor the strong hold which he had upon the affec- Mason's administration to the cause of educations of the people. But this was the last act tion. An act in March of 1837, for the organof Governor Mason as Territorial governor. ization and support of the primary schools, acHis removal from office followed almost imme. cording to an act of Congress setting apart for diately after. But on the first Monday of school purposes one thirty-sixth part of public October succeeding-a short month after-he lands in the State, and within the same month was elected governor of the State of Michigan another important act, was passed which gave under the constitution of 1835, by a vote of existence to the University of Michigan, which nearly eight thousand to about eight hundred was located at Ann Arbor. For the history of given for the opposing candidate.
the University the reader is referred to the Governor Mason was succeeded in the office chapter under that head. by John S. Horner, who was appointed secre- Special attention was also given to the mintary of the Territory by General Jackson. His eral resources of the State. An appropriation official term was short and by no means a of $30,000 was made for a geological survey, pleasant or an exultant one. He arrived in and the appointment of State geologist was Michigan but ten days before the election was conferred upon Dr. Douglass Houghton, who to take place under the State constitution of accomplished more than any other man to governor and other State officers, and suc- make known to the world the mineral resources ceeded a man whose popularity was at that of the State. time unbounded, and whose praise was on the It was during his administration that interlips of all.
nal improvements of the State were projected, With the departure of Governor Horner and the State prison completed at Jackson, and the the cessation of the Territorial government, militia of the State organized. With the year the State organization at once succeeded. The 1839 terminated his administration, having governor and members of the legislature had the honor of inaugurating a new State elected in October under the constitution took and proved himself to be not only a man of the oath of office early in November, and put ability, but a true and valuable friend to the State government in complete operation in Michigan. He emigrated to this Territory in all its departments. From this time until the 1831, when he was appointed its secretary in passage of the final act of admission by Con- his nineteenth year, and after the expiration of gress, January 26, 1837, Michigan was a State his second term as governor entered upon government fully organized, and its executive, practice as a member of the legal profession in judicial and legislative departments in com- the city of New York, but lived but about three plete operation, yet a State not admitted with. years thereafter and died in New York City. in the circle of the Union, nor was the Territo- Governor William Woodbridge, the second rial government formally abrogated or an- governor of the State, commenced his term in nulled. The two jurisdictions stood face to January, 1840, and ended with that year. He face, but fortunately for all parties and for the was a native of Connecticut, but removed early
etta in 1806, and was afterwards a member under the original organization was General both of the assembly and senate of that State. Lewis Cass. The Grand Royal Arch Chapter He came to Michigan in 1814 under an appoint was organized in 1848. The Grand Council of ment by President Madison as secretary of the Royal and Selected Masons was organized in Territory, and continued in the office of secre- 1858, and the Grand Commandery Knights tary until 1827. In the course of that period Templar was organized January 15, 1857. the secretary was often called upon to perform John S. Barry, the third governor of the the duties of Governor Cass.
State, and successor of Governor Woodbridge, He was the first delegate to Congress from was a native of the State of Vermont. He reMichigan, a judge of the Supreme Court of the sided at Constantine, and his occupation was Territory, a member of the convention that that of a merchant. His first term commenced drafted the State constitution in 1835. His in January, 1842. He was again elected for long intimacy with Michigan and its varied in the term commencing in January, 1844, and terests, and the ability and integrity with subsequently for the term beginning in Januwhich he had performed every official duty, ary, 1850. The repeated call to this high gave bim exceptional qualifications for the office by his fellow citizens shows clearly the position of chief executive officer of the State, high estimate in which he was held by the and his fellow citizens did not fail to appreciate people, and their confidence in his integrity and these qualifications. In 1841, he was chosen capacity. by the legislature to the Senate of the United His first two terms embraced a time of States. He was a man of extensive reading great embarrassment in business affairs. He and much and varied learning, a modest and guarded the public treasury with watchful eye. retiring man, yet genial and kind in his feel. The economy of his administration was proings. He died in October, 1861.
verbial, yet he did not hesitate to pledge his After Governor Woodbridge left the execu- own personal responsibility, when the public tive chair, the then lieutenant governor, J. interest required, for the payment of a public Wright Gordon, became the acting governor, obligation. and served as such for the balance of the term. In 1845 it became necessary for the State to The leading events of this joint administration purchase railroad iron to be used on the State were the completion of the railroad from railroad. The iron was contracted for in New Detroit to Ann Arbor, and the establishment York, but the vender was not satisfied with the of the brancbes of the State University at responsibility of the State and would not deDetroit, Pontiac, Monroe, Niles, Kalamazoo, liver the iron unless the governor would perGrand Rapids, Jackson, White Pigeon and sonally guarantee the payment of the bonds. Tecumseh. As a result of the distribution act This he did, and the iron was delivered on the of Congress, the State became possessed of five road. It was by law to be paid for out of the
portions of which were selected with great care term of office a considerable amount remained and to become the foundation of an important unsatisfied. He had expected it would be
liquidated before his term expired, and if it During Mr. Gordon's administration the bad been, no man would ever bave known from Grand Lodge of Free Masons was reorganized him of the responsibility he had voluntarily with the constitutional number of lodges. Of assumed. The debt was, however, paid in due the early organization of this Order we are not time. informed beyond the fact that the first Grand During bis first term he had the satisfaction Lodge was organized at Detroit, June 24, 1826, of seeing the University opened for the recepwas incorporated by the legislative council in tion of students, the Central and Southern 1827, and by a formal resolution adopted in railroads progressing rapidly, the former bav. 1829, Masonic labor was suspended. A gen- ing been finished to Marsball, one hundred and eral meeting of the Masons of the State was ten miles, and the latter to Hillsdale, sixtycalled for enquiry in 1840, and in 1841 the eight miles. former Grand officers' granted dispensations The fourth governor of the State was Alfor several lodges. The first Grand Master pheus Felch, of Monroe, who entered upon the duties of the office in Norember, 1845, and ing his term and another event of great imcontinued therein until March 3, 1847, when he portance—the trial of the “ great railroad conresigned to accept a seat in the United States spiracy” case. A series of unlawful acts had Senate. He emigrated from Maine to Michi. been committed on the property of the Michigan, entered the legal profession and practiced, gan Central Railroad Company along the line having Hon. Hiram Stone as a copartner. As of their road, and especially at Leoni and early as 1836 he became identified with public Michigan Center in Jackson county, culminataffairs, first as a member of the legislature, ing in the destruction by an infernal machine then as a bank commissioner, as auditor-gen- in 1850 of the depot in Detroit. Of the thirtyeral of Michigan, also a judge of the Supreme seven brought to trial, twelve were convicted. Court, and subsequent to his term in the United The conspirators were defended by Hon. WilStates Senate was appointed commissioner to liam H. Seward, of New York; the prosecusettle the land claims.
tion conducted by Alexander D. Frazer, of The leading incident of his administration Detroit. The judge who presided on this occawas the sale to private corporations of the two sion with great ability was the late Warner railroads belonging to the State. The Central Wing. was sold for $2,000,000, and the Southern The successor of Governor Barry was the $500,000. It was in 1846 that the University Hon. Robert McClelland, of Monroe,who entered library was enriched with a choice collection of upon his duties January 1, 1852, was re-elected about five thousand volumes purchased in and inaugurated January 5, 1853. His adminEurope. The reader is here referred to the istration terminated in March, 1853, when he " Bar of 1837," for life of Governor Felch. resigned to accept a seat in the cabinet of Presi
Epaphroditus Ransom, fifth governor of the dent Pierce as Secretary of the Interior, when State, after serving as justice of the Supreme Andrew Parsons, lieutenant governor, became Court from 1843 was elected governor of the acting governor the rest of the term. He beState in November, 1847, entered upon its came a citizen of Michigan in 1833; was for a duties January 1, 1848, and served out his number of years a member of the Monroe bar, term January 1, 1850. He was a New England and co-partner of the late Warner Wing; was man, had served one term in the Michigan a member of the legislature and speaker of the legislature, and was a regent of the Univer- House of Representatives in 1843 ; also a repsity. President Buchanan appointed him re- resentative of the State in Congress, 1847-1849; ceiver of the land office for one of the districts a member of the constitutional convention in the State of Kansas, and he there died before from Monroe county of 1835 and 1850, and the the expiration of his term.
convention of 1867. It was during his administration as governor During his administration the pupils that that bills were passed establishing the Asylum attended our common schools numbered 175,for the Insane at Flint, and the Asylum for the 000, an increase in four years of over 43,000. Deaf, Dumb and Blind at Kalamazoo, both of Such victories of peace are what Michigan has which institutions were liberally endowed with always prided herself upon, and are in harmony lands and each of them placed in charge of a with the victories of war in behalf of the board of five trustees. The capital under the Union, upon which she justly prided herself act of 1847 having been removed from Detroit in the Mexican War of 1847, and in the war in to Lansing, temporary buildings for the use of behalf of the Union from 1861 to 1865.. the legislature and State officers were occupied From January 1, 1855, to January, 1859, the during his term.
executive chair was occupied by Hingsley S. As before stated, Governor Barry was re- Bingham, who arrived in Michigan in 1833, elected and served from January, 1850, to Jan- settled in Green Oak, Livingston county, was uary 1, 1852. During this his third term the postmaster, supervisor, judge of probate and bill was passed that established the State Nor- brigadier-general of militia. Represented his mal School, which was endowed with lands and county in the State legislature in 1837, 1838 and placed in charge of the board of education, con- 1839, and 1841 and 1842. Was Speaker of the sisting of six persons.
House in 1838 and 1839, and Representative in The removal of the capital transpired dur. Congress from 1847 to 1849 and 1849 to 1851.
Died at Oak View, Livingston county, Michi- lature of 1861. After presenting in the usual gan, October 5, 1861.
way full and well-considered summaries of all The most notable event of his administration the essential facts regarding the important was the completion of the ship canal at the and varied interests of the State, he took up Sault Ste. Marie. August 26, 1852, an act of the discussion of the grave condition of the Congress was approved granting to the State country at that time, over which a dark cloud of Michigan 750,000 acres of land for the pur- had been cast by the recent passage in several pose of constructing a ship canal between Southern States of ordinances of secession, Lakes Huron and Superior. February 5, 1853, foreboding most dire results. In his language the legislature of Michigan accepted the grant there was not a shadow of faltering, no tinge made by Congress and provided for the ap- of disaffection, no uncertain sound. With inpointment of commissioners to select the tense earnestness he breathed devotion to the donated lands and to arrange for the building Union and the flag in every sentence. Every of the canal. A company of enterprising men paragraph was a stirring counseling the mainwas appointed, and a contract entered into by tenance of the Union, denouncing treason and which the canal was to be completed in two invoking patriotism. We quote from these inyears. Every article of consumption,machinery, spiring utterances words which fell upon the working implements and material, timber for ear of patriots amid doubt, disloyalty and the gates, stone for the locks, as well as men danger: “ This is no time for timid and vaciland supplies, had to be transported to the site lating councils, when the cry of treason and of the canal from Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago rebellion is ringing in our ears. The constiand other lake ports. The stone for finishing tution, as our fathers made it, is good enough the locks was brought from Marblehead, near for us, and must be enforced upon every foot Sandusky City, and from Detroit River. The of American soil. Michigan cannot recognize rapids which had to be contended with had a the right of a State to secede from the Union. fall of seventeen feet and were about one mile We believe that the founders of our Governlong. The contracting parties completed the ment designed it to be perpetual, and we can work in May, 1855, accepted by the commis- not consent to have one star obliterated from sioners and formally delivered to the State our flag. For upwards of thirty years this authorities. In consideration of its national question of a right of a State to secede has been character as a highway between the lower lakes agitated. It is time it was settled. We ought and Lake Superior, and in view of the sound not to leave it for our children to look after. I character of the work, the originators and would calmly but firmly declare it to be the builders of this work deserve the gratitude of fixed determination of Michigan that the the country. The disbursements in the con- Federal constitution of the States must and struction of the canal and selection of the lands shall be preserved." amounted to $999,802, which absorbed the full It was but a short time before personal examount of the Government grant.
ample followed these glowing words, this noble The successor of Governor Bingham was advice. His fidelity to the Union and the honor Moses Wisner, elected November, 1859; en- of his State prompted him soon to take the field, tered upon the duties of executive January, offered his services, was assigned to the com1860. He was born in Aurelius, Cayuga mand of the Twenty-Second Michigan Regicounty, New York, in 1818; received a good ment of Infantry, where a short and promising education; removed to Michigan in 1839, set career gave the name of Moses Wisner to the tled in Pontiac, studied law and entered upon long list of Michigan martyrs to American the practice of his profession in 1842. In 1843 liberty, for wbile on his way to the seat of war was appointed prosecuting attorney for Lapeer he was prostrated by sickness in Lexington, county. Continued to practice law until elected. Kentucky, where he died January 5, 1863, Soon after his term expired the mutterings of a man of fine mind, a good friend and worthy the great rebellion began to be heard.
Governor Wisner, on retiring from the exec- . Following the valedictory of Governor Wisutive chair at the close of his term, delivered ner, the legislature of 1861 listened with inan eloquent and patriotic address to the legis tense interest to the inaugural of Austin