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TODAY IN MICHIGAN HISTORY
Excerpts from "Michigan History Magazine"
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October 4, 1641 - Sault Ste. Marie is founded.
Fathers Isaac Jogues and Charles Raymbault, French Jesuit missionaries, made contact with a group of Ojibway where Lake Superior meets Lake Huron. After conducting the first Christian religious services ever held in Michigan, the missionaries named the spot Sault de Sainte Marie (Saint Mary's Rapids). Today, Sault Ste. Marie is one of the oldest European settlements in North America.

December 25, 1660 - Michigan's first Christmas is celebrated.
Voyageurs, Huron Indians and Father René Menard participated in Michigan’s first recorded celebration near Keweenaw Bay.

June 14, 1671 - The Pageant of the Sault is held.
French officials, led by Simon Francois, Sieur de St. Lusson, gathered at Sault Ste. Marie "to extend God's glory and to promote the king of France." In a ceremony attended by Native Americans from fourteen different nations, Lusson raised a cross and claimed that most of the interior of North America, including Michigan, belonged to the French crown.

September 18, 1679 - The Griffin heads east to Niagara.
Loaded with furs, the Griffin left Rock Island, off the southern tip of the Garden Peninsula. The first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes, the Griffin disappeared on its return trip to Niagara and was never seen again.

November 1, 1679 - Fort Miami is founded.
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, whose many accomplishments during this year included directing the construction of the Griffin (the first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes), arrived at the mouth of the St. Joseph River and built a fort he named Miami. It was the first European settlement in the Lower Peninsula.

March 25, 1680 - La Salle and his men leave Fort Miami to explore interior Michigan.
French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and five other men left Fort Miami (present-day St. Joseph) to journey across the southern Lower Peninsula. Battling cold temperatures, snow, swamps and Indians, La Salle's men reached Niagara on April 4, 1680, becoming the first Europeans to see the interior of the Lower Peninsula.

May 21, 1696 - King Louis XIV orders France's western Great Lakes outposts destroyed.
Hoping to cut costs and influenced by the Jesuits who want to christianize the Native Americans without the negative influences of the fur traders, King Louis XIV orders France's western outposts closed. The king's orders are largely ignored and within a few years the French found Detroit.

July 24, 1701 - Detroit is founded.
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and about one hundred soldiers and workers arrived after a six-week canoe trip from Montreal. The Frenchmen landed on a sandy beach at the foot of a thirty-foot bluff along the Detroit River. Here, Cadillac built a log fort that he named Ponchartrain du De Troit. Soon, the settlement's name was shortened to Detroit.

July 26, 1701 - Detroit's Ste. Anne's Church holds its first service.
Cadillac and his men finished building a 25-by-35-foot building that became Ste. Anne's Catholic Church. Today, Ste. Anne's claims to be Michigan's oldest church offering continuous service.

24 May 1749 - "Come to Detroit"
In an effort to attract settlers to Detroit, the governor general of New France (Canada) offered each man who would settle there a spade, an axe, a cow, a sow, a ploughshare, one large and one small wagon and seed. Over the course of two years, more than one hundred persons accepted the offer.

February 15, 1751 - Pierre de Celeron, Sieur de Blainville Commands Detroit
Except for a smallpox threat in 1752, the French community of Detroit remained isolated and quiet during Celeron's term as commandant, which ran until March 19, 1754.

July 9, 1755 - Indians defeat the British army
Nine hundred Indians, including many Ottawa from Michigan, fighting with a few hundred French soldiers, defeated Major General Edward Braddock's 3,000-man army east of Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh). This battle of the French and Indian War brought the second-highest number of casualties— 606 —in a North American frontier battle, behind only the American forces' 1791 defeat at Fort Recovery in Ohio. Among the fatalities was Braddock himself. Learning from the frontier fighting of the French and the Indians was Braddock's aide, George Washington, who used similar tactics when he led the colonial forces in the American Revolution.

November 29, 1760 - French rule of Detroit ends.
At noon, the French Fleur-de-lis was lowered and the British Union Jack was raised. The peaceful transfer of power on the parade ground at Fort Detroit that day was shattered less than three years later by one of the most formidable Native American uprisings in American history.

May 7, 1763 - Pontiac's Rebellion begins
Ottawa chief Pontiac, ten other chiefs and sixty warriors entered Fort Detroit. Pontiac had a plan to capture the British garrison. British commandant Major Henry Gladwin had been alerted to the plan and his men were ready. Pontiac and his men left the fort. They tried to reenter on the following day but were turned away. Pontiac and his followers then laid siege to the fort, which lasted until late October

June 2, 1763 - Fort Michilimackinac is captured by Native Americans
Ojibway (Chippewa) and Sac (Sauk) Indians massacred twenty British soldiers and one trader at Michilimackinac. The Indians had suggested playing a game of baggataway (lacrosse) in honor of the king's birthday. Indian women watching the game concealed weapons beneath their blankets. When the ball flew over the stockade wall, the Indians rushed in and seized the fort.

November 9, 1775 0 Henry Hamilton arrives in Detroit.
The newly appointment British governor, Henry Hamilton, reached Detroit. During the upcoming American Revolution, Hamilton used Detroit as a base for raids on American colonists living on the frontier. He also acquired the nickname "the hair buyer" because of his practice of paying Native American allies for American scalps. After being captured leading a raid into southern Indiana later during the Revolution, Hamilton was imprisoned, but never returned to Detroit.

April 5, 1778 - Daniel Boone arrives at Detroit as a prisoner.
During the American Revolution, Daniel Boone's settlement of Boonesborough, Kentucky, suffered repeated attacks by Native Americans. During one of these raids, Boone was captured by Native Americans and brought to Detroit. Detroit's British commandant, Lt. Colonel Henry Hamilton, tried unsuccessfully to ransom the already-famous frontiersman. After a short stay in Detroit, Boone's captors took him to Ohio where he later escaped

April 26, 1778 - Detroit takes its census.
Detroit's population stood at 2,144 people, excluding military personnel and prisoners, after a census ordered by British commandant Henry Hamilton was taken.

February 25, 1779 - George Rogers Clark attacks British-held Vincennes (Indiana).
As a result of Clark's brilliant military activities, the British ceded to the United States a vast area of land west of the Appalachian Mountains. That territory now includes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and the eastern portion of Minnesota.

February 12, 1781 - A Spanish force captures British-held Fort St. Joseph.
Once an important French fort on the route to the Mississippi River, Fort St. Joseph (present-day Niles, Michigan) had fallen into disrepair under the control of the British and was an easy target for a force of Spaniards who traveled from St. Louis, Missouri. The Spaniards' one-day occupation of Fort St. Joseph allowed Niles residents to boast later that theirs was the only Michigan community over which four flags (French, British, Spanish and American) had flown.

May 12, 1781 - Mackinac Island is sold to the British.
In a grove of trees below Fort Mackinac, Lt. Governor Patrick Sinclair, British commandant at Michilimackinac, and an assortment of Ojibway (Chippewa) chiefs met to transfer the ownership of Mackinac Island to the British crown. A deed was read in English and Algonquian. The British presented a seven-foot wampum belt as a "lasting memorial" of the transaction. Sinclair signed the deed and each chief scrawled his totem on the side of the document. The Indians were given a dozen canoe loads of presents worth 5,000 pounds in exchange for the island.

October 9, 1782 - Lewis Cass is born.
Michigan's best-known antebellum politician, Lewis Cass was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. Cass, who arrived in Michigan in 1812, became Michigan's territorial governor in 1813. In 1831 he went to Washington, DC, where he began thirty years of service to his nation as secretary of war, ambassador to France, U.S. senator, 1848 presidential candidate and U.S. secretary of state.

July 13, 1787 - The U.S. government takes the first step toward providing statehood for Michigan.
The Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787, allowing the Northwest Territory of the United States to be divided into smaller territories that could eventually become states. Each territory needed a population of 60,000 people to qualify for statehood, and the pieces of the Northwest Territory that did so were Ohio (in 1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1819), Michigan (1837) and Wisconsin (1846).

December 20, 1791 - Detroit becomes part of Canada.
Despite the 1783 Treaty of Paris that placed the future state of Michigan in the United States, the British government formally included Michigan into Upper Canada (present-day Ontario).

July 16, 1792 - Michigan voters go to the polls for the first time.
Although Michigan became part of the U.S. in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Great Britain refused to surrender its outposts at Detroit and Mackinac. As Canada was being organized, Detroiters went to the polls for the first time and elected three representatives (William Macomb, Francois Baby and David W. Smith) to serve in the Upper Canada (Ontario) Provincial Assembly.

August 20, 1794 - Americans win the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
After years of frustration and setbacks, American forces, led by General Anthony Wayne, defeated a force of Native Americans south of present-day Toledo, Ohio. Wayne's victory at Battle of Fallen Timbers—so named because it occurred in an area where a tornado uprooted many trees before the battle—forced the British to finally surrender American outposts, like Detroit, which they had occupied since the end of the American Revolution

August 3, 1795 - Michigan land is ceded to the United States.
Native Americans and General Anthony Wayne signed the Treaty of Greeneville, which ceded to the U.S. Ohio, Mackinac Island and a strip of land along the Detroit River. The treaty, which followed Wayne's battlefield victory over the Native Americans at Fallen Timbers a year earlier, ended years of intense fighting between whites and Indians along the frontier.

July 11, 1796 - The American flag is raised over Detroit.
Lt. Colonel John F. Hamtramck's command of U.S. army regulars replaced the British flag over Detroit with the Stars and Stripes. The ceremony came thirteen years after the signing of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the American Revolution but only two years after the British agreed to evacuate American territory. General "Mad" Anthony Wayne's victory in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo had precipitated the British government's agreement to leave

August 13, 1796 - General Wayne comes to Detroit.
General "Mad" Anthony Wayne reached Detroit where he was welcomed for his earlier victory over the Native Americans and the British at Fallen Timbers. Wayne stayed in Detroit for several months before poor health sent him east. He died at Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, in mid-December 1796.

August 15, 1796 - Wayne County is created.
Wayne County, which included all of the Lower Peninsula and most of the Upper Peninsula, was created. Michigan's first county was named for General Anthony Wayne, whose victory at Fallen Timbers in August 1794 forced the British to leave Michigan soil.

September 1, 1796 - Americans occupy Fort Mackinac.
A small party of U.S. troops under the command of Major Henry Burbeck arrived from Detroit to take formal possession of Fort Mackinac. Thirteen years earlier, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution, required the British to leave American outposts “with all convenient speed.” With the signing of Jay’s Treaty between Great Britain and the United States in 1795, the British finally agreed to leave American soil.

December 15, 1796 - Anthony Wayne Dies
General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, whose victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794 that forced the British to evacuate Detroit, died in Erie, Pennsylvania.

June 3, 1798 - Father Gabriel Richard arrives in Detroit.
Escaping the Reign of Terror in France, Father Gabriel Richard reached Detroit in time to organize relief for the town, which burned to the ground on June 11. Surveying the devastation, Richard was heard to say, "Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus." Translated, it meant "We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes." It became Detroit's city motto. Richard served his adopted city as an educator, minister and politician until 1832 when he died after ministering to Detroiters who contracted cholera.

December 17, 1798 - Michigan's first American election is held.
The three-day electoral contest pitted James May, a former British subject, against Solomon Sibley. Each voter announced the candidate of his choice. According to May, who lost the election, Sibley won because he passed out liquor to the voters and had soldiers armed with clubs threaten to beat those who voted for May.

May 8, 1800
The Northwest Territory is divided. Congress passed an act dividing the Northwest Territory, creating the Indiana Territory. The act approximated the boundary between Indiana and Ohio. It ran northward, dividing Michigan in an awkward fashion.

December 18, 1802
The act provided for a slate of municipal officers that included a five-member board of trustees, a secretary, an assessor, a tax collector and a marshal. The trustees were authorized to take whatever action necessary for the health and welfare of the inhabitants. The board's first act was to adopt a code of fire regulations for the town, whose population numbered about 500 people. At the time, Detroit had 300 buildings

January 11, 1805
When Ohio became a state in 1803, the present-day state of Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Since the territorial capital was in Vincennes—a long distance from Michigan’s population center of Detroit—Michiganians lobbied for their own territory. The law creating the Michigan Territory took effect in July 1805. It included the Lower Peninsula and the tip of the eastern Peninsula. Over the next several years the territory was expanded to include parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Michigan’s first governor was William Hull, an American Revolution War veteran from Massachusetts.

March 1, 1805
Born in Connecticut in 1753, William Hull served as a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He was serving in the Massachusetts State Senate when he was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as governor of the Michigan Territory. Hull's tenure as governor came to an abrupt end when he surrendered Detroit to the British in August 1812.

June 11, 1805
In the early morning, baker John Harvey set out to replenish his supply of flour. Climbing into his cart, Harvey rapped his clay pipe against his boot. A live coal fell into a pile of straw and set it ablaze. Soon, Harvey's barn was on fire. As the flames spread, a bucket brigade responded to calls of "fire." The day was windless, but the draft from the fire caused it to spread all across the town of 900 people. In less than three hours the entire settlement was destroyed. The only thing left standing was the fort, which was set apart from the town. Amazingly, no one was killed. More on the Fire

December 16, 1808
Born in New York, Kingsley S. Bingham moved to Michigan in 1833. Elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1847, Bingham opposed the extension of slavery into the western territories and was a strong candidate for governor for the newly-founded Republican party. Bingham was elected in 1854 and re-elected two years later.

August 31, 1809
Using a printing press that Father Gabriel Richard brought to Detroit years earlier, James M. Miller issued The Michigan Essay or Impartial Observer. The sheet, which measured 9 ¼ by 16 inches, was printed primarily in English, despite Detroit's largely French-speaking population. The paper carried news from Europe that was four to six months old. There was no local news, just a guarantee that the Essay "will be conducted with the utmost impartiality." Despite promises that the Essay would be printed each Thursday, no other issues were forthcoming.

July 05, 1812
Hull had been governor of the Michigan Territory since 1805 and in 1811 was visiting his home state of Massachusetts. Hearing of escalated frontier conflict in Michigan, Hull offered to serve in the military if a war against the Indians—and the British—broke out. In Washington, DC, Hull urged federal authorities to send a second vessel to the Great Lakes in defense of Detroit, which he believed was vulnerable to naval attacks. Hull's advice was mostly ignored, but in 1812 he accepted the position of commander of the new North Western Army. War was declared on June 18, however, Hull did not learn of this until July 2. Ten days later, he launched an invasion of Canada from Detroit.

August 16, 1812
A well-led British force under the command of skilled general Isaac Brock besieged Detroit. American forces, led by territorial governor William Hull, failed to resist the British invasion of Michigan. Facing possible Indian depredations, Hull surrendered Detroit without consulting his officers. Hull was later court-martialed, found guilty and sentenced to execution for his actions. President James Madison commuted the sentence because of Hull's service during the American Revolution. Hull's actions remain the only time in American history when an American city has been surrendered to a foreign enemy.

January 22, 1813
The largest battle fought on Michigan soil occurs near present-day Monroe. During the early hours of January 22, a larger British force of regulars, Canadian militia and Native Americans attacked a smaller American force stationed along the River Raisin near present-day Monroe. Surprised by the British force, the Americans, led by General James Winchester, resisted until Winchester was captured and surrendered his entire force. The battle left over 500 Americans prisoner. About 80 Americans, too badly injured to move, fell victim to Indian depredations the following day. Their deaths left the Americans with a battle cry, "Remember the River Raisin," which was heard on battlefields later in the war. The American loss was just one of several along the western frontier during the early months of the War of 1812.

September 10, 1813
The Americans are victorious at Put-in-Bay. After building a fleet at Erie, Pennsylvania, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led his small command into battle against a British fleet in western Lake Erie. The American victory off present-day Sandusky, Ohio, was responsible for turning the tide of the war in the western theater and forcing the British to evacuate Detroit.

September 29, 1813
American troops reoccupy Detroit. American riflemen under the command of Colonel Richard Johnson of Kentucky liberated Detroit, which had been under British occupation since its surrender in August 1812. According to one observer, "The Kentucky soldiers—with their blue hunting shirts, red belts, and blue pantaloons fringed with red—[were] met with a hearty welcome."

October 5, 1813
Americans defeat the British at the Battle of the Thames. A numerically superior American army led by General William Henry Harrison caught a combined British and Native American force retreating from Detroit at a place along the Thames River near present-day Chatham, Ontario. The Americans won an overwhelming victory that left Native American leader Tecumseh dead.

October 29, 1813
Lewis Cass is appointed territorial governor. A native of New Hampshire, who later moved to Ohio, Cass was rewarded for earlier service in the War of 1812, when President James Madison appointed him governor of the Michigan Territory. Cass spent eighteen years as governor before he went to Washington, DC to serve as President Andrew Jackson's secretary of war.

October 15, 1814
William Woodbridge becomes territorial secretary. Born in Connecticut in 1780, William Woodbridge moved from Ohio to Detroit when he became secretary. His appointment began thirty-three years of public service to Michigan. Woodbridge's many public offices included territorial justice, territorial delegate to Congress, state governor and U.S. senator.

January 20, 1815
Josiah W. Begole is born in Groveland, New York. At the age of 21, Begole left New York and arrived in Michigan, settling in Flint. Besides running a 500-acre farm, he founded one of Flint's largest sawmills. After making his fortune, Begole entered politics, serving as Genesee County treasurer, a state senator and a U.S. congressman. In 1882, as an advocate of paper money, Begole headed a Fusionist party ticket supported by Democrats and Greenbackers, and was elected governor in a five-man race. As a former Republican who had ousted a Republican incumbent, Begole faced many obstacles in a Republican-dominated legislature. Begole was re-nominated by the Fusionists in 1884, but defeated by Republican Russell Alger. He returned to his business interests in Flint.

March 30, 1815
Josiah W. Begole is born in Groveland, New York. At the age of 21, Begole left New York and arrived in Michigan, settling in Flint. Besides running a 500-acre farm, he founded one of Flint's largest sawmills. After making his fortune, Begole entered politics, serving as Genesee County treasurer, a state senator and a U.S. congressman. In 1882, as an advocate of paper money, Begole headed a Fusionist party ticket supported by Democrats and Greenbackers, and was elected governor in a five-man race. As a former Republican who had ousted a Republican incumbent, Begole faced many obstacles in a Republican-dominated legislature. Begole was re-nominated by the Fusionists in 1884, but defeated by Republican Russell Alger. He returned to his business interests in Flint.

July 25, 1817
Detroit's first regularly published newspaper is founded. Published weekly, the Detroit Gazette was printed in English and French and had fewer than 100 subscribers. The Gazette remained in service until 1830.

August 26, 1817
The first serious effort to promote public education in Michigan was attempted with passage of a territorial act providing for "A Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania." This act was the brainchild of Judge Augustus Woodward. Little came of the grandiose scheme, except setting forth certain principles that become the basis for Michigan's system of education. In 1929 the regents of the University of Michigan—which was established in 1837—adopted 1817 as the date their school was founded.

Marcy 28, 1820
Acting upon a petition presented to him in 1819, Territorial governor Lewis Cass issued a proclamation setting off and naming St. Clair County. The new county was created from part of Macomb County. The county was named after Arthur St. Clair, the first governor of the Northwest Territory.

August 29, 1821
Governor Cass traveled from Detroit to Chicago. Within sight of the guns of Fort Dearborn, he arranged a treaty with an estimated 3,000 Potawatomi, Ojibway and Odawa. The Native Americans ceded all of the Lower Peninsula lands south of the Grand River, except for a small chunk of land in present-day Berrien County. For surrendering their claim to almost five million acres, the Native Americans received about $10,000 in trade goods, $6,500 in specie and annuities to total about $150,000 over the next twenty years

December 27, 1821
Two Native Americans were hanged in Detroit after being convicted of killing two white men. Theirs were the first executions after Michigan became part of the United States.

May 25, 1822
The steamship Superior arrived in Detroit from Buffalo with 94 passengers. The second steamboat on the Great Lakes, the Superior contained the engine of the Walk-in-the-Water, the first steamship on the Great Lakes. The Walk-in-the-Water was wrecked in 1821.

December 8, 1823
Father Gabriel Richard goes to Congress. The first Roman Catholic priest to serve in Congress, Richard served one term as the non-voting delegate from the Michigan Territory.

March 2, 1824
In his only recorded speech as territorial representative to Congress, Father Gabriel Richard asked for $1,500 to build a road from Detroit to Chicago. His appeal was so eloquent that Congress doubled the amount. Born in France, Richard served as pastor of Detroit's Ste. Anne Church and spent one term as Michigan's non-voting territorial representative. Until the election of Father Robert Drinan from Massachusetts in 1970, Richard was the only priest to serve in Congress.

December 22, 1825
General Lewis Cass is reappointed governor of the Michigan Territory. Serving as governor of the Michigan Territory since 1813, Lewis Cass was reappointed to his fifth term. Cass remained Michigan’s chief executive until 1831.

April 12, 1827
The village of Monroe is incorporated. Monroe was first called Frenchtown by French-Canadians who cleared ribbon farms along the River Raisin in the mid-1780s. The settlement was renamed and made the county seat after a visit from President James Monroe in 1817.

November 17, 1829
David H. Jerome is born in Detroit. A wealthy hardware and lumber businessman from Saginaw, Jerome was elected governor in 1880. He has the distinction of being Michigan's first native-born governor. Jerome lost his reelection bid to Fusionist Josiah w. Begole, the candidate of the Democrats and the Greenbacks.

September 24, 1830
A public hanging occurs in Detroit. More than one thousand spectators gathered to watch as Stephen G. Simmons was hanged for murdering his wife. Bleachers had been built and a military band played. In 1846, Michigan became the first state to abolish capital punishment.

December 2, 1830
Elizabeth Chandler organizes the state's first antislavery society. Born in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Chandler moved to Lenawee County, Michigan, in 1829 at the age of 22. She supported education for blacks and women and was one of the first female poets to become involved in the anti-slavery movement. She died in 1834 at the age of 27.

January 8, 1831
The arrival of daily mail in Detroit marked the beginning of what became the “Michigan Decade.” According to one observer, “It appeared that everyone was coming to Michigan.” Through the 1830s immigrants, many traveling along New York’s Erie Canal, arrived in Detroit before heading inland. Michigan’s population in 1830 grew to more than 212,000 by 1840.

May 5, 1831
The Democratic Free Press and Michigan Intelligencer began publication in Detroit. The weekly newspaper became a daily in 1835. The name was changed to the Detroit Free Press. The Free Press is both Michigan's first daily newspaper and the state's oldest paper in continuous publication.

August 1, 1831
The second governor of the Michigan Territory, Lewis Cass resigned and left for Washington, DC, to serve as President Andrew Jackson's secretary of war. During his eighteen years as governor, Cass had worked hard to make the territory ready for statehood. As one of the promising young Democrats in the Midwest, Cass moved on to national prominence and became his party's presidential nominee in 1848

April 23, 1832
William Austin Burt joins the Macomb County Circuit Court. Born near Boston in 1792, William Austin Burt settled in Michigan in 1824. A year after becoming a judge, Burt was appointed a U.S. deputy surveyor. Burt and his men, including several of his sons, surveyed much of Michigan during the 1830s and 1840s. Burt also invented the solar compass that allowed surveyors to work in areas where minerals in the ground might make the needles of their magnetic compasses act wildly and produce errors.

July 4, 1832
The steamer Henry Clay, carrying troops to fight in the Black Hawk War (fought in what is now Wisconsin), landed in Detroit to unload passengers sick with cholera. The disease spread throughout Detroit, where 28 deaths resulted from 58 cases within two weeks. Roadblocks were set up to prevent people fleeing Detroit from entering other towns, but cholera spread around the state. The epidemic had begun in India in 1831, then traveled through Russia and western Europe, and a ship's passenger brought it to America.

September 13, 1832
Father Gabriel Richard dies. After ministering to the many victims of a cholera epidemic that struck Detroit, Richard died. Richard arrived in Detroit in 1798 to serve as priest of Ste. Anne's Church. His many accomplishments included serving one term in Congress as Michigan’s territorial representative. Today, Richard’s remains are entombed at Ste. Anne’s.

November 23, 1833
William Austin Burt is appointed U.S. deputy surveyor. During the 1830s and 1840s, Burt and his crew surveyed much of Michigan. Burt also invented the solar compass to work in areas where minerals in the ground might make the needles of their magnetic compasses act wildly and produce errors. Burt's solar compass saved the U.S. government lots of money when the country's western territories were surveyed.

August 24, 1834
Cholera epidemic hits Detroit. Dozens died throughout August and September, including one terrible day when sixteen perished from the dreaded disease. It had been the city's custom to toll a bell on the occasion of a death but the tolling became so frequent that it increased the panic and was discontinued. Cholera returned to Detroit in 1849 and 1854.

January 12, 1835
Acting Governor Stevens T. Mason declares we have a "right" to be a state. Addressing the territorial legislative council, Mason told them that the Michigan Territory faced a crisis. Michigan's most recent effort to join the Union had failed. The territory's request to Congress for an enabling act—permission to call a constitutional convention—had been rejected. The 23-year-old chief executive declared that Michigan had a right to become a state and asked the council to call a constitutional convention. Twelve days later, the council concurred; delegates would be elected in April and gather in Detroit the following month.

May 11, 1835
Elected delegates gathered on this day in Detroit to write a state constitution. Although the Michigan Territory had not received congressional authority to call such a convention, Michiganians—led by acting territorial governor Stevens T. Mason—planned to force themselves into the Union. In June the document was finished. It was submitted to the voters in October 1835, who overwhelmingly approved it. It took until January 1837 for Michigan to become a state.

September 21, 1835
Virginian John Horner reached Detroit to assume his responsibilities as Michigan’s new territorial governor. Angry Michiganians, who believed Michigan should be a state—not a territory—ignored Horner. After a series of embarrassing situations, Horner moved to the western part of the territory (present-day Wisconsin).

September 28, 1835
The Democratic Free Press and Michigan Intelligencer becomes a daily newspaper. First published in 1831, the Democratic Free Press and Michigan Intelligencer offered a daily edition four years later. Today, the Detroit Free Press is Michigan’s oldest continuously published newspaper.

February 26, 1836
William Austin Burt receives a patent for his solar compass. During the 1830s and 1840s, Burt and his crew surveyed much of Michigan. According to the U.S. surveyor general, Burt produced "the most satisfactory" work he had ever seen. Burt also invented the solar compass to work in areas where minerals in the ground might make the needles of their magnetic compasses act wildly and produce errors. Burt's solar compass saved the U.S. government lots of money when the country's western territories were surveyed.

February 27, 1836
Russell A. Alger is born in Ohio. Orphaned at the age of nine, Alger settled in Grand Rapids in 1860. Over the next forty years, he served the state and the nation as a Civil War general, millionaire lumberman, governor of Michigan and secretary of war during the Spanish American War.

March 5, 1836
Former slaves petition the state legislature for a church. Thirteen escaped or freed slaves petition the legislature to start a church. Their efforts lead to the formation of the Second Baptist Church--the first African American church in Detroit. Its members met in various halls and schools until 1857, when the group purchased the Zion Reformed Evangelical Church on the site of the present Second Baptist Church

June 15, 1836
After months of debate, Congress passed the Northern Ohio Boundary Bill to resolve the ongoing boundary dispute between the state of Ohio and the Michigan Territory. Both claimed the mouth of the Maumee River (present-day Toledo) and offered surveys supporting their positions. The congressional compromise awarded Toledo to Ohio and granted Michigan the western Upper Peninsula and immediate statehood. Ohio was elated, but Michigan struggled, and eventually accepted a solution they believed was unfair.

December 14, 1836
Delegates gathered in Ann Arbor and approved the Northern Ohio Boundary Bill, which granted the controversial Toledo Strip to Ohio and gave Michigan statehood and the western Upper Peninsula.

January 26, 1837
Michigan becomes the 26th state. Without ceremony, President Andrew Jackson signed an act of Congress admitting Michigan into the Union. The president's action ended a long struggle to make the Michigan Territory a state. Michigan's effort to enter the Union began in 1835. During the two-year struggle, Michigan's borders changed considerably when it was forced to give up Toledo at the mouth of the Maumee River in exchange for the western part of the Upper Peninsula. It was a controversial decision at the time, but the rich natural resources in the western Upper Peninsula left Michigan the victor of what was known at the time as the Toledo War.

March 18, 1837
The state legislature approved an act to provide for the organization and government of the University of Michigan. Two days later, the legislature adopted an act locating the school in Ann Arbor. As an inducement to move the university to Ann Arbor, an offer of forty acres of land was made to the legislature by Elijah Morgan and his partners in the Ann Arbor Land Company.

February 3, 1838
The Michigan Central Railroad begins service. Railroad cars drawn by a locomotive named Governor Mason, reached Ypsilanti from Detroit on the first run of the Michigan Central. The train, whose passengers included the governor, was met by an enthusiastic crowd. Dinner was served and toasts were drunk. On the return trip the engine broke down and horses dragged the cars back to Detroit.

February 5, 1838
Detroit's militia company, the Brady guards, was mustered into service during the Patriot War in Canada. In 1832, at the end of the Black Hawk War, the Detroit City Guards were disbanded. A number of young men, including some former members of the Detroit City Guard, formed a new independent, volunteer company in Detroit on April 2, 1836. The organization was soon renamed the Brady Guards after Brigadier General Hugh Brady. In 1855, the Brady Guards became the Detroit Light Guard. This unit has had a continuous existence to the present-day and is now Company A, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry.

July 20, 1838
Canal digging begins to link Lake St. Clair with Lake Michigan. The effort to dig a 216-mile canal across the southern Lower Peninsula linking Lake St. Clair and Lake Michigan via the Kalamazoo and Grand Rivers began. When the project ended in 1843, diggers had gone only as far as Rochester.








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