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This day in history: Michigan becomes 26th state in 1837

CBS Detroit logo CBS Detroit 1/26/2023 Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) - Happy Birthday, Michigan! On this day in 1837, Michigan became was admitted as the 26th state to the Union.

Before becoming a state, Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory under the Ordinance of 1787. The Northwest Territory was made up of most of Wisconsin, all of Michigan, and northern areas of Indiana and Ohio. 

Then the boundaries of Michigan started changing due to other territories becoming states.

Michigan then became its own territory on Jan. 11, 1805, with the signature of President Thomas Jefferson, and Detroit was made the capital.

After that, the War of 1812 ensued, and Michigan was turned over to British control as fighting was happening in Canada. The governor at the time turned over control of Detroit to the British, as he feared a massacre would happen if he didn't.

In 1833, Michigan had enough inhabitants (more than the 60,000 required) to become a state and drafted a constitution to be adopted by Michigan voters as they sought admission to the Union.

The Toledo War halted the process of becoming a state.

Michigan and Ohio both wanted an area of land known as the Toledo Strip, and until the boundaries were determined, Michigan's admittance as a state was paused.

The war, which wasn't actually comprised of fighting and casualties, ended when President Andrew Jackson got involved.

At the end of this dispute, Ohio gained the Toledo Strip area, and Michigan gained the western three-quarters of the upper peninsula. While Michigan may not have received the land it wanted, the area it gained provided access to timber, iron and copper.

Finally, after all the disputing, Michigan was admitted as the 26th state to the Union on Jan. 26, 1837.

For more details on Michigan's journey to becoming a state, visit here


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