Final Steps & A Constitution

Stevens T. Mason (1811-1843)

Stevens T. Mason (1811-1843)

Longtime governor Lewis Cass resigned the position in 1831 to become President Andrew Jackson's Secretary of War, a post which placed Cass in the position of enforcing Jackson's Indian removal policies. Cass's replacement as governor was George Bryan Porter. Also in 1831, a young Stevens T. Mason was appointed secretary of the Michigan Territory, replacing his father John Mason. Frequently throughout Porter's governorship, his absences led to Mason acting as governor in many situations. Porter's death in 1835 led to Mason's appointment as governor of the territory. Mason swiftly took action in moving Michigan to statehood as several petitions to Congress for statehood had been denied earlier in the decade. 

In 1834, the Michigan Territory received another territorial addition. Remaining territory from the Louisiana Purchase east of the Missouri River and north of the State of Missouri were added to the Michigan Territory. Upon Stevens T. Mason taking office in 1835, he promptly ordered a census be taken to determine the population of the territory. As set up by the Northwest Ordinance, to be eligible for the third territorial developmental phase toward statehood, the Michigan Territory needed 60,000 people living in its boundaries. The census found 92,673 residents. The findings of the census prompted the election of delegates to a constitutional convention. 

Final Steps & A Constitution