Lewis Cass & Population Growth

Lewis Cass

Lewis Cass (1782-1866)

The population of the Michigan Territory in 1810 was 4,762 persons. By law of the Northwest Ordinance, the territory would need a population of 5,000 free white males of full age in order to be eligable for the second phase of development toward statehood. In the period from 1813 to 1831, an era of vast growth and development of the Michigan Territory, the territorial government was under the leadership of Lewis Cass. 

Cass, a native of New Hampshire, was an early member of the Ohio state legislature and a Brigadier General under General William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812. Following the War, on October 29, 1813, Cass was appointed governor of the Michigan Territory by President James Madison. Cass replaced William Hull, the territory's original governor who had been the Brigadier General in conrol of the army in the Northwest Territory during the War of 1812. Hull was court martialled after his surrender of Fort Detroit to the British during the War. Cass governed the Michigan Territory for nearly two decades after his appointment. 

Some of the territory's growth was affected by the actions of its neighbors in the period of Cass' governorship. In 1816, Indiana joined the federal union. In 1818, Illinois joined the federal union. With Illinois' entry to the union, the remaining land from the old Northwest Territory (present day Wisconsin and portions of Minnesota), which had been part of the Indiana Territory prior to 1816 and part of the Illinois Territory from 1816 to 1818, were added to the Michigan Territory. The addition of three new states to the union - Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois - in such proximity to the Michigan Territory brought an influx of new settlers to the region. 

Erie Canal Map, 1852.

Erie Canal Map, 1852.

Lewis Cass & Population Growth