Michigan State University

January 12, 1835 : Territorial Governor Stevens T. Mason Urges Legislative Council to Call A Constitutional Convention

Jon Harrison
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Remodeled Stevens T Mason Monument in Detroit, courtesy of the Wikipedia Commons

On January 12, 1835, Mr. Mason, then the 23-year-old territorial governor, addressed the territory’s legislative council and urged them to call a constitutional convention.

Michigan was facing a crisis, Mr. Mason said. It had officially requested Congress to hold a constitutional convention and that request had been rejected.

But Michigan deserved to be a state, Mr. Mason told the legislative council. The council should call a constitutional convention on its own.

On January 26, the council passed legislation calling a con-con. Delegates were elected in April and from May 11 to June 24 met in Detroit and drafted the Constitution of 1835. Only about 8,000 territorial residents voted that October on the Constitution, and by a nearly 6-1 margin they approved the document.

Unfortunately, due to the politics of the era, Michigan would have to wait until 1837 to become a state.

Source : John Lindstrom, "A Shout-Out To Michigan’s First Governor, Gongwer Blog, January, 14 2013.

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