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Settling a State

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The Toledo War

Box Inscribed Toledo, Michigan

Toledo, Michigan?

This wooden ammunition box is in the museum's Statehood Gallery. It is lined with muslin, a plain woven cotton fabric, and is typical of small military containers in the early nineteenth century. The words on the lid of the box—C G (or Co [Company] G) No 4 Toledo Mich—show that it dates back to the years of the Toledo War. (The name Toledo was first given to a village on Maumee Bay in 1835.)

Toledo Exchange Map -- Click for page-size printable image Michigan Territory claimed the "Toledo Strip," an area along its border with Ohio near the Maumee River. Ohio, which was already a state, also claimed the land. Although Michigan and Ohio both sent militia units to the area between 1835 and 1837, no shots were fired. The Toledo Strip played in important role in the story of Michigan achieving statehood. The map shows the two areas involved in the settlement of the dispute.

Statehood Achieved

Following the Compromise of 1820 it was the practice to admit a free state and a slave state at the same time. However, when both Arkansas and Michigan were ready for statehood, Michigan was involved in a dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip. President Jackson signed a bill on June 15, 1836, that admitted Arkansas but required the people of Michigan to settle the dispute before Michigan would be granted statehood. Michigan would need to consent to a compromise measure drawn up by Congress. The compromise gave the Toledo Strip to Ohio and the western two-third (2/3) of the present Upper Peninsula to Michigan.

A convention to consider the compromise took place in Ann Arbor on September 26, 1836, after delegates were elected. They deliberated for four days; then they rejected the compromise. On December 14 a second "Convention of Assent" was assembled, which—two days later—passed a resolution that accepted the compromise. After this news reached Washington, a bill was introduced to admit Michigan to the Union. Congress passed the bill, and President Jackson signed it on January 26, 1837.

Find a time line of Important Dates in Michigan's Quest for Statehood in Teachers' Stuff.

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