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Lewis Cass 
October 9, 1782 – June 17, 1866
22nd US Secretary of State

Quarters of Lewis Cass, Governor of Michigan

 

Born in New Hampshire and a veteran of the War of 1812, Michigan governor Lewis Cass was a skilled maker of treaties. Cass was born the eldest of five children in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Oct. 9, 1782. His father, Jonathan, was a major in the Revolutionary War. One of Cass’ deepest held memories was at age 7 shaking the hand of Gen. George Washington, who had just been elected president and came to visit Exeter on a tour.

As a reward for his battlefield performance (although he actually saw very little action) on Oct. 29, 1813 James Madison appointed Cass as governor of the Michigan Territory. 

Cass' participation in the Treaty of Paradise Spring helped create the Erie Canal which allowed settlers to reach the area, including his state of Michigan. 

 

In 1831 President Andrew Jackson appointed Governor Cass the Secretary of War.  He later served as Minister to France. In the mid 1840s, he was elected to the United States Senate. He was the Democratic party nominee for President in 1848 but lost to Zachery Taylor.  In 1857 President Buchanan appointed Cass Secretary of State. His public service ended when he resigned in 1860 and returned to Michigan.

Images: PS board members portray characters including Lewis Cass at an event (below); a; and a picture of the placard that hangs on the cabin today (upper right).