Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


How Wisconsin lost the UP

This little bit of Wisconsin history comes from the book on Milwaukee street names under the entry for downtown's Mason Street. It was named for then Michigan governor Tom Mason.

"At the age of 19, Mason had become acting governor of the Michigan Territory, an area that included Wisconsin. As Michigan's statehood approached, the issue of its border with Ohio heated up. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had set the border between the two states as a line due east from the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Ohio was admitted as a state in 1803 with a border slightly north of where it should have been, a border that included the harbor of Toledo as part of the state.

Tom Mason, deciding to take back that which was rightfully Michigan's, sent terriotorial troops to take control of Toledo, beginning the "Toledo War." The Ohioans fled as the Michigan troops moved in; the Michiganders won the battle but not the war.

The United States Congress, in a move to settle the dispute, offered Michigan the northern portion of what would have been Wisconsin in exchange for the Toledo Strip. Michigan thought it was a poor swap, that the Upper Peninsula was too wild for settlement. But they had to take it or leave it, because Congress wouldn't allow Ohio to lose Toledo. Michigan accepted and became a state, and Mason, the Toledo War hero, became its first governor."

As Wikipedia notes, Michigan ultimately benefitted from acquiring the Upper Peninsula after the discovery of vast amounts of iron and copper.


At 8/15/2006 12:20:00 AM, Blogger Craig said...

Interesting article. Wonder what it'd be like if we had the UP. What voting effects we'd have from it. On another state tidbit, Doesn't TX have the power to also split into 5 states from 1?


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