Monday, May 12, 2008

A Bit of Michigan (and Ohio) History.

Some people refer to the American Civil War as the War Between the States. I guess that's a matter of preference as both terms are fairly accurate but there was another war between two states, or rather one state and one territory. There wasn't a lot of violence but there were militia movements and a lot of posturing on the parts of both the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory. It also created a headache for the administration of Andrew Jackson and Congress.

The year was 1835

The conflict was over . . .

believe it or not . . .

the strip of land that includes the City of Toledo.

I first learned about the Toledo Strip War when I was in 7th Grade. The whole conflict was basically because of some unclear and contradictory terminology in the border of the State of Ohio and what was then Michigan Territory. It resulted in both Ohio and Michigan claiming land that includes much of the city of Toledo.

While Toledo is considered a valuable port and industrial city, at the time it was an important farming community as well.

While both states sent in their state militias and prepared for armed conflict, the violence was limited to warning shots fired into the air and a few harassing arrests of prominent citizens taking one side or the other in the conflict and the shenanigans were done by both sides. In the end, Andrew Jackson went against the advice of some of his cabinet and backed Ohio, mostly to secure the votes from Ohio in the upcoming election. Michigan wanted nothing to do with that, but in the end, in order to become a state, gave up Toledo in exchange for the Upper Peninsula.

Toledo would have been nice, but considering the mineral wealth of the U.P. I think Michigan did alright.

The "war" was basically a comic opera, but it something of a window on when our nation was young.

It might also explain the Wolverine - Buckeye football rivalry.


Blogger Nightcrawler said...

Can we work out a deal? I'll give Toledo back to Michigan if you also take Columbus! Sure, it'll look funny on a map but who cares!

You have to take Cheatey McSweatervest in the deal too...

10:35 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

well, I just learned something new again.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I learned something new too.

LOL! (That's in regard to Nightcrawler's comment.)

9:53 AM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Never heard of that either! Us young Wisconsites DID learn of the Blackhawk war which happenend three years prior. There was this
volunteer militia captain by the name of Abraham Lincoln, and....

7:01 PM  
Blogger Jungle Mom said...

Having spent a few years of high School in Ohio, I now understand a bit more the rivalry which you mention.

7:38 PM  
Blogger benning said...

Odd! Interesting, too. But ... odd!

7:49 PM  
Blogger dons_mind said...

i thought i left you a note the other day - - maybe the comment monster ate it...

anyway, we learned that story in ohio state history when i was in's a good piece of state history...and i think you're probably right about the rivalry!

8:21 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

NC Naw We have Detroit, Flint and Saginaw already.

PJC, Gayle, Benning It's just an interesting bit of history. Glad to share it.

BBI I need to look that one up. Looks interesting.

JM Thanks for visiting.

d_m I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

9:02 PM  

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