Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan’s 48th governor, today issued the following statement in observance of the 200th birthday of Michigan’s first governor, Stevens T. Mason.
The statement will be read during a ceremony honoring Mason hosted by the Michigan Historical Commission. The ceremony begins at noon on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Detroit’s Capitol Park, the location of Michigan’s first Capitol and Mason’s burial site. During the ceremony, the Michigan Historical Commission will unveil a new historical marker.
“The story of Michigan’s first governor is the story of Michigan’s birth. Although his actions often made him unpopular in his time, today we owe Stevens T. Mason thanks for his relentless pursuit of statehood.
“When Congress refused to act on a petition to grant statehood, Mason initiated a territorial census to prove the territory qualified under the Ordinance of 1787. When Congress refused to seat Michigan’s delegates, Mason reached a resolution that ended the dispute over the Toledo Territory and gave Michigan the western reaches of the Upper Peninsula. And when Michigan’s own people refused to accept the terms of this agreement, Mason forged ahead and led a new convention that resulted in Michigan joining the Union. All by the age of 25.
“Michigan has a rich, fascinating history of innovators, builders and leaders like Stevens T. Mason who helped turn Michigan’s unsettled wilderness into a state that eventually became an industrial powerhouse. When we remember them, we remember and are inspired by the qualities of the people who made our state great.”