The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics

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University of Michigan Press, Sep 14, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 205 pages
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In 1831, Stevens T. Mason was named Secretary of the Michigan Territory at the tender age of 19, two years before he could even vote. The youngest presidential appointee in American history, Mason quickly stamped his persona on Michigan life in large letters. After championing the territory's successful push for statehood without congressional authorization, he would defend his new state's border in open defiance of the country's political elite and then orchestrate its expansion through the annexation of the Upper Peninsula---all before his official election as Michigan's first governor at age 24, the youngest chief executive in any state's history.



The Boy Governor tells the complete story of this dominant political figure in Michigan's early development. Capturing Mason's youthful idealism and visionary accomplishments, including his advocacy for a strong state university and legislating for the creation of the Soo Locks, this biography renders a vivid portrait of Michigan's first governor---his conflicts, his desires, and his sense of patriotism. This book will appeal to anyone with a love of American history and interest in the many, larger-than-life personalities that battled on the political stage during the Jacksonian era.

 

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Contents

Prologue
1
1 The Early Years
5
2 The Michigan Frontier
20
3 MasonBoy in Charge
36
4 Statehood and the Toledo War
48
5 Building a State
75
6 The Financial Panic of 1837
90
7 The Patriot War
102
8 The FiveMillionDollar Loan
111
9 Wildcat Banks Failed Railroadsand Filledin Canals
121
10 Final Disheartenment
138
11 Death and Remembrance
157
Epilogue
178
Notes
181
Index
199
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About the author (2012)

Don Faber is author of The Toledo War, winner of the 2009 Michigan Notable Book Award. Former editor of the Ann Arbor News, he also served on the staff of the Michigan Constitutional Convention, won a Ford Foundation Fellowship to work in the Michigan Senate, and was a speechwriter for Michigan governor George Romney.

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