Historical Notes on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
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When the Territory of Michigan was first established, it included only the Lower Peninsula and the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. The territory was expanded in 1819 to include the remainder of the Upper Peninsula, all of Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota, which were previously included in the Indiana and Illinois Territories.
When Michigan was preparing for statehood in the 1830s, the boundaries proposed for it corresponded to the original territorial boundaries, with some proposals even leaving the Upper Peninsula out entirely. Meanwhile, the territory was involved in a border dispute with the state of Ohio in a conflict known as the Toledo War. The people of Michigan approved a constitution in May of 1835 and elected state officials in late 1835. Although the state government was still unrecognized by the United States Congress, the territorial government effectively ceased to exist.
A constitutional convention convened by the state legislature refused a compromise to accept the full Upper Peninsula in exchange for ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio. A second convention, hastily convened by Governor Stevens Thomson Mason, consisting primarily of supporters of the governor, finally agreed to accept the U.P. for the Toledo Strip in December 1836 and the U.S. Congress admitted Michigan as a state in early January 1837.
Although the Upper Peninsula was then considered the less valuable land, and Michigan the losing party in the deal, the Upper Peninsula's rich mineral wealth soon became apparent, making Michigan instead seem the winner in the arrangement.