1811 : Governor Stevens T. Mason’s Birthday

October 27, 2021 all-day

Portrait of Governor Stevens T. Mason

It’s a milestone birthday for Michigan’s first governor, and the state plans to celebrate.

The Michigan Historical Commission will commemorate Stevens T. Mason’s 200th birthday today with a historical marker dedication at Detroit’s Capitol Park. The ceremony is set for noon at the park that’s home to an 8-foot bronze statue of the man and his remains in a crypt beneath it.

The state says the marker commemorates the place where Mason led Michigan’s statehood drive.

Mason was reinterred in the park last October. His remains were unearthed as part of a $1 million renovation project.

Mason, known as the “Boy Governor,” was elected the Michigan territory’s first governor in 1835 when the state capitol was still in Detroit. He was re-elected in 1837 and served two more years.

Source : “Michigan’s ‘boy governor’ turns 200, gets a party in the park”, Detroit News, October 27, 2011.

For more information, see Joseph Serwach, Michigan’s Boy Gov at 200 : Stevens T. Mason, the state’s first governor, can still teach us important lessons about success.

Bob Garrett, The Boy Governor Comes Home, Seeking Michigan, January 2, 2013.

The boy governor : Stevens T. Mason and the birth of Michigan politics / Don Faber. University of Michigan Press, c2012. 205pp. : 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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