On June 7, 1824, the first legislative council of the Michigan Territory convened in Detroit. Under provisions of the Northwest Ordinance, a legislative council could be elected when the territory’s population of free males reached 5,000. The people of Michigan elected 18 to the Legislative Council, of which nine were approved by President Monroe. Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), and Illinois (1818) had already become states.
Father Gabriel Richard opened the session by praying that “the legislators may make laws for the people, but not for themselves.” Little did he know that in modern day Michigan legislators would vote based on how it might impact their re-election.
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