Lewis Cass papers  1774-1924
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Additional Descriptive Data

Biographical Timeline

1782 October 9 Cass born
1792 Entered Exeter academy
1799 Taught briefly in Wilmington, Delaware
1800 Traveled to Marietta, Ohio, and studied law with Governor Meigs
1802 Admitted to the bar and set up a law practice
1806 Married Elizabeth Spencer
1806 Elected to the Ohio legislature
1807 Named federal marshal for Ohio
1812 Became colonel of the Third Ohio Regiment
1813 March 20 Promoted to brigadier general
1813 Made military and civil governor of Michigan territory
1818 Purchased 500 acres near the mouth of the Detroit River
1825 Signed a treaty with Native Americans at Prairie du Chien
1831 August 1 Appointed secretary of war by President Andrew Jackson
1836 October Appointed Andrew Jackson's minister to France
1842 Resigned as minister to France and returns to Michigan
1844 Lost the Democratic nomination for President to James K. Polk
1845 Elected by Michigan to the United States Senate
1848 Selected Democratic nominee for President but loses to Zachery Taylor
1851 Reelected to the Senate
1852 Loses the Democratic nomination for President to Franklin Pierce
1857 Defeated for reelection to the Senate
1857 March 6 Appointed secretary of state to President James Buchanan
1860 December 12 Resigns as secretary of state
1861 February Returns to Michigan
1866 June 17 Cass dies
Alternate Locations

A carte-de-visite of Caleb Cushing (1800-1879) is located in the Clements Library Graphics Division.

Related Materials

The Clements Library Books and Graphics Divisions hold many books, speeches, pamphlets, broadsides, and engravings relating to Lewis Cass. Search for "Cass, Lewis, 1782-1866" in the Clements Library's holdings in the University catalog for a complete list. Of note is the following item written by Cass:

Cass, Lewis. Inquiries, Respecting the History, Traditions, Languages, Manners, Customs, Religion, &c. of the Indians, Living Within the United States. Detroit: Printed by Sheldon & Reed, 1823.

Many collections in the Clements Library contain letters to and from Lewis Cass. These include:

The Burton Historical Society at the Detroit Public Library contains a large collection of Lewis Cass papers. The Chicago Historical Society, Cincinnati Historical Society, and the Clark Library at Central Michigan University also have Cass collections.


Klunder, Willard Carl. Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996.

Prucha, Francis Paul. Lewis Cass and American Indian Policy. Wayne State University Press, 1967.

Silbey, Joel H. "Cass, Lewis." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000.