Timeline of Michigan history

Flag of Michigan

Natural history

French colonization

British colonization

U.S. territory

  • 1812 Detroit and Mackinac Island were captured by the British in the War of 1812.
  • 1813 Detroit was recovered from the British by future-President William Henry Harrison.
  • 1813 Lewis Cass became Territorial Governor.
  • 1817 The University of Michigan was established in Detroit, the first public university in the state.
  • 1818 The British ceded control of the Upper Peninsula and the St. Clair River islands to the U.S. after the Treaty of Ghent and border negotiations were concluded.
  • 1819 In the Treaty of Saginaw, the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi ceded more than six million acres (24,000 km2) in the central portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the United States.
  • 1821 With the Treaty of Chicago, the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi ceded all the lands south of the Grand River to the United States.
  • 1823 Congress transferred legislative powers previously exercised by the Territorial Governor and Judges to a nine-member Legislative Council, appointed by the U.S. President, who selected them from eighteen persons chosen by the people. The Council was expanded to thirteen members in 1825 and made an elected body in 1827.
  • 1824 The Chicago Road was surveyed between Fort Dearborn in Chicago and Detroit. Besides its original military purpose, it became a major avenue for settlement and trade.
  • 1828 The British turned over their fort on Drummond Island to the United States.
  • 1828 Lewis Cass and Henry Schoolcraft established the Historical Society of Michigan.
  • 1832 The Territorial Capitol was built in Detroit at a cost of $24,500.
  • 1833 The Detroit Arsenal was constructed in Dearborn, Michigan, to serve the territorial militia and the regular army.
  • 1835 The First Constitutional Convention was held. Stevens T. Mason was inaugurated as the first Governor of Michigan. A minor conflict with Ohio, known as the Toledo War, over an area including the city of Toledo, Ohio, delayed Michigan statehood, because the State of Ohio objected.
  • 1836 Michigan accepted Ohio's claim to Toledo and the Toledo Strip and received, as compensation, the eastern three-fourths of the Upper Peninsula.
  • 1836 In the Treaty of Washington, representatives of the Ottawa and Chippewa nations of Native Americans ceded an area of 13,837,207 acres (55,997 km2) in the northwest portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area represents approximately 37% of the current land area of the state of Michigan.
  • 1837 Michigan was admitted as a free state into the union (the 26th state). It was admitted a few months after the slave state of Arkansas.

As a U.S. state

See also

References and further reading

  • Dunbar, Willis F. and George S. May (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State. WM. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-7055-4.
  • Poremba, David Lee (2003). Detroit: A Motor City History. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2435-2.
  • Poremba, David Lee (2001). Detroit in Its World Setting (timeline). Wayne State University. ISBN 0-8143-2870-9.
  • Woodford, Arthur M. (2001). This is Detroit 1701–2001. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2914-4.


  1. "The History of Otsego County". Otsego County, Michigan. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2019-09-17. In the fall of 1872, the Village of Otsego Lake was established and the railroad reached the Otsego Lake area about this same time.
  2. Friday, Matthew J. (2010). The Inland Water Route. Arcadia Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4396-2440-1. The railroad arrived in Cheboygan in 1881... prior to this, seasonal navigation provided the only real link to places further south.
  3. "Village of Wolverine History". Village of Wolverine. Retrieved 2019-09-17. In 1881, the Michigan Central Railroad had extended their line to Mackinaw City. The Grand Rapids Railroad completed their line to Mackinaw in 1882