Michigan History

Lansing: Capital of Michigan

Michigan’s First State Capitol

In 1828, Michigan’s first capitol was Detroit. Congress had a deadline to make a permanent decision on the location of Michigan’s capital by 1847. Almost every city in Michigan was debated on before making a decision. In 1847, the area had less that 20 residents when the constitution made the current state capital relocate from Detroit to a more protected location. The controversy that conveyed the change of location was the closeness that Detroit was that bordered Canada which was controlled by the British at that time. If the capital would of stayed in Detroit, the area would be vulnerable in the sense that an British invasion may have occurred. Another concern was that the large city would have a huge leverage over the state’s politics.

Home of First Pioneer

James Seymour, one of the first pioneers, campaigned for Lansing Township to become the state’s capitol while depicting flaws in other cities. Before Lansing was selected as the capital of Michigan the House of Representatives had already decided on thirteen other places. There was back and forth between Congress before making a decision. The Senate voted 51 more times before considering the House’s suggestion. The main concern was the location of Lansing and how it was majority wilderness and had a population no more than 100 people living there, but it became the new state capitol anyway.

Originally published http://www.mideathnotices.com/assets/images/dnimages/2014/11/2458699-1.eps.jpg

All the materials necessary for The city was incorporated in 1859 and by this time Lansing had 3,000 residents. Lansing grew over the next two decades and incorporated a city-wide rail system, plank road, and a capital building. All the materials necessary for building the capitol housing unit were shipped by boat on the Grand River or through the railing system from Detroit to Jackson and then by wagon through the woods of Lansing. The building was inspired by a church like figure and it was 60′ x 100′, two stories high with a cupola. It had the legislative and Supreme Court chambers, the governor’s office, and a library. This sculpted version of the capitol was completed in late 1847, but the present capitol wasn’t finished until 1879.

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