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The Toledo War

The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry
Don Faber
How a thin strip of land between the state of Ohio and Michigan started a war

Description

Most are familiar with the Michigan-Ohio football rivalry, an intense but usually good-natured contest that stretches back over one hundred years. Yet far fewer may know that in the early nineteenth century Michigan and Ohio were locked in a different kind of battle—one that began before Michigan became a state.

The conflict started with a long-simmering dispute over a narrow wedge of land called the Toledo Strip. Early maps were famously imprecise, adding to the uncertainty of the true boundary between the states. When Ohio claimed to the mouth of the Maumee River, land that according to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 fell in the territory of Michigan, the "Toledo War" began.

Today the fight may bring a smile to Michiganians and Ohioans because both states benefited: Ohioans won the war and Michigan got the Upper Peninsula. But back then passions about rightful ownership ran high, and it would take many years—and colorful personalities all the way up to presidents—to settle the dispute. The Toledo War: The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry gives a well-researched and fascinating account of the famous war.

"An engaging account of the Toledo War of 1835, a serious confrontation whose outcome established the borders of the state of Michigan. Faber expertly narrates the history of a dispute conducted by fascinating characters practicing political shenanigans of the highest order."
—Andrew Cayton, author of Ohio: The History of a People and a general editor of The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia

Illustration: Tourist Map of Michigan, 1835, by J. H. Young (Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Don Faber is best known as the former editor of the Ann Arbor News. He also served on the staff of the Michigan Constitutional Convention, won a Ford Foundation Fellowship to work in the Michigan Senate, and was a speechwriter for Michigan governor George Romney. Now retired, Faber lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Jeannette, and indulges in his love of Michigan history.

Praise / Awards

  • "The first book-length study that describes the strong personalities, devious political deals, and military donnybrook that brought Michigan into the Union. Thoroughly researched and highly readable from beginning to end, this is an essential and fascinating addition to any library of Michigan and Northwest frontier history!"
    —John Dann, Director Emeritys, Clements Library, University of Michigan

  • "Don Faber has written an engaging account of the Toledo War of 1835, a serious confrontation whose outcome established the borders of the state of Michigan. Faber expertly narrates the history of a dispute conducted by fascinating characters practicing political shenanigans of the highest order."
    —Andrew Cayton, author of Ohio: The History of a People and a general editor of The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia

  • "Street names like Cass, Hewitt and Schoolcraft come to life in the colorful stories of their antecedents, and it's both unsettling and oddly comforting to see just how little Detroit politics have changed in the last 170 years. Spoiler alert: Michigan didn't get Toledo. But we did get a consolation prize (you can look it U.P.) and some good stories for the state history books."
    —Leah DuMouchel, The Ann Arbor News, 11/22/08

  • "A fascinating piece of Great Lakes history, well written by Don Faber."
    —The Great Lakes Historical Society

  • "Reading this book is like having a ringside seat at a boxing match; one feels that the bell should sound at the end of every chapter. Don't miss it; it's a must-read on any level."
    —Javan Klenzle, Detroit Free Press

  • "While the topic is serious, he is a fine writer, and his descriptions of the "fighting" are fairly hilarious."
    —Jack Lessenberry, Traverse City Record-Eagle

  • Named a 2009 Michigan Notable Book

  • Historical Society of Michigan's 2009 State History Award Winner

Look Inside

Copyright © 2008, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 232pp.
  • 10 B&W photographs and 6 maps.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05054-3

Add to Cart
  • $24.95 U.S.

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