MICHIGAN BECOMES A STATE.
A visitation less fatal than the cholera, but for the time most disastrous, had come upon the valley of the Ohio in the preceding February. A winter of excessive cold was suddenly closed, by long continued and very heavy rains, which, unable to penetrate tbe frozen ground, soon raised every stream emptying into Ohio to an unusual height. The main trunk, unable to discharge the water which poured into it, overflowed its banks, and laid the whole valley, in many places several miles in width, under water.
The towns and villages along the river banks, were flooded in some instances so deeply, as to force the inhabitants to take refuge on the neighboring hills; and the value of the property injured and destroyed must have been very great, though its amount could not, of course, be ascertained. The water continued to rise from the 7th to the 19th of February, when it had attained the height of sixty-three feet above low water mark at Cincinnati.
In April, 1834, a census had shown that Michigan possessed a 1837.] population sufficient to entitle her to admission into the Uniou. In May, 1835, a convention, held at Detroit, prepared a State constitution, and asked to it the assent of Congress. This Congress refused, but passed a conditional act, by which the applicant might become a State, should certain stipulations be asseuted to; this assent was to be signified through a convention, and one met for the purpose in September, 1836; this body declined acceding to the conditions.
Thereupon a second convention was chosen, which, in the following December, accepted the terms offered, and after some discussion in Congress in relation to the legality of this acceptance, Michigan was recognized as a sovereign State of the Union.
The question which caused tbe difficulty above referred to, and which at one time threatened civil war, was this: "What is the true southern boundary of Michigan ? The ordinance of 1787, provided for the formation in the North-West territory of three States, and also provided that Congress might form one or two others north of an east and west line drawn through the bead, or southern extremity of Lake Michigan.
This, at the time Ohio had been admitted, was construed to mean that the two northern States, the offspring of the will of Congress, must not come south of the east and west line specified, but might by Congress be limited to a line north of that. In accordance with this view, Ohio, as already related, was made to extend northward so as to include the Maumee Bay. 62