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Cass, Lewis - Gen


The venerable statesman and patriot died at Detroit on Sunday morning, aged 83 years. He passed the summer in this city two years since with his son-in-law, HENRY LEDYARD, Esq., since which time he has been in feeble health.

For sixty years General Cass had served his country as a soldier and a statesman. As a soldier his skill and courage were conspicuous in the war with Great Britain in 1812, and when his command was surrendered at the shameful capitulation of Gen. Hull, at Detroit, Cass broke his sword across his knee, declaring it should never be sullied by so disgraceful an act.

Lewis Cass was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, October 9, 1782. After such education as he could pick up in the common schools of that day, young Cass at the age of seventeen, set out to seek his fortune. He sought a home in the then settled West, and crossed the Alleghanies{sic} on foot, settling down at Marietta, Ohio, where he studied law and entered upon a successful practice. At the age of twenty-five he was elected to the Legislature of Ohio, and it was he who framed the bill which arrested the proceedings of Aaron Burr; which, as stated by Jefferson, was the first blow given to “Burr’s conspiracy.”

In 1807 Mr. Cass was appointed by Jefferson as Marshal of Ohio, which office he held until 1811. He was elected Colonel of the 3d Ohio volunteers and entered the military service of the United States at the commencement of the war of 1812. After a difficult march he reached Detroit and urged the immediate invasion of Canada; he was the author, indeed, of the first proclamation of that event; was the first to land on the enemy’s shores, and with a small detachment fought and won the first battle—that of Taronton{sic}. At the capitulation of Detroit his command, though absent, was included in the surrender. Subsequently, he was appointed a colonel in the regular army, and soon after promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He served and distinguished himself as a volunteer to Gen. Harrison at the battle of the Thames.

In October, 1813, President Madison appointed Gen. Cass Governor of Michigan. He conducted with success the affairs of the territory under embarrassed circumstances. Under his sway peace was preserved between the whites and the Indians, law and order were established, and the territory rapidly advanced in population, wealth and prosperity.

In 1831 President Jackson appointed Gen. Cass Secretary of War.

In 1836 the same President appointed him Minister to France, where he remained until 1842.

In 1845 he was elected to the Senate of the United States from Michigan, which place he resigned in 1848, on his nomination for the Presidency by the National Democratic Convention.

In 1849 the Legislature of Michigan re-elected him to the Senate.

When Mr. Buchanan became President, Mr. Cass was appointed Secretary of State, in which capacity he performed signal devices to the country. But in December, 1860, three months before the expiration of the administration he resigned his office and retired to private life, where he has remained until his death, Sunday morning at a ripe old age, after a life of active usefulness.

Gen. Cass was estimated to be worth from four to five millions. His wife died in March, 1855, and left four children, all of whom are now living. They are: Major Lewis Cass; Mrs. Ledyard, wife of Henry Ledyard, Esq.; Madam Von Limburg, wife of the resident minister of the Netherlands; and Mrs. Canfield, widow of Captain Canfield, formerly of the U. S. Topographical Engineers.

Newport Mercury, Newport, RI 23 Jun 1866

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