The Toledo War

Faber, Don. The Toledo War: The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry. Ann Arbor, Michigan; The University of Michigan Press, 2008.

A war between Michigan and Ohio?  There have been numerous publications over the years covering the border dispute between Ohio and the territory of Michigan in 1835.  The war involved much posturing, even more politicking, a posse of Wolverines arresting Ohio agitators,  and a dramatic stabbing.

The results of the “war”, as you may know, involve Toledo and the northern part of Lucas County becoming a part of Ohio and Michigan joining the Union (with the Upper Peninsula, for some reason or another).  Farber’s The Toledo War looks at the whole situation from each party involved, but the emphasis is on statehood and Michigan.   We learn much about the trials of Michigan’s first governor, Stevens T. Mason.

Sitting in the 21st Century, I was amazed at how the early government could leave borders unclear for such a time (Ohio became a state in 1803).  Faber offers a pretty detailed argument for why both parties believed they should own this strip of land (486 square miles).  Continue reading