Michigan State Capital: Lansing

Lansing - Capital Of Michigan

Lansing has had a very long and prosperous relationship with the state of Michigan.  Lansing was incorporated as a city in 1859 and recently celebrated its Sesquicentennial in 2009.  Michigan is one of the most unique states in the nation with separate peninsulas bordering the Great Lakes and Canada.  So, how did Lansing end up as the capital city of this beautiful state?

Early History

The Michigan Territory was formed in 1805 and was a valuable area of trade with the Potowatami and Chippewa Native American tribes.  Detroit was the original capital city of the Michigan Territory due to its size and the close proximity of the Detroit River which served as a natural boundary between the territory and British-ruled Canada.  Written within the Michigan Constitution of 1835 was a passage that stipulated that Detroit would be the seat of Government until 1847, which at that date it would be determined where the permanent seat of Government would reside.

Michigan Statehood

In 1837, Michigan achieved statehood and became the 26th state of the United States of America.  As mentioned in the state constitution, a decision had to be made in 1847 as to where the capital city would be.  Detroit was ruled out due to its close proximity to the border of Canada and the War of 1812 was still fresh in the minds of many people.  It was noted that capital cities were usually centrally-located within each state, Detroit was the odd exception.  So, with Detroit ruled out, other cities were looked at to become the new capital city.  Cities such as DeWitt, Marshall, Jackson, Lansing, and Ann Arbor were considered.  Lansing had many acres of free land and buildings available to the State.  You have to remember that the Panic of 1837 had decimated many businesses and the economy was still recovering from that period.  Due to the bargain on real estate and its central location within the state, Lansing officially became the new capital city in 1847.

Lansing Today

Lansing was originally named Michigan (Michigan, Michigan), strangely enough and was named after a New York statesman by the name of John Lansing Jr.  There have been many milestones that have formed the Lansing we know and love today.  Michigan State University was founded in what is now East Lansing in 1855.  In today’s age, Lansing provides a stable hand in running Michigan and is also a valuable hub of commerce between Detroit and Grand Rapids.