First "Governor" Not Well Received Here!

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2009,
Fall 2009
Original Images:

Author: Tom Dodd

“Ypsilantians...threw stones at the Governor as he entered the City. Rotten eggs and horse manure were also offered as welcoming gifts to the state’s second oldest municipality.”

Political maneuvering is nothing new. Presi- dent Andrew Jackson removed Stevens (Tom) Mason from his position as acting governor of the Michigan Territory on August 20, 1835, after Pennsylvanian Charles Shaler turned down the opportunity to oversee the Michigan Territory just before it became a state. Jackson then appointed Virginian John Scott Horner to the job. Even though Mason was the Democratic Party nominee for governor and was destined to rise to that position, he suffered the blows of national politics in the process.

Horner came to assume his duties by boat from Cleveland to Detroit where he ran aground in the Detroit River at the very mo- ment Michiganders ratified their new state’s constitution and elected Mason to be their governor. The loyal opposition Whig party held that Mason was not really governor until the state was admitted to the union and the people of the territory did not take kindly to Horner’s visit for the interim period. Ypsilanti was no exception to the mood of the time.

Ypsilantians, unhappy with Horner’s policy of pardoning Ohio “Buckeyes” who had been captured in the first and only skirmish of the Toledo War, threw stones at the Governor as he entered the City. Rotten eggs and horse manure were also offered as welcoming gifts to the state’s second oldest municipality (See Don Faber’s The Toledo War: The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry).

Horner wrote of his experience in Monroe, Tecumseh, and Ypsilanti on October 19, 1835 in a letter to Secretary of State John Forsyth. His letter can be seen in the Lucas County Public Library, in Toledo and in the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections. “My con- dition was this; at Monroe, the seat of strife, amidst a wild and dangerous population, without any aid, a friend, servant or bed to sleep in, in the midst of a mob excited by the enemies of the administration, and bad men, I could not enlist a friend, or an officer of the Territory. Under the most disadvantageous and embarrassing circumstances which anar- chy could present, the wishes and instructions of Government have been constitutionally fulfilled and complied with.

“On Saturday at noon, Judge Swayne and myself left Tecumseh for Detroit, and on our arrival that evening at Ypsilanti, were mobbed, the horse somewhat injured; no bones how- ever, were broken, and not a word was said by me on the subject.

“My labors, both mental and bodily have been very arduous, almost unsupportable. It was not until this morning that I could procure a clerk or private secretary, such was the state of the public mind, from some cause or other. I mention mobs and details only to exhibit the true state of things; personally, I care nothing for them. Doctrines are afloat here monstrous and dangerous. There never was a govern- ment in Christendom with such officers, civil and military, and a field with such doctrines as Michigan. One of the judges at Monroe expressed publicly his desire to become a martyr to the cause. I have used my utmost exertions in executing the duties of my office at the sacrifice of my own health. P.S. There are no funds here within my control, and, to discharge my duties, I have exhausted my own pecuniary recourse.”

With that denigrating reception, Michigan Governor John Scott Horner was nicknamed “Little Jack Horner” by his constituents in Michigan. In March, Horner was appointed secretary of the Wisconsin Territory and was happy to leave his post in Michigan. Stevens T. Mason was duly elected by the people of Michigan on October 5 and his official governance of the state began on November 1, 1835.

Photo captions:

Photo 1: Ypsilantians were unhappy with the appointment of Virginian John Scott Horner to the position of Acting Governor of the Michigan Territory

Photo 2: Stevens T. Mason was the first duly elected governor of the state of Michigan (1935).

(Tom Dodd is the Editor of the Depot Town Rag and a regular contributor to the Gleanings.)

Note from the Archives Office

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, November 1987,
November 1987
Original Images:

Author: Billie Zolkosky

We wonder if the ‘Gleanings’ ever gets read. Well I'm happy to say they do. I had a very interesting letter some time back from a lady in Huntington Woods. She had been visiting her Mother in Florida and a friend of the family had brought a ‘Gleanings’ for her Mother to read. Jim Westfall is the gentleman that was so generous. The Mother is Ann Melvin, Granddaughter of William Lambis. Sue Rauschert is a great, great Granddaughter. Sue came out one Saturday forenoon and enjoyed pictures, stories about her ancestors. She also has a sister that lives in Royal Oak. They have joined the Society so they are enjoying reading about William Lambie. Sue and I are goint to start the Diary from the beginning and put it in book form.

At the present time our files in the Archives are being redone, replace with Pendeflex files. They will be much easter to work with and will preserve the material in them much better….SO….if I am not getting some things done as fast as perhaps I should, please excuse me.

Have a Happy Thanksgivings from all of us at the Museum.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Open House.

Don't forget to come and see the Museum December 17th or 18th and bring your friends.

Crafts Demonstrations: How They Did It in the 1800's

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, October 1986,
October 1986
Original Images:

Saturday: October 11th 10:00 am-4:00 pm


Ypsilanti Historical Museum
220 N. Huron Street

Rug Hooking
Chair Caning
Clothespin Dolls
Bobbin Lace Making
Basket Making
Cornhusk Dolls

The Children's Room

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, March 1990,
March 1990
Original Images:

Author: Marjorie Gauntlett

This is the first of a series of articles written for you to read and enjoy and perhaps to learn a little more about your City Museum. This house museum is a wonderful example of the Victorian home. It exudes warmth and charm and gives one the feeling it might still be occupied, particulary at special times when the house is filled with people who care.

In the Gleanings this month I am describing the Children's Room which is upstairs in the northeast corner of the house. Future articles will be written about other interesting areas of this house. Through these articles we hope to renew your interest and motivate you to visit us more often. Life in the Victorian Era was interesting and often exciting.

This particular article will tell you a little about the children's room or day nursery. Here the children of the family played and were allowed to be noisy and move about freely. The rocking horse was popular, playing games was fun and dolls were wonderful! with the dolls serving as their “children”.

There are many toys in the room. The shelves in one corner hold games and books which were popular. Some games are called Grandma's Riddle, Dominoes, Puzzles, Grandma's Useful Knowledge, Flags and Crandall's Expression Blocks.

Books and games were treasured by children of this are and were treated with care and respect. They were not easily obtained for all children. Much of the content of early books was concerned with moral teaching, religion and etiquette until 1865 when Lewis Carroll introduced his book Alice in Wonderland. In 1876 Mark Twain published Tom Sawyer followed soon by Huckleberry Finn. These books introduced a new concept of children's life and were the precedent for fun and nonsense. A few examples of our books for children are: Round About Tales, Wee Girls and Boys, Teddy Bears, Mother Goose and Chidren At Home.

At the far and of this pleasant room the “nanny” or children's nurse is sitting in a rocking chair where she can watch over all activites. She is a Martha Chase manikin as is the life size baby doll she holds in her lap. Martha Jenks Chase was the daughter of a physician. She created dolls beginning in 1889 from stockinette and cloth and painted them in oils. Some dolls were fully painted and washable and some were designed for use in hospital training programs. The children's nurse was very important in the Victorian family. She was responsible for much of the children's training especially in large families.

The dolls in the children's room are reminiscent of the late 1800's and early 1900. WE are fortunate to have several china head dolls. The heads were made of glazed china with painted hair and faces. The hair style of these dolls often helps to identify the approximate year they were produced. The bodies were of cloth or leather and the limbs of china or leather. The earliest china dolls had brown eyes. Blue eyes were popular later.

Our doll collection also boasts some lovely dolls with heads made of bisque (unglezed china). These dolls have wigs and open-close eyes and leather bodies. Many of these dolls were first made in Germany and imported by the United States. Some began appearing about 1860. At first these dolls were made in Germany in homes with the whole family involved. This was later expanded to a cottage industry where one family painted faces, another made bodies, others stuffed and sewed, while another family costumed the dolls. Eventually factories opened employing the hometown specialists. Patents were obtained and competition grew. In our children's playroom the dolls are having a tea party with tiny cups and saucers of china made aspecially for their little hands.

We are also fortunate to have Flossie in our doll family. She was made only in the year 1873-1874. She was created of hard rock maple, has mortise and tenon joints and metal hands and feet. She is dressed appropriately according to the late 1800's.

There are several items of doll furniture to help a little girl play house such as a Schoenhut piano introduced about 1872, several doll cradles and a dresser with a mirror.

Boys were interested in outdoor play and you can see examples such as ice skates and sleds. The skates were made of wood and leather. Toy Wagons, blocks, tin soldiers, a drum and some hand made marbles are also exhibited. Toy vehicles such as trucks and fire engines were made of tin and iron. Noah's Ark was a popular toy. We now have two on exhibit one from the late 1800 and another one early 1900.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the Children's Room in the Museum.

Come and visit us soon. See for yourself the wonderful artifacts we have accumulated within the Museum for you to enjoy.

Marjorie Gauntlett

Syndicate content