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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMichigan

Lewis CASS

(1782-1866)
Senate Years of Service:
1845-1848; 1849-1857
Party:
Democrat; Democrat

CASS, Lewis, (great-great-grandfather of Cass Ballenger), a Senator from Michigan; born in Exeter, N.H., October 9, 1782; attended Exeter Academy; moved with his parents to Wilmington, Del., in 1799 and taught school there; moved to the Northwest Territory in 1801 and settled on a farm near Zanesville, Ohio; studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1802; member, State house of representatives 1806; United States marshal for the district of Ohio 1807-1812, when he resigned to enlist in the Army; served in the United States Army 1813-1814, attaining the rank of brigadier general; military and civil Governor of Michigan Territory 1813-1831; settled in Detroit; appointed Secretary of War by President Andrew Jackson and served from 1831 to 1836, when he resigned, having been appointed to a diplomatic post; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France 1836-1842; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1845, until May 29, 1848, when he resigned, having been nominated for President of the United States; chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Thirtieth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for President on the Democratic ticket in 1848; again elected to the United States Senate on January 20, 1849, to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation; was reelected, and served from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1857; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirty-third Congress; appointed Secretary of State by President James Buchanan and served from 1857 until his resignation in 1860; returned to Detroit, Mich., and engaged in literary pursuits; died in Detroit, Mich., June 17, 1866; interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Klunder, Willard C. Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1996; Wooford, Frank B. Lewis Cass: The Last Jeffersonian. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1950.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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