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Lewis Cass is Born

Today in Masonic History Lewis Cass is born in 1782.

Lewis Cass was an American politician.

Cass was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on October 9, 1782. In 1800, he moved with his family to Marietta, Ohio. There he met his wife Elizabeth Spencer who he married in 1806.

In 1807, Cass became the United States Marshall for Ohio. During the War of 1812, he took command of the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier General in March of 1813.

In 1813, Cass was appointed Governor of the Michigan Territory by President James Madison. The appointment was seen as a reward for his military service. He served as the Governor until 1831.

In 1820, Cass led an expedition to northwestern part of the Michigan Territory, which is now Minnesota. The purpose of the expedition was to map the area and discover the source of the Mississippi River. The expedition miss identified the source as Cass Lake. A later expedition discovered the true source.

Cass resigned as Governor of the Michigan Territory in 1831 to become part of Andrew Jackson's administration. He took the role of Secretary of War and was a central figure in the Indian removal policy of the Jackson Presidency. Later Cass was appointed as the Minister to France.

In 1844, Cass stood as a candidate at the Democratic Convention. He lost to the dark horse candidate, James Polk who later become President.

Starting in 1845, Cass represented Michigan in the United States Senate. He resigned in 1848 to run again for President. Cass was a leading supporter of popular sovereignty, which stated it should left to individual states to decide whether they allowed slavery. Anti-slavery members of the Democratic party left the party to form the Free Soil Party. He returned to the Senate after losing the election to Zachary Taylor. He was the first non-incumbent Democratic Presidential candidate to lose an election. He stayed in the Senate until 1857.

From 1857 to 1860, Cass served as James Buchanan's Secretary of State.

He passed away on June 17th, 1866.

Cass begin his masonic journey in December of 1803 when he was initiated as an Entered Apprentice into Union Lodge No. 1 in Marietta. He received his Fellowcraft and Master Mason degree in 1804 in the same lodge. In 1805 he became a charter member of Lodge of Amity No. 105 (now No. 5) near Zanesville, Ohio. He served as Lodge of Amity's first Worshipful Master. Because of his position in Lodge Amity he became one of the founders of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. At the first session he was elected Deputy Grand Master of Ohio in 1809. The following year he was elected as Grand Master of Ohio and served the next three consecutive years. In 1826, he became co-founder of the Grand Lodge of Michigan and served as their first Grand Master. He served as Grand Master of Michigan a second time in 1844.