LEWIS CASS, one of the most prominent statesman and party Leaders of his day, was born at Exeter, New Hampshire,
October 9, 1782. He studied law, and having removed to Zanesville, Ohio, commenced the practice of that profession
in 1802. He entered the service of the American governmont in 1812 and was made a colonel in the army under General
William Hull, and on the surrender of Fort Malden by that officer was held as a prisoner. Being released in 1813,
he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and in 1814 appointed governor of Michigan Territory. Alter he
had held that office for some sixteen years, negotiating, in the meantime, many treaties with the Indians, General
Cass was made secretary of war in the cabinet of President Jackson, in 1831. He was, in 1836, appointed minister
to France, which office he held for six years. In 1844 he was elected United States senator from Michigan. In 1846
General Cass opposed the Wilmot Proviso, which was an amendment to a bill for the purchase of land from Mexico,
which provided that in any of the territory acquired from that power slavery should not exist. For this and other
reasons he was nominated as Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1848, but was defeated
by General Zachary Taylor, the Whig candidate, having but one hundred and thirty seven electoral votes to his opponent's
one hundred and sixtythree. In 1849 General Cass was re-elected to the senate of the United States, and in 1854
supported Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska bill. He became secretary of state in March, 1857, under President Buchanan,
but resigned that office in December, 1860. He died June 17, 1866. The published works of Lewis Cass, while not
numerous, are well written and display much ability. He was one of the foremost men of his day in the political
councils of the Democratic party, and left a reputation for high probity and honor behind him.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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