Lewis Cass explored Minnesota for source of Mississippi

Bill Federer

The Democrat candidate for President in 1848 was Lewis Cass, born OCTOBER 9, 1782.

In 1807, Lewis Cass became the US Marshal for Ohio.

He was a Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, fighting in the decisive Battle of Moravian Town, or Battle of the Thames, where the British and their ally, Indian Chief Tecumseh, were defeated.

This secured the Territory for the United States.

President James Madison appointed Lewis Cass as Governor-General of the Michigan Territory, 1813-1831.

Cass made Indian treaties, organized townships and built roads.

In 1820, just 14 years after Lewis and Clark returned from discovering the source of the Missouri River, Lewis Cass led an expedition to northern Minnesota in search of the source of the Mississippi River.

This was necessary in order to define the border between the U.S. and Canada.

He mistakenly identified Cass Lake as the river's source.

Cass' expedition geologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was later able to correctly identify the source of the Mississippi River as Lake Itasca in 1832.

President Andrew Jackson appointed Lewis Cass as Secretary of War in 1831, then minister to France in 1836.

Lewis Cass was elected a U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1845-48, 1849-57.

He was the Democrat Presidential Candidate in 1848.

Cass was Secretary of State for President James Buchanan, 1857-1860.

Senator Lewis Cass wrote from Washington, D.C. in 1846:

"God, in His providence, has given us a Book of His revealed will to be with us at the commencement of our career in this life and at its termination;

and to accompany us during all chances and changes of this trying and fitful progress, to control the passions, to enlighten the judgment, to guide the conscience, to teach us what we ought to do here, and what we shall be hereafter."

Cass delivered a Eulogy for Secretary of State Daniel Webster, December 14, 1852:

"'How are the mighty fallen!' we may yet exclaim, when reft of our great and wisest;

but they fall to rise again from death to life, when such quickening faith in the mercy of God and in the sacrifice of the Redeemer comes to shed upon them its happy influence this side of the grave and beyond it ..."

Cass added, regarding Daniel Webster:

"And beyond all this he died in the faith of the Christian - humble, but hopeful -

adding another to the long list of eminent men who have searched the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and have found it to be the word and the will of God."

Seventeen States have places named for Lewis Cass, including:

  • 1 building;

  • 1 fort;

  • 1 river;

  • 2 lakes;

  • 3 parks;

  • 4 schools;

  • 9 counties;

  • 10 streets;

  • 10 cities; and

  • 30 townships.

Cass stated:

"Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion,

and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power."

The State of Michigan placed a statue of Lewis Cass in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.

The name "Michigan" is from the Ojibwa Indian word "mishigamaa" which means "large lake."

Michigan was originally governed under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which stated:

"SECTION 13. For extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics ... are erected ...

SECTION 14. ARTICLE I. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments in the said territory ...

SECTION 14. ARTICLE III. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

Michigan's first State Constitution was approved by the U.S. Congress and Michigan became the 26th State in 1837.

The Constitution of Michigan, written in 1835, stated in Article I, Bill of Rights:

First. All political power is inherent in the people ...

  1. Every person has a right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience ...

  1. The civil and religious rights, privileges and capacities of no individual shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his opinions or belief concerning matters of religion ...

  1. Every person has a right to bear arms for the defense of himself and the state."

The Constitution of the State of Michigan, 1908, stated:

"Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom ... establish this Constitution ..."

"Article II, Section 3. Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience ..."

"Article XI, Section 1. Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

As recent as 1931, the Michigan Penal Code stated (Act 328 of 1931, 750.102):

"Any person who shall wilfully blaspheme the holy name of God, by cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." (CL 1948.)

"Any person who shall use any indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." (CL 1948.)

United States District Court (1965) Western District of Michigan, in the case of Reed v. van Hoven, 237 F. Supp. 48, 51 (W.D. Mich. 1965), rendered the opinion:

"The child is not the mere creature of the state."

The Pew Survey (2018) listed Michigan as:

Christian: 73%, consisting of:

  • Protestant: 51%

  • Catholic: 18%

  • Orthodox: <1%

  • Other Christian: <1%

  • Mormon: <1%

  • Jehovah's Witness: 1%


  • Jewish: 1%

  • Muslim: 1%

  • Buddhist: 1%

  • Hindu: <1%

  • Other faiths: 1%

  • Unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic, non-religious, etc.): 22%

In the 19th and early 20th century, immigrants came to Michigan from Germany, Britain, Ireland, Poland, Belgium, Scandinavia, Finland, and Holland.

In the early 20 century, African-Americans migrated north to Michigan.

Asian immigrants came from Japan, and after the Vietnam War, several thousand Hmong came to Detroit, as featured in the 2008 Clint Eastwood film Gran Torino.

Southeast Michigan has one of the largest Middle Eastern communities outside of the Middle East, estimated at over 300,000.

Though a small number came in the late 1880s, a major wave began when the Turkish genocide of Assyrians took place in the early 1920s, causing Chaldo-Assyrians to flee Syria and Iraq to Michigan.

Most were Christian, being Chaldean, Maronite, Melkite, and Eastern Orthodox.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, fundamental Muslims began a civil war in Lebanon, even blowing up the U.S. Marine barracks, causing many Lebanese immigrated.

Many worked in the grocery, construction, and automotive industries.

As of 2016, there are approximately 160,000 Chaldeans in Michigan.

A wave of Muslim immigration to Michigan can be traced to a legend that Henry Ford, perhaps in an effort to undercut unions, met a Yemeni sailor at port, and told him his automobile factory paid five dollars a day, which was a significant amount.

The sailor spread the word, beginning an Arab Muslim chain of family migration to Detroit from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, and other countries in the Middle East.

Henry Ford hired more Arabs than African-Americans or other minorities.

An Arab Muslim community grew up around Ford's first factory in Highland Park, resulting in them building one of the first mosques in the United States.

When Ford opened his new factory in Dearborn, the Arab community moved with it.

The largest mosque in America was dedicated in Dearborn, Michigan.

With more immigrants arriving after the Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq War in 2003, the Michigan-Minnesota region has become one of the largest Arab Muslim populations outside the Middle East.

Whereas earlier generations of Muslim immigrants are more amenable to American life, dress, values, and culture, the more recent generation of immigrants include fundamental adherents.

A new Islamist tactic to reduce Christians to a subservient dhimmi status is "equity."

In classic communist "class-struggle" style, fundamental sharia practicing immigrants want to portray themselves as "victims," and project their intolerance on the tolerant host culture, accusing them of having "white privilege" and "Christian privilege."

Whereas Christians are taught to overlook offenses, they have a predisposition to being offended, and demand others give up their freedoms so as not to offend them.

Whereas Judeo-Christian beliefs gave birth to concepts of individual rights, individual conscience, individual worth and equality; fundamental Islamic beliefs are honor-shame community-based, where one's worth is predominantly as a member of the group, and if they leave it, they are subject to being ostracized, targeted, or physically threatened.

They argue that Christians are able to practice separation of church and state, but Muslims cannot, as their version of Islam is a complete, system, religiously, culturally, politically, and militarily, which cannot be separated.

Therefore, their reasoning goes, Muslim students should have favored status to bring their religion into the schools, where Christian students should not.

Acknowledging the state's tolerant founding values, Michigan Governor John Engler signed a Proclamation in 1996:

"WHEREAS, the observance of Christian Heritage Week encourages Americans to affirm our nation's spiritual roots and is a time to renew and inspire the joy we find in our faith, friends, family, and community members

WHEREAS, It is eminently fitting and proper that we observe CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK as a special time to acknowledge our many blessings and express gratitude to God, while recognizing the need for strengthening religious and moral values in our land; NOW,

THEREFORE, I, John Engler, Governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby declare November 24-30, 1996, as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in Michigan,

and I encourage the citizens of the Great Lakes States to recognize the importance of Christian beliefs and values to the life and culture of our state and nation.

Given under my hand on this first day of July in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six and of the Commonwealth one hundred and fifty-nine. John Engler, Governor."