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Lewis Cass (1782 - 1866)

Territorial Governor 1813-1818, 1820, 1822-1823, 1825-1826, 1828-1829. Democrat from New Hampshire, he rose to brigadier general in the War of 1812 and was appointed Michigan's second territorial governor.

He steered Michigan to statehood and designed the state's Coat of Arms. He founded the Historical Society of Michigan in 1828. President Andrew Jackson appointed him Secretary of War in 1831 and later minister to France. He was the Democratic candidate for president in 1848, but he lost to Zachary Taylor.

Later, he became President James Buchanan's Secretary of State, but resigned when Buchanan refused to respond decisively to South Carolina's secession. Interment: Elmwood Cemetery in downtown Detroit.

Artist: Thomas McCleland (?). This portrait painted around 1830-32 is referred to in the Michigan Territorial Laws on June 29, 1832, where Thomas McCleland is paid an amount for this full length portrait of Lewis Cass. During the restoration of the Capitol Building in 1989, this portrait of Lewis Cass was x-rayed by the Detroit Institute of Arts. The results of the x-ray showed a head that strongly resembles President George Washington's head, under the head of Lewis Cass. An expert involved in the restoration said there was an abundance of portraits of George Washington and artists used some of them for other portraits, as was apparently the case with this portrait. This is a fair tradeoff, since a statue of George Washington stands in front of the Lewis Cass Building.