I hope you’ll join me this Thursday, 10/25, to celebrate the 201st birthday of Stevens T. Mason, who led Michigan’s stubborn charge to statehood and became the youngest state governor in American history. In this, Michigan’s 175th year, we toast the memory of the original spitfire Detroiter and embrace the future of Capitol Park, the tiny triangle of downtown Detroit where Mason is buried and where the state capitol once stood.
We’ll gather in Capitol Park around 6:00 pm, where I will deliver some salutary remarks at Mason’s grave. At sunset (around 6:30), we’ll head over to Sky Bar, in the basement of the David Stott Building, for a champagne toast (!), drinks at your leisure, and a casual discussion with Jack Dempsey, president of the Michigan Historical Commission and author of Michigan and the Civil War: A Great and Bloody Sacrifice, and Don Faber, author of The Toledo War: The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry and just-published The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics.
Sure to be discussed: Detroit in Mason’s era; the fight for Michigan statehood and (of course) the Toledo War; Mason as myth and as man, and the complicated legacy he left us; and the enduring relevance of Mason’s life in contemporary Detroit, especially in Capitol Park.
You all know how I feel about Stevens T. Mason: I can’t help but lose my heart to any hotspur with the bald audacity to go toe-to-toe with Andrew Jackson. And I’ve been waiting, just waiting!, for someone to write a Mason biography for today. I’m thrilled that Don Faber, one of my history writing heroes, has done it. Am I throwing this party just so I can hang out with him? Who can say?
Join us for drinks, history, and discourse. Stay to watch the Tigers game. You can RSVP on Facebook.
See you there,
THE NIGHT TRAIN