Lewis Cass (October 9, 1782 – June 17, 1866), served the U.S. as an army officer, as governor of the Michigan Territory, was President Jackson’s Secretary of War, and served as a Senator. Lewis Cass negotiated the 1821 Treaty of Chicago, and later enforced the Potawatomi Trail of Death. Lewis Cass was a slave owner, and a proponent of “popular sovereignty,” a principle which would have allowed whites in northern territories to choose to own slaves.
Lewis Cass is commemorated in many ways across the state, with cities, counties, schools and such being named after him, as well as a statue of Cass in the Capitol. Recent undertakings have begun to reexamine and reshape his impact and legacy. For example, in 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer removed the name of Lewis Cass from a state office building.