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Isaac E. Crary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Isaac E. Crary
Isaac E. Crary.png
11th Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byAlfred H. Hanscom
Succeeded byGeorge Washington Peck
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the Calhoun district
In office
January 3, 1842 – May 18, 1846
Preceded byCharles Olin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's at-large district
In office
January 26, 1837 – March 3, 1841
Preceded byStatehood
Succeeded byJacob M. Howard
Personal details
Isaac Edwin Crary

(1804-10-02)October 2, 1804
Preston, Connecticut
DiedMay 8, 1854(1854-05-08) (aged 49)
Marshall, Michigan
Resting placeOakridge Cemetery, Marshall, Michigan
Political party
Alma materTrinity College

Isaac Edwin Crary (October 2, 1804 – May 8, 1854) was an American politician. He was the first elected U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan.[1]

Early life

Crary was born in Preston, Connecticut, where he attended the public schools and graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in its first class in 1827.[2] He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Hartford. During this time he was also assistant editor of the New England Weekly Review. He moved to Marshall, Michigan, in 1833.


Crary was a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1835 and upon the admission of Michigan as a state into the Union, he was elected on October 5 and 6, 1835, as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress.[3] Due to Michigan’s dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip (see the Toledo War), Congress refused to accept his credentials and he was seated as a delegate until Congress admitted Michigan as a state of the Union on January 26, 1837. He was re-elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses, and served until March 3, 1841.

In 1840, during the William Henry Harrison 1840 presidential campaign, on February 14, 1840, as the House of Representatives debated funding for the Cumberland Road, Crary essayed an attack on Harrison's record as an Indian fighter, deeming him a bogus hero. Crary sat down to applause from his fellow Democrats. The next day, Ohio's Thomas Corwin, known as a humorist, rose in the House, and depicted Crary, a militia general in his home state, having to deal with the terrors of the militia's parade day, until afterwards, safe with the survivors, "your general unsheathes his trenchant blade ... and with an energy and remorseless fury he slices the watermelons that lie in heaps around him."[4] As word reached newspapers in February and March, there was much amusement across the nation; Crary failed to be renominated to Congress.[5]

He served as regent of the University of Michigan from 1837 to 1844, and with John D. Pierce wrote the education article of the 1835 constitution.[6] Crary was appointed a member of the State board of education from 1820 to 1852. Crary and Pierce planned Michigan's public school system and established a separate department of education run by a superintendent, introducing uniform schooling in Michigan.[7]

He was editor of the Marshall Expounder for several years and a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1842 to 1846, serving as speaker of the house in 1846.


Crary died in Marshall, Michigan and is interred at Oakridge Cemetery in Marshall.


Isaac E. Crary Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan[8] and Isaac E. Crary Middle School in Waterford, Michigan[9] were named in his honor.


  • Gunderson, Robert Gray (1957). The Log Cabin Campaign. Lexington, Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press. OCLC 964644.
  1. ^ "Isaac Crary and John Pierce / State School System". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "CRARY, Isaac Edwin, (1804 - 1854)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Biography of Isaac Edwin Crary". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  4. ^ Gunderson, pp. 98–99.
  5. ^ Gunderson, pp. 99–101.
  6. ^ Willis F. Dunbar and George S. May, Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (Grand Rapids: Eerdman's 1995), p. 282.
  7. ^ "Isaac Crary and John Pierce / State School System". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  8. ^ "Crary Elementary School, Detroit, MI - DETROIT CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT".
  9. ^ "Isaac e. Crary Middle School in Waterford, Michigan (MI) - Test Results, Rating, Ranking, Grades, Scores, Classes, Enrollment, Teachers, Students, and Report Card".

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's at-large congressional district

January 26, 1837 – March 3, 1841
Succeeded by

This page was last edited on 22 July 2022, at 22:47
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