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 Douglass Houghton

Douglass Houghton

Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, USA
Death 13 Oct 1845 (aged 36)
Eagle Harbor, Keweenaw County, Michigan, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section L, Lot 5
Memorial ID 6578212 · View Source
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Detroit Mayor, Scientist. He was Michigan's first geologist and naturalist, coming to Detroit in 1830 at the request of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass as well as John Biddle and Lucius Lyon, the Territorial Delegates to Congress. In 1831, he joined his friend Henry Rowe Schoolcraft on a federal expedition to discover the source of the Mississippi River. Not only did he report on new plants discovered along the difficult canoe voyage, but he also gave smallpox vaccinations to hundreds of Native Americans. His reports regarding the copper regions of Keweenaw played an important role in the economic development of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. During his absence in the wilderness in 1841, he received word that he had been elected mayor of Detroit, an office he served in in 1842. In 1844, he came very close to being elected Governor during another absence in the northern wilds. On October 13, 1845, he and four others lost their lives en route from Eagle Harbor to Eagle River in the Keweenaw Peninsula when a sudden storm overturned their boat. His body was found the following spring on the Lake Superior shoreline and was brought back to Detroit.

Bio by: Mark Gade

Family Members



Drowned in Lake Superior in the cause of Science.



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mark Gade
  • Added: 6 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6578212
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Douglass Houghton (21 Sep 1809–13 Oct 1845), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6578212, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .