The “Toledo War”
Tensions between Michigan and Ohio rose, resulting in conflicts that often seem comic today. The so-called Battle of Phillips Corners (April 26, 1835) provides one dramatic example. At Phillips Corners, an Ohio surveying party encountered an armed Michigan force. Guns were drawn, and the outnumbered surveyors retreated. The Michiganians either “fired a volley over the Ohioans’ heads” or fired directly at them, depending on which account you wish to believe. In any case, no one was injured. Nine Ohioans were arrested. Two of these were released for lack of evidence, and six others posted bail. The remaining Buckeye opted to remain in jail in Tecumseh, Michigan. One Michiganian later reported that deputies often had to spend time finding the man. It seems that the Ohio prisoner liked to take the jail keys and go riding with the sheriff’s daughters!
Another dramatic incident occurred in July 1835. Joseph Wood, Deputy Sheriff of Monroe County, Michigan, traveled to Toledo to arrest Two Stickney (He had an older brother named “One.”). Stickney was accused of forcibly resisting Michigan law officers. When an unarmed Wood tried to arrest Stickney, Stickney stabbed him and fled. Wood survived, but the stabbing made him the Toledo War’s only casualty. The incident greatly angered Michiganians, who raised an armed posse. The posse encountered an armed group of Ohioans, who fled across the Maumee River. The two groups exchanged gunfire, but were out of range of each other’s weapons. Later, Michigan Governor Stevens T. Mason demanded that Ohio arrest and extradite Two Stickney, who had fled the area. Ohio Governor Robert Lucas refused to comply.