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February 07, 1957 - Image 17

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* Thursday February 7 1957 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seventeen
THE RECORD OF A SHIP
It Can Even Cast Its Spell on Activities of the Land
(Continsd fomtPace 5) lake frontiers, together with original launthing site at Fre, r ISTORY recoids little of note on the Gre Lakes the Wolverine
Canada's lukewain senforcement Pennsylvania. The Navy little ex- on the success of her immedi- was able to operate free of these
government was going to tolerate of the neutrality las, became ripe pected her guns would be so still ate sueessor for whom she ws difficulties Destroyers were re-
a apparently independent sover- for Confedvratt plots, and the when it built her in 1844 to answer bltd to change h And leased for more important tasks
eignty within its own boundaries. Michigan was ordered to patrol Gret Britain's increased arms- and it vas posible to free use of
lake borders and scare off Con- n nt on the Great Lakes. for a time it looked as though the radio faciltties for instruction and
Prompted by uneasiness and the federate raids, thwarting trans- Renamed the Wolverine in 1905 State of Michigan's intimate as- step-by + ep criticism of tuture
coming presidential election, Presi- portation of arms from Canada to when a new Michigan was christ- sociation with the United States pilots.
dent Fillmore placed the Michigan rebel installations. The Iron Ship ened, the Iron Ship was used as a Navy would die with the ship's| Through taining on the Wol-
at the disposal of the United as the only arind sessel the sltrainig ship for the Naval Re- stow death at Erie. verine, more than 10,000 pilots
But the traditions of service by learned the knack of landing on
States District Attorney in Detroit he old Michigan received a short and taking off of a carrier. Deck
for purposes of re-establishing the rebirth in the form of a lake crews also practiced launching
sovereignty of the government excursion steamer. and retrieving procedures and ap-
over the Islands. Meekly surren- The new Wolverine, like her prentice landing signal officers
dering to the Detroit District At- dy ing ancestor, contributed signi- acquired necessary experience in
torney, the leaders of the Mormon ficantly to a new segment of the bringing in carrier-based planes
community, including St. James Navy's development: naval avia- for safe landings,
himself, were brought to Detroit tion. Athe original namesake of
for trial, where, upon their arrival, the State was a pioneer develop- N spite of its valuable wartime
the District Attorney proclaimed _ men of iron-hulled ships, the service, the Wolverine carried
he had "just returned from the new Wolverine provided valuable on only a short, but glorious, battle
Kingdom of God with the Prophet training for participants in the to save the name of its predeces-
of the Lord and the Saints in lit- ',first large-scale use of Navy air- sor. The only tribute "o its faithful
bo." craft. service was a $46,000 bid, and the
Despite the DA's courageous and' , two ships again shared something
triumphant announcement, all the THE old Michigan remedied in common - oblivion as melted
trial proved was that the accused SECOND 'USS WOLVERINE' many of the problems created scrap.
were Mormons; they were return- ... carried on the long standing tradition by wood-hulled ships and the dif- It is interesting to speculate
ed to their Island Kingdom, ficulties involved in navigation of whether the old side-wheeler and
Nasy sad to check these plao serve until 1923, when site was iron-hulled ones, just as the Wol- the converted excursion steamer
ETERNAL hostility was tempo- Among the many duties the permanently anchored at Erie. verine remedied many of the war- have been fated to still further
rarily allayed, but the auto- Michigan was required to perform She ws loaned as a relic to the time problems involved in training participation in the development
cratic Prophet was having his own was the guarding of Johnson's Is- City of Erie in 1927 and soon be- naval pilots, of naval power Perhaps some of
internal struggles. One of the few l came a hunting ground for van- Prevalence of many enemy sub- the steel being used for the con-
capable members of the Kgdomland in the mouth of Lake Eries dals and sightseers. A 1948-49 marines and torpedoes in the sea struction of the St. Lawrence Sea-
eventually decided that the only Sandusky Bay. Here 2,700 Con- campaign to raise $300,000 for her would have necessitated destroyer way contains the remains of the
way to get rid of Strang and his federate prisoners of war were restoration failed despite pleas protection for training activities. deceased ships,
fantastic plays upon the credulity confined. And here was the pivotal from the late Governor Sigler and The necessity for radio silence to If so, it is an appropriate tribute
of the "saints" was to assassinate point for a southern plot, hatched former Senator Ferguson, a cam- prevent detection would have also to these historic servants of the
him. Having made this decision, in September, 1864, which would paign receiving commendation made night operations impossible. Great Lakes-that they should
the plotter schemed to have the have included the capture of the from President Truman; the Wol- The solution was found in the play a part in linking the waters
Michigan dock at St. James on Michigan, release of the prisoners, verine was towed to the scrap pile conversion of the excursion steam- on which they floated with the
June 16, 1856, in front of his eventual burning of Sandusky and in June, 1949. er into an aircraft carrier. Based rest of the world's water.
store. There two other members Cleveland and liberation of thou-
of the Kingdom lay in wait as an sands of prisoners in Caumbus.
officer of the ship was dispatched all designed as a link in furthering
to summon Strang on board, As he Confederate plots.
approached the pier, Strang was Realizing the capture of the
shot in the head from behind, the Michigan (then carrying a battery
assassinators racing up to the ship of 15 guns) was a necessity, the
to plead for protection which they plotters boarded and took control
readily received. Even the sheriff of a small passenger steamer, the
was the seat, was refused custody ing through the waters between
ofthe murderers, who left the Detroit and Sandusky. Had he ___
ship t Mackinac where they were[
lionized by the residents for stemerevern, she probably would
Endestroyed the Kingdom of the have been blown out of the water,
Earth. since the Michigan's officers had
Thoue such names r esa as been notified of the raid. O n O ur C om plete Stock
St. James, Font Lake, Gennsaret,O n ur C m l t S oc
Galilee, and the King's Highway,
no Mormons have lived on Beaver BUT as the Confederates became
Island since the summer of 1856. aware of the di iculty in at of O uterw ear
' tac~~king the iron ship with hat-)o O u e w a
chets and pistols, they mutinied
OUTSIDE of the part she played against their leaders and the plot
in the St. James episode, the exploded with no assistance from
Michigan's activities were confined the Michigans guns
from the time of her launching Nor did the ship a suns fire once
Navy personnel and relieving other again occupied with general
-Great Lakes vessels in distress peaceful activities, which came
With the outbreak of war be- to a climax when she was placed
tween the states, the unguarded out of commission in 1912 near her, , __ s*

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