Wisconsin v. Michigan

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Wisconsin v. Michigan
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 2, 1936
Decided March 16, 1936
Full case name The State of Wisconsin v. The State of Michigan
Citations 297 U.S. 547 (more)
The boundary between Michigan and Wisconsin is amended as stated
Court membership
Chief Justice
Charles E. Hughes
Associate Justices
Willis Van Devanter · James C. McReynolds
Louis Brandeis · George Sutherland
Pierce Butler · Harlan F. Stone
Owen J. Roberts · Benjamin N. Cardozo
Case opinions
Majority Unanimous

Two Supreme Court cases, Wisconsin v. Michigan, 295 U.S. 455 (1935) and Wisconsin v. Michigan, 297 U.S. 547 (1936), settled a border dispute between Wisconsin and Michigan.

Lake Superior to Lac Vieux Desert[edit]

An original description of the portion of the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary in 1838 was based on inaccurate maps.

The Green Bay Channel and Island[edit]

The 1836 boundary description described the line through northwest Lake Michigan as “the most usual ship channel”. This description needed clarification as two routes were in use. A 1936 Supreme Court decision chose the northernmost ship channel, in which Michigan lost the intervening water area and four islands: Plum, Detroit, Washington, and Rock. A similar case was brought to the Supreme Court in 1926 but was dismissed. See Michigan v. Wisconsin 270 U.S. 295 (1926)

See also[edit]


  • The Evolution of Michigan's Legal Boundary, Michigan State University Map Library. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  • The Disputed Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Louise P. Kellogg, from the Wisconsin Magazine of History, 1917. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  • Wisconsin-Upper Michigan State Boundary Surveys, William C. Rohde, Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  • Surveyor's Tree Blaze: Surveyor's tree blaze from the 1841 expedition to lay out the boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan, found at Trout Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin. Wisconsin History Magazine. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  • Captain Cram's reports were printed in: Message from the President of the United States, in compliance with a resolution from the Senate in relation to the survey to ascertain and designate the boundary-line between the state of Michigan and the territory of Wiskonsin. Senate Document no. 151, 26th Congress, 2d session. Washington, D.C. : Blair & Rives, Printers, 1841
  • United States Army. Corps of Topographical Engineers. Report of the Secretary of War: communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate, a copy of the report of the survey of the boundary between the state of Michigan and the territory of Wisconsin. Senate Document no. 170, 27th Congress, 2d session. Washington, D.C. : Thomas Allen, Printers, 1842
  • Martin, Lawrence. "The Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Case in the Supreme Court of the United States, 1923-26" in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, v. 20, no. 3 (September 1930), p. 106-163.