The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed as "Township 4 North Range 2 West" in February 1827 in what was then dense forest.

It was the last of the county's townships to be surveyed, and the land was not offered for sale until October 1830.

Those who stayed quickly renamed the area "Lansing Township" in honor of their home village in New York.

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Life Magazine quoted Rajje's trainer, William Pratt, as shouting at the scene, "Damn these people [...] They wouldn't leave her alone." Author Nelson Algren cites the injustice and sad end of the pursuit of "Raji, the Pixie-Eared Elephant" in continuity with the ambush of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in his introduction to a 1968 biography of the outlaws.

This figure includes two 425 Agreements with Alaiedon Township and Meridian Township, and the four 425 Agreements with Delta Township since 2000.

The second agreement consisted of the temporary transfer of 41 acres (17 ha) in Alaiedon Township for the expansion of the headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Company in 2013 bringing the area either fully or conditionally under control of the city to 39.69 square miles (102.80 km Under Michigan law, 425 Agreements are only temporary land sharing agreements, and do not count as official annexations.

The Census Bureau, however, for statistical purposes does count these as annexations.

In April 1848, the legislature then gave the settlement the name of "Lansing".) in area was incorporated as a city.

The boundaries of the original city were Douglas Avenue to the north, Wood and Regent streets to the east, Mount Hope Avenue to the south, and Jenison Avenue to the west. Lansing began to grow steadily over the next two decades with the completion of the railroads through the city, a plank road, and the completion of the current capitol building in 1878.

Since the 2010 Census, the city has entered into two additional 425 Agreements.

The first agreement consisted of the temporary transfer of 1,888.2 acres of Lansing Capital Region International Airport to the city from De Witt Township in 2011.

Olds started his new REO Motor Car Company, which would last in Lansing for another 70 years.

Olds would be joined by the less successful Clarkmobile around 1903.

It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County.