James Doty, the governor of Wisconsin Territory, fashions a treaty intended to provide a permanent home west of the Mississippi River for the Dakota, the Ho Chunk, and other tribes. Tracts of land are to be set aside for each band on the left bank of the Mississippi; each tribe is to have a school, agent, blacksmith, gristmill, and sawmill. The initial treaty is negotiated with the Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Wahpekute bands; negotiations with the Mdewakanton collapse. The United States does not ratify the treaty.*
Another treaty I know too little about. Help me, Jesus! Help me, wikipedia! Help me, Library of Congress! Help me tribal websites!
Lord, may I sit and watch this treaty in the making with You? Where do you wish to go? What can You teach about Governor Doty, and the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute, and Mdewakaton nations? You are unlimited by time; what does this day of July 31, 1841 look like from the Eternal Now?
It was difficult to find a succinct summary of the Doty Treaty, but these are the pieces I see so far. Governor Doty was a Democrat who befriended Whigs. He seems less interested in party than principle. His intention for these permanent homelands may have come from within or from external motives to assuage land speculators. This is not clear to me yet.
In any case, Good Father, I bring these petitions to You who know each heart. Will You remember the benevolent intentions of Doty’s treaty to supply each nation with permanent claims to land, schools, agents, and the practical industries of his day? Will You bless his efforts to ratify this treaty at the Federal level, in spite of its failure?
I know even less about the responses of the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute, and Mdwakaton towards Governor Doty, or how much information they were privy to. As a fellow human, empathetic to these people at this time, may I bring my heart for them to You?
I begin with a general idea; trust. Will You remember the effect on these specific tribes, who have known great fluctuations in spirit from the United States? Will you remember those who negotiated with them in good faith? Will You recall those who broke their trust in the name of our states and nation?
I especially pray for their reactions to times of broken trust much like I would pray for an individual who has undergone a great trauma, neglect, or abuse. We cannot escape some horrors of life, but we can choose our response. Will You break any response of fear, bad faith, or hatred for those that may have chosen such?
Honest One, our innermost lives are in Your plain view. We have offended Your diplomacy when we betray our brother in false negotiations. We have offended You when we break another’s faith. We, too often, think of ourselves as able to make good judgments although we have such an incomplete handle on the truth, or the pain another has lived through. Will you forgive, then and today, these offenses?
Slow us down! May we embrace the pain of choosing to love; to show mercy on our enemies! Will You write “Mercy Over Judgment” over the left bank of the Mississippi, and “Love Your Enemy” over the right bank?
Was this part of Your response, Lord?
“Treaty of October 13, 1846 — A treaty of cessions, and intended acquisition of lands west of the Mississippi River for a new homeland, concluded in the City of Washington. [Proclamation, February 4, 1847; 9 Stat., 878]. James K. Polk, President.”http://www.ho-chunknation.com/available-services/heritage-preservation/cultural-resources/history-of-ho-chunk-nation/treaties-of-the-ho-chunk-nation.aspx