June 1, 1849
“As the first territorial governor and second governor of the state, Alexander Ramsey presides over the early days of Minnesota politics. A shrewd, practical politician, he acquires Indian lands and promotes growth. Later, he becomes a U.S. senator and secretary of war, and will live into the 20th century, a symbol of Minnesota’s pioneer past.” *
Lord, I want to bless the memory of Alexander Ramsey, and acknowledge to You his humanity. The ability of politicians’ to use their power for their own good rather than the benefit of the State is well recorded throughout human history. Unfortunately, our state is no exception to this rule.
For example, Ramsey is also noted for his stern statements calling for the killing or removal of specific Native Americans, chiefly the Sioux (Dakota) people that lived in the state of Minnesota. Ramsey declared on September 9, 1862: “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” **
Lord, I acknowledge the tangle of treaties in Minnesota, the likelihood of confusion, and unjust acquisitions of Indian land. Where Indians failed to maintain right relationship with the State and the Federal government; have mercy! Where Ramsey wronged Indians in the name of Minnesota in both word and deed, we acknowledge this sin. Will You give us a heart of repentance and restoration? Will You untangle our web of treaties?