19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Hutchinson Founded by Singing Family Nov 19, 1855  

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Wishing to start an utopian community, three Hutchinson brothers—Asa, Judson, and John—travel west to Minnesota. On the Crow River they help found the town of Hutchinson and commit it to the values of education, equality, and temperance. The popular Hutchinson Family Singing Troupe promotes these same principles as they tour.

Abby, John, Judson, and Asa—4 of the 13 brothers and sisters—are the Hutchinson Family Singers. Called “the best known troupe of family singers in the country,” the Hutchinsons sing and compose songs about American life that often carry a social message.*

Lord, thanks for the memories of this family. Thank you for their persistence in using their gift of song and entertainment for good, rather than their own fame. May You release many of this generation to be so moved and committed to You! Thank you for the good You do for us through both the enjoyment of making and listening to music!

Father, forgive the judgments we’ve made towards each other on the basis of position towards alcohol. Especially during this era of temperance, Minnesotans who drink have judged non-drinkers, and vice versa. Will You forgive our disrespect of the positions of others and their cultures of origin? For example, the Germans of southern Minnesota had no conflict or fear of drinking beer. Many agreed with Martin Luther’s famous quote that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Will You give us the power to not use alcohol abusively in this generation, but to savor it properly? Will You give us faith that You are our brother’s keeper, so we don’t have to jerk his chains?

Will You release us from the bitter roots of alcoholism, and the effect it has had on the individuals, families, cities, counties, tribes, and nations that make up our state? Will You release from any residue of the self-righteous judgments of those who led the temperance movement from a heart of legalism and pride over real love for their neighbors? Sometimes we do good with a bad heart. Will You give us humility to deal with the sensitive spots in the conscience of our fellow man according to Your merciful example?

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;” Isaiah 42:3

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

“Song of Hiawatha” Published Nov 10, 1855

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never visited Minnesota, but his epic poem The Song of Hiawatha immortalized the Minnesota forests, prairies, and waters he saw only in his imagination. Longfellow began Hiawatha on June 25, 1854, he completed it on March 29, 1855, and it was published November 10, 1855.

The famous story still attracts tourists from around the country to see, in the words of the poem,
“Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley.”*

This poem could be revelatory of the best and worst aspects of pop culture…even if it was popular 160 years ago. A cynical synopsis? A man who never visited Minnesota or lived with the Ojibwe whose language he borrowed, wrote a pop lyric that morphed and mutated their culture with the East Coast Iroquois to the tune of the “Kalevela” of Finland?! Of course it became a smash hit, and the listeners accepted it as the truth!

I’m not a cynic, Jesus. So today I wish to focus on that which gives life in this poem by Longfellow. I want to practice seeing the potential in historical works, rather than judging their limitations according to the standards of the present.

Longfellow sought to learn real Indian languages, and wasn’t afraid to interact with real Indians. He invited Kahge-ga-gah-bowh, an Ojibwe Chief, to his home, and took the time to meet Blackhawk, Sac, and Fox Indians in Boston.

If the poet saw a connection between tribes of the East Coast of North America with those of the Midwest, can we forgive him? Artists are allowed to make connections where others do not see them. We can find fault in their “improper” labeling of a small branch of a larger concept, and stubbornly miss their heart.

As a drummer and percussionist, I seek to learn each new ethnic music from the ground up with great respect for its traditions. However, there is new life in breaking the rules, once one knows them. If one hears a connection between Celtic music and samba, then merging them into a new style is natural.

Perhaps that is the explanation for Longfellow merging the sound and rhythms of Indians with the heartbeat of Finland? Maybe he borrowed an interesting “drumbeat” from Suomi poems to express what he felt about Native Americans? In any case:
“The Song of Hiawatha was written in trochaic tetrameter, the same meter as Kalevala, the Finnish epic compiled by Elias Lönnrot from fragments of folk poetry. Longfellow had learned some of the Finnish language while spending a summer in Sweden in 1835.” Calhoun, Charles C. (2004). Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life. Boston: Beacon Press.

Father, will You bless Longfellow, Kahnge-ga-gah-bowh, and each Indian who shared his story? Will You continue to bless those who reach out to know a culture very different than their own? Will You honor those who see Your unyielding imagination expressed through all the families of nations?

Thank You for Longfellow’s example that we can create beauty beyond the confining aspects of our culture. Show us ways to “include, but not be limited to” the legalism of our traditions. Thank You, First Poet, for drawing the romance from hearts of stone! Thank You for the possibility of fusing peoples together when living under grace! May we never tire of creating, merging, or reaching to describe Your beauty mirrored in the faces of fellow humans! With this heart and mind, will You bless our state?

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Leech Lake Reservation Created 1855 to 1864  

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1855: The Mississippi, Pillager, and Winibigoshish bands cede all of north-central Minnesota for reservations at Leech and Cass lakes, Winibigoshish, Mille Lacs, Sandy Lake, Rice Lake, Gull Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Lake Pokegama.

1863-4: The Pillager, Winibigoshish, and Mississippi bands are moved off of the reservations established by the 1855 treaty and are concentrated at Leech Lake.*

As I ponder the creation of this reservation today, I’m struck by the names involved. Often,what we call ourselves we become. Will You show me, kind Holy Spirit, how to pray for this moment 160 years ago?
I found a few clues about the place-names from Wikipedia.
“On early maps, Leech Lake is identified in French as “lac Sangsue” (Bloodsucker Lake), which was then translated into English to its current name; its French name was translated from the Ojibwe “” (lake abundant with bloodsuckers).” Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 90

Below are the names of the actual signees of this agreement
George W. Manypenny, Commissioner
Tug-o-na-ke-shick, or Hole in the Day, his x mark
Que-we-sans-ish, or Bad Boy, his x mark
Waud-e-kaw, or Little Hill, his x mark
I-awe-showe-we-ke-shig, or Crossing Sky, his x mark
Petud-dunce, or Rat’s Liver, his x mark
Mun-o-min-e-kay-shein, or Rice Maker, his x mark
Aish-ke-bug-e-koshe, or Flat Mouth, his x mark
Be-sheck-kee, or Buffalo, his x mark
Nay-bun-a-caush; or Young Man’s Son, his x mark
Mah-yah-ge-way-we-durg, or The Chorister, his x mark
Kay-gwa-daush, or The Attempter, his x mark
Caw-cang-e-we-gwan, or Crow Feather, his x mark
Show-baush-king, or He that Passeth Under Everything, his x mark
Chief delegates of the Mississippi bands.
Maug-e-gaw-bow, or Stepping Ahead, his x mark
Mi-gi-si, or Eagle, his x mark
Kaw-be-mub-bee, or North Star, his x mark
Chiefs and delegates of the Pillager and Lake Winnibigoshish bands.
Executed in the presence of:
Henry M. Rice
Geo. Culver
D. B. Herriman, Indian Agent
J. E. Fletcher
John Dowling
T. A. Warren, United States Interpreter
Paul H. Beaulieu, Interpreter
Edward Ashman, Interpreter
C. H. Beaulieu, Interpreter
Peter Roy, Interpreter
Will P. Ross, Cherokee Nation
Riley Keys
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/treaty-of-february-22-1855.htm

Jesus, will you forgive the judgments and separations made in these events? Of the United States representatives to those from Minnesota to Mississippi to Pillager to Winibigoshish; all are full of judgments and counter-judgments. Will You free the lands of Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Winibigoshish, Mille Lacs, Sandy Lake, Rice Lake, and Lake Pokegama?

Lord, this day, I ask You to co-sign this loan arrangement of Your property! I lift all these names to You. Where they were living in good faith, may they be blessed in perpetuity! Where they have defaulted on the use of Your property, or misused any descendants of these names, we ask for Your unmerited favor.

You are the Host of this planet, and we are often behaving like its leeches; we only know how to live off the host! Will You add Your name to balance the deficits of our accounts today Infinite-One-Who-Gives-Blood-So-Others-May-Live? May You bring us to full restoration in these relationships, and fully reunite us with this portion of nature!

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

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