19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Miller Becomes Governor

Unknown-18

Jan 11, 1864 to Jan 8, 1866
Stephen Miller takes office as the state’s fourth governor.

His military career during the Civil War and Ramsey’s support assured Miller of a gubernatorial victory in 1863. He was the first of several Civil War veterans to serve as governor of Minnesota. Although lacking a college degree himself, he valued higher education and advocated generous appropriations to state normal schools and the University of Minnesota. In his final address to the legislature, he strongly but unsuccessfully urged adoption of a black suffrage amendment to the state constitution. Miller chose not to run for re-election.*

Today I will again resist the temptation to sum up Stephen Miller’s life based on his known accomplishments, and listen between the lines with You. There’s much to write about his life: as a flour inspector, as a war hero, as punisher of Indians, as Civil War hero, and as a great orator. Yet, You have me focus on this obscure fact:
“Miller’s interest in politics also led him to edit and publish a ‘leading organ’ of the Whig party, the “Pennsylvania Telegraph” for several years before moving to Minnesota in 1858.” http://wjon.com/st-cloud-resident-stephen-miller-nominated-for-governor-on-this-date-in-central-minnesota-history/

Lord, what is the spiritual heritage of the Whigs? What was in their heart and the heart of Gov. Miller?
“Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:
Democrats stood for the ‘sovereignty of the people’ as expressed in popular demonstrations, constitutional conventions, and majority rule as a general principle of governing, whereas Whigs advocated the rule of law, written and unchanging constitutions, and protections for minority interests against majority tyranny.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_(United_States)
Without doing major research, I see this; men like Miller wanted to see consistency and impartiality in government. The law for one is the law for all. No one is above the law, nor under the law.

Eternal Father, I ask You to bless this notion of equality of opportunity in Miller’s heart. I ask that You bless the notion that there should be neither a tyranny of the majority or of the minority. That we are humble and peaceable equals as citizens. Will you forgive how we have diminished our neighbor through political manipulations? How we may have offended Your Sovereignty by discounting our brothers’ and sisters’ beliefs and views?
Again, thank you for Governor Miller. May his successes be rewarded, and his misuse of authority be forgiven. Thank you for his heart to include Black Americans as functional citizens! May the works of justice be remembered more and more as Your return approaches!

“STEPHEN MILLER, the fourth governor of Minnesota, was born in Carroll, Pennsylvania on January 17, 1816. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. Miller entered into a career in public service in 1853, serving as the prothonotary of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, a position he held two years. He also was appointed in 1855, as the flour inspector of Philadelphia. In 1858, he moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he continued his path in politics. He served as an 1860 Republican presidential elector for Minnesota. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army and rose through the ranks, becoming brigadier general of volunteers by the time of his discharge. After his military service, Miller secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 3, 1863. During his tenure, assistance was promoted for impoverished soldiers; funding for state schools was advocated for; and troops were raised for the ongoing war. After declining to run for reelection, Miller left office on January 8, 1866. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, a position he held from 1873 to 1876. He also served as an 1876 presidential elector-at-large for Minnesota. Governor Stephen Miller passed away on August 18, 1881, and was buried in the Worthington Cemetery in Worthington, Minnesota.” http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_miller_stephen.html

For more specific information regarding Governor Miller, see link below:
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail?ID=13988

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

Advertisements
Standard
19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Swift Becomes Governor

Unknown-17

Jul 10, 1863 to Jan 11, 1864
Henry A. Swift takes office as the state’s third governor. Described by peers as gentle, self-effacing, and ambivalent toward politics, Henry Swift was Minnesota’s third governor for less than a year, completing the second term of Alexander Ramsey, who had been elected United States Senator. With little time or apparent inclination to effect major change, this un-elected governor concentrated on assuring the welfare of Civil War veterans.*

It’s difficult to ascertain which information is critical to convey about any historical event, let alone a single human life. On this day, I chose to scan the data I could easily find about Governor Swift, but remain listening to what the Holy Spirit prompted me to underscore.

This is what I’ve learned about him so far: he was very capable, he did his duty, and then he moved on. Below is an example, not unusual in party politics, where there is a hesitancy to take leadership.

“Republican party leaders nominated Swift for Sibley County’s state Senate seat, after another candidate refused the offer.” (Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 2, 1993, p. 16)
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail?ID=15034

G-d Almighty, thank for those, like Swift, who do their part and then get out of the way. Thank you for leaders uncorrupted by power and authority. Thank you for his example of humble governing. May his successes be amplified, his failures forgiven, and his generations be blessed by Jesus’ authority. Amen!

“HENRY A. SWIFT, the third governor of Minnesota, was born in Ravenna, Ohio on March 23, 1823. His education was attained at Western Reserve College, where he graduated in 1842 with high honors. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1845. Swift entered a career in public service in 1846, serving as the assistant clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position he held until 1847. He also served as chief clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1848. After moving to Minnesota in 1853, Swift established a career in the real estate and insurance business. He returned to politics in 1862, winning election to the Minnesota State Senate, a position in which he also served as senate president. As senate president, Swift assumed the office of lieutenant governor in 1863. On July 10, 1863, Governor Alexander Ramsey resigned from office, and Swift, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the state’s population increased; and a treaty with the Chippewa Indians was negotiated that resulted in the acquisition of substantial land. After declining to run for a term of his own, Swift left office on January 11, 1864. He later secured an appointment as registrar of the St. Peter Land Office, a position he held from 1865 to 1869. Governor Henry A. Swift passed away on February 25, 1869, and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna, Ohio.”
http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_swift_henry.html

For more specific information regarding Governor Swift, see the link below:
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gov017.xml

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

Standard
19th Century, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government, war

Taoyateduta (Little Crow) Killed

Unknown-16

http://www.usdakotawar.org

Jul 3, 1863
Dakota leader Taoyateduta, who fled to Canada after the battle of Wood Lake, is shot and killed by Nathan Lamson near Hutchinson, Minnesota. Taoyateduta’s son Wowinape later described his death: “He was shot the second time when he was firing his own gun. The ball struck the stock of his gun, and then hit him in the side near the shoulders. That was the shot that killed him. He told me that he was killed, and asked for water, which I gave him. He died immediately after that.” Lamson is awarded a $500 bounty by the state of Minnesota.*

Father, when You think of Little Crow, do You think of him as a protective elder of his people, or a man guided by vengeance? How and where do we draw the line between self-preservation and self-denial? Taoyateduta fulfilled Your words “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52 http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

You are the only faithful and true judge. Will You visit this event, remove its curses and judgments on the ancestries of Little Crow and Nathan Lamson? In the future generations of Minnesotans, will You bless this broken relationship between protector and avenger within? Will You give wisdom any future leaders who must make this heavy choice?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

Standard
19th Century, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government

Bounties and Punitive Expeditions

bloodyscalp-954a0

“The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.” The Daily Republic, Winona, MN, September 24, 1863

The state of Minnesota places bounties—ranging from $25 to $200—on the scalps of Dakota people. Nathan Lamson receives $500 from the state for killing Taoyateduta (Little Crow).

Governor Alexander Ramsey orders punitive expeditions into Dakota Territory to hunt down the Dakota people. Two forces totaling more than 7,000 soldiers are formed under generals John Pope and Alfred Sully. When the Dakota hear of approaching soldiers they flee their camps, leaving valuable supplies. Most of the fleeing Dakota are women and children. Many die from starvation and exposure over the winter.*

Jesus, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that my state had bounties on scalps, but I’m a product of the 20th century where we only take off the heads of our political opponents verbally or figuratively. It made me curious as to why and who began the practice in the first place. This is a brief snippet of what I found.
“Scalping–cutting off the scalp of a dead enemy as proof of his demise– was common practice throughout North America before colonists got here. It is described in Indian oral histories, and preserved scalps were found at archaeological sites. Colonists learned to scalp enemies from the Indians. (The European custom was to cut off people’s heads for proof/trophies, originally, but scalps are easier to transport and preserve, so the colonists quickly switched to the Indian method.) Once they picked up the technique, the English did a tremendous amount of scalping, both of natives and of rival Frenchmen.” http://www.native-languages.org/iaq12.htm

Will You forgive Alexander Ramsey, John Pope, Alfred Sully and their expedition into Dakota territory, (now North Dakota and South Dakota) to pursue the Dakota’s out of Minnesota? Release us from the bondage of this inheritance. Will You forgive the understandable bitterness that has entered the hearts of the Dakota people, as You forgive those among their tribes who taught Minnesotans this practice? Will You give them the grace to remove this hook of the enemy from their hearts? I want to live to see Your blessing of the Dakota people! May we honor You, instead, by keeping trophies of conflicts resolved peaceably, and build displays of unmerited favor shown among all families of nations that make up this place.

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

Standard