Jan 9, 1889 to Jan 4, 1893
William R. Merriam becomes the state’s 11th governor on January 9, 1889.
As governor, Merriam was a thrifty executive who was more interested in limiting spending than in legislative reform. The most notable legacy of his administration was the adoption of the Australian ballot system, which allows citizens to vote in comparative privacy.**
Thank You for the work Merriam did for the state of Minnesota. Thank You for a governor that limited spending, made voting private, and also helped establish the census.Remember the good done by this man and bless his memory!
Jesus, our election season is upon us, but not past us. I dread the level of contempt and contention within the major parties! I dread that we are so stratified that we tolerate a party system, or still believe it necessary to our liberties. Read John Adams’ quote below:
“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”**
I concur with President Adams, this a major root of bitterness that unnecessarily divides our society.
As your child, I acknowledge to You that we have judged our brothers’ and sisters’ political and leadership choices. We argue without the intent of sharpening and testing ideas. We banter and bash each other into compliance, but do not serve each other in submission. The strong win, and the weak lose or are simply silenced.
We have offended Your righteous order by choosing separation from our “naive”, “heartless”, “brainless”, “racist”, “sexist”, “classist”, “homophobic”, “Islamophobic”, neighbors. We want external peace when we have little or no internal peace. I ask that You choose to remember these words of judgment no more. Forgive our one word dismissals of our neighbors. Today I ask that we as a people will receive words from You to heal our personal relationships, and overflow to our state.
Most of the time, most of us would rather shout down our verbal opponent, shame him or her into compliance, than dare ask ‘Why’? Would it be so wrong to see it from an opponent’s view: “Why do you believe “X” will benefit our state? Please tell me about your views.” I ask You the “Why?” question Lord! Why are we so stubborn to cling to our own ideas, and fail to trust enough to allow them to be strengthened by scrutiny or testing?
We have hidden our hearts from each other Lord! We have held on to anger and fear and resentment. We have loved winning the argument through emotional manipulation! We have loved winning the argument through framing the meaning of facts or even words! Will You free us from this heritage of division that comes through the channel of political party and elections?
I thank You for the freedom of conscience that we inherit because Governor Merriam chose to introduce the Australian system of ballots cast in secret. We are protected, in the voting booth at least, from scorn and forces of external manipulation! We can anonymously reveal our inward thoughts! Again, bless this freedom, bless its Australian heritage, and the memory of Governor William R. Merriam!
*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! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
***More on Governor Merriam? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rush_Merriam