18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, Agriculture, farming, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Mexican, migrant workers, Minnesota, omnipresent history, World War I

Sugar Beets and Migrant Labor 1917-1919

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Beta Vulgaris

1917 to 1919

“Labor shortages in the U.S. during World War I and political unrest in Mexico draw many Mexican workers north to the sugar-beet fields of the Red River and Minnesota River valleys. Many return year after year; others move to the Twin Cities to find permanent jobs.” *

As a backstory, the sugar beet came to prominence in 18th century Silesia through experiments subsidized by Frederick William III (the King of Prussia) to extract sugar. These findings were furthered by scientists Andreas Marggraf and his star pupil Franz Karl Achard. Their work led to the selection of ‘Weiße Schlesische Zuckerrübe’, meaning white Silesian sugar beet, and boasted about a 6% sugar content. **

The Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota and  eastern North Dakota had perfect conditions for the growing of this specis of beta vulgaris. Mexican migrant workers entered the scene just as local sugar beet growers and the American Crystal Sugar Company had need for their hand-harvested crop. The Great War had commandeered local labor, leaving room for displaced Mexicans.

Jim Norris, a local expert on these relations, stated the following in his book “North for the Harvest”:

“Though popular convention holds that corporations and landowners invariably exploited migrant workers, (the author) reveals that these relationships were more complex. The company often clashed with growers, sometimes while advocating for workers. And many growers developed personal ties with their migrant workers, while workers themselves often found ways to leverage better pay and working conditions from the company.” ***

And so, Lord of the Harvest, we find ourselves in a triune relationship; the company, the farmers, and the  field workers. We invite Your illumination of these events, and Your insights. Come and lead our meditation!

We thank You for beta vulgaris and the sweet taste it brings to our lives. We thank You for the research done for centuries that yielded such fine results, and provided an alternative to sugar brought into existence by the slavery of the sugar cane fields! We thank You that You provided opportunity for Mexicans amidst the tragedy of the Great War!

Next, we thank You for Your example of a three-sided relationship creating balance. Your roles incorporate our experience of simultaneously living out three roles, yet being one person. We are mothers, daughters, and wives simultaneously! We are fathers, sons, and husbands at the same instant! 

Therefore, we can find security that companies, farmers, and fieldworkers can play three roles that serve one united purpose in sugar beets or the production of any commodity. Will You be the guardian of these relationships in Minnesota? Will You forgive our offenses to You in our imbalances in these relationships? 

Will You forgive us as field workers for negating the needs of our farmers to produce results without fail? Will You forgive our farmers their dehumanization of laborers? Will You forgive those that own the company of their drive to power and market position? Will You forgive us as farmers and field workers our fearful judgments of Wall Street? We do not know the pain of finding a buyer or fair price for huge quantities of a perishable product. Have mercy on us! 

May we find sweetness in being a three-legged stool! May we see the imbalance should we remove one leg of our relationships by excluding Your Holy Opinion! May we be one in purpose regardless of position: migrant, farmer, or president!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet

***Dig deeper on the impact of migrant workers in Minnesota and the Midwest in this excellent book. “Mexican Workers, Growers, and the Sugar Beet Industry” by Jim Norris

http://muse.jhu.edu/book/5421

 

 

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18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, African American, Anglican, Canada, Christian, education, Evangelism, Great Britain, History, Indian, Intercession, Jesus, justice, Lutheran, Minnesota, Native Americans

Church Missionary Society founded in Minnesota

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August 25, 1851
“The Church Missionary Society for Minnesota was founded on August 25, 1851.

G-d, I’m not entirely sure which Church or who composed this society, but most likely it was the work of Josiah Pratt who dedicated his life to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel. Minnesota Territory, in this context, qualified as the extremity and meeting place of Western civilization and North American Native cultures. The Society reached out to Canadian and Midwestern First Nations through a branch known as the North West America Mission. **

Please read and enjoy this brief summary of the Church Missionary Society and it’s profound impact on the 19th Century.

“Our story began more than 200 years ago with a group of Christians whose hearts were stirred to put their call into action.
This group included people like William Wilberforce, John Venn, and John Newton. Together they worked to abolish the slave trade, they fought for the rights of oppressed people at home and they launched out on dangerous seas to share Jesus with the world.
The effects of their efforts – as well as the work of thousands of men and women who have followed in their footsteps – are still seen and felt across the globe today.

A brief history of Church Mission Society
The Society was founded in Aldersgate Street in the City of London on 12 April 1799. Most of the founders were members of the Clapham Sect, a group of activist evangelical Christians. They included Henry Thornton MP and William Wilberforce MP. The founders of CMS were committed to three great enterprises: abolition of the slave trade, social reform at home and world evangelisation.

Wilberforce was asked to be the first president of the Society but he declined due to his workload but took on the office of vice president. Thornton became the first treasurer. The Rev Josiah Pratt, curate of St John, Bedford Row (London) soon emerged in a proto-chief executive role.

The spiritual background to the emergence of CMS was the great outpouring of energy in Western Europe now called The Great Awakening. John Wesley, an Anglican priest and failed missionary, became a key player in the UK version of the story. Not all those influenced by the revival left the Anglican Church to become Methodists. One such was John Venn, the saintly rector of Clapham.

Members of the second and third generation following the revival saw many opportunities to consolidate its effects. Alongside the main Clapham agenda they sponsored Sunday Schools for evangelism and education, founded Bible Societies and much more.

The Reformation and the abolition of monasteries and religious orders left the Church of England without vehicles for mission, especially for outreach to the non-Christian world. This new membership society agreed to be loyal to the leadership of bishops and an Anglican pattern of liturgy, but not dominated by clergy and emphasised the role of laymen and women. Much of what we call the Anglican Communion today traces its origins to CMS work. However CMS today is not confined just to Anglicanism, both in terms of people it sends out in mission or ally agencies and projects around the world.

It was expected that Church of England clergy would quickly come forward to be missionaries. When this didn’t materialise CMS turned towards mainland Europe and the earliest missionaries were German Lutherans. For over a century CMS enjoyed rich work relations with the Churches and seminaries of Western Europe. Sadly this was gradually eroded as the European superpowers vied with each other in the race for colonial expansion. Even so we can say the 20th-century quest for Christian unity began through the experience of mission.” **
G-d, regretfully I haven’t yet located primary sources for the founding of CMS in Minnesota Territory, but I thank you for it. May the full number of Minnesotans see You in all Your beauty, and know and fulfill the mission you have created for them! May we follow in their paths to abolish slavery, take just and practical actions to better our State, and give away the happy news of the Gospel; Jesus loves us, wants us, forgives us, and helps us practice living free! Forgive our purposeless living! Forgive our fears of chasing the Wild Goose! (An ancient Celtic image for the Holy Spirit.) May we be blessed to fly, and under Your authority serve to heal all nations!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** “The Church Missionary Atlas (Canada)”. Adam Matthew Digital. 1896. pp. 220–226. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
*** https://churchmissionsociety.org/about/our-history/

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18th Century, 19th Century, African American, Canada, Economics, government, Great Britain, Great Lakes, History, law, Minnesota, Politics, State Government, Treaties

Webster-Ashburton Treaty Signed Aug 9, 1842

 

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The Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which established the boundary between the United States and Canada, was signed by the United States and Great Britain. Minnesota’s “Northwest Angle” was a result of this treaty.*

It is hard to imagine a time where our most pressing and trying foreign policy questions concerned Great Britain or Canada. The hot button issues of the slave trade, impressment of United States sailors, or resolving the unrest due to the Canadian Rebellion of 1837 needed resolution.

Webster-Ashburton, though months in the making, resolved disputes that went back to the Revolutionary War. Lack of clarity in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 seeded conflict on our Northern Border. Lord Ashburton and Secretary of State Daniel Webster made clear land boundaries with open navigation on key portions of the Great Lakes. **

Jesus, thanks that You respect our boundaries. Thanks for the generations of peaceful relationships we have enjoyed with Canada and Great Britain since this agreement. Will You watch over this national border, all Minnesota state borders, and our personal borders? Will You be the Keeper of our Peace?

*mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** https://history.state.gov/milestones/1830-1860/webster-treaty

 

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18th Century, Economics, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

North West Fur Co. 1784  

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“Grand Portage on Lake Superior becomes the western headquarters of the new North West (fur) Company. From here the British dominate the North American fur trade until Americans arrive in the early 1800s.” *

Father, I thank You for the blessing of work. It’s good to be productive and provide for our families. It’s a blessing to find joy in our job, whether simple or complex!

I don’t know what type of dominance the North West Fur company exercised in GrandPortage. However, I want to acknowledge how human it is to want control. Lord, forgive the offenses of N.W.F. Co. against You, and any other human parties involved! Father forgive any counter-judgments made by trappers supplying pelts to N.W. Fur.

We easily slip into judgments against our bosses and authority figures. Lord, forgive my attempts to control my own work life through the control of others! Will You wipe the slate clean?

*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 .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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18th Century, Health, History, Intercession, Jesus, Medicine, Minnesota

Smallpox Epidemic 1782  

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Smallpox Epidemic

 

“Smallpox epidemic reaches Minnesota region.” *

Everlasting Father, thank you that You know how to keep Your creation in balance! Forgive our judgements of your goodness based on the trials caused by disease. I mourn the incredible pain caused by this smallpox epidemic! I remember their horrors to You, especially the emotion of powerlessness, as they watch loved ones die!

Father will You forgive  our sins and judgments towards You carried forward from this event? Help Minnesotans’ as we deal with any future epidemics. May we learn to look to You first for our healing, and not despise the great contributions to medicine received from: the Mayo brothers, the U of MN., Medtronic, and so many more contributors that I can recall!

*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 .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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18th Century, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Carver Winters in Minnesota 1766 to 1767  

Jonathan Carver

Jonathan Carver

 

“Jonathan Carver, a former shoemaker from Massachusetts who claims to be a mapmaker, spends a winter in Minnesota as part of a western expedition. His mostly plagiarized account of his travels becomes a best seller in Europe. The book, “Travels through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years 1766, 1767, & 1768″, will be read in five different languages.” *

What a thoroughly human story: a man attaining significance mostly by borrowing the work of others! Father, I acknowledge the selfish ambitions of my heart! I too often strive for recognition, and forget that the King of the Universe has already accepted me; warts and all!!!

Lord I want to remember to You the hurts of those who Carver plagiarized. Will you free us from any bitterness resulting from his betrayal or their betraying in return through unforgiveness? Thank you for the good resulting from these stories. Thank you that You listen to our stories in spite of our glaring hypocrisies!

*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 .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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18th Century, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, war

England claims 1763

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“England acquires France’s claims east of the Mississippi and all of Canada through the treaty that ends Europe’s Seven Years’ War.” *

Father, You have given us boundaries: as individuals, families, and nations! You  are a gentleman, and respect our self-imposed limits. You allow us to make good choices. You allow us to make bad choices. Thanks that You are our good dad who lets us learn through following our desires to their ends!

Lord will You unravel the tangle imposed by this claim? Lord, will you forgive any harsh judgments of the people of England, France, and their disputes surrounding the Mississippi? Will You forgive their land-based rivalries in Canada? Will You unite Minnesota in the heavens so we can be united as a people in our familial, social, political, and ethnical realms?

We judge each other so quickly and easily, forgetting that we too have betrayed. Have mercy on our assessments of other Minnesotans! Have mercy on the grudges of this state’s past, present, and future!

*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 .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

 

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18th Century, Catholic, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transference, war

Spanish Claims 1763  

Louis XV France

Louis XV France

“Half of Minnesota passes to Spain when France gives up her trade west of the Mississippi. The exchange happens not because of activity in the Americas but as the result of a war in far away Europe.

No Spanish representatives are known to have visited the area after this trade and the Dakota and Ojibwe know nothing of it. Spain will return the land to France in 1800.” *

Charles III of Spain

Charles III of Spain

Allow me to amplify this story? Louis XV had just lost the French and Indian War to Britain. This meant that Canada was claimed by England. Simultaneously, France was losing the Seven Years War on the Continent. He contacted his cousin, King Charles III of Spain, and secretly ceded his rights to all New France west of the Mississippi to Spain.

These facts are plain, Lord, but why would France yield such a massive stake in lucrative North America stretching from Louisiana through Minnesota? Was it pure politics and resentment of Britain? Was it born of familial ties between these men, or the bonds of the Catholic faith? It did bring an absence of war, but is absence of war the same as peace?

Lord, I don’t know how this transaction affected our state in this era. Help me see. It seems that Spain ruled with such a light touch that most Minnesotans were not aware of the change. Will You forgive any bondage or bitter roots created in this specific geographical territory because of the judgments held by Britain, France or Spain, Dakota or Ojibwe?

Whether these men were kind-hearted or connivers, that is Your judgment, but I acknowledge that we are no different today. We use or perhaps misuse whatever measure of authority or influence at our disposal when we feel our claims are threatened. We, like these two cousins, may secretively craft plans to block the advances of the opposing team to “keep it in the family.”

Will You teach us Your humility in our diplomacy? When we lose in life, may it not be doubled by the vow, “I will lose to anybody else, but not them.” Christ have mercy on us. May we become the generation that is content to be the humble, temporary tenants of Your land!

 

*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 .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

 

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18th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transportation

Horses Arrive 1740 to 1760

“By the mid-1700s, thUnknown-1e Dakota are riding horses, obtained in trade with other tribes, on their buffalo hunts on the prairie. They can now follow the herds farther west on the plains.

Horses had been extinct in the Americas for about 8,000 years. Columbus reintroduced them when he carried European breeds to the continent in 1493. Nearly 200 years later, horses were abundant on the plains, where they transformed the lives of the region’s inhabitants.” *

Master, thank You for the creation that You allow us to live and thrive in! Thank You that horses have blessed the lives of the Dakota and immigrant alike! Thank You for the gift of the buffalo to our forbearers! Thank You for reintroducing the horse to North America, and for it’s profound impact on Dakotans’ survival!

Why did You use Europeans to bless North America with the horse? It is good to remember that European explorers were not solely the “exploiters”  of North America as some revisionists may hold. In this case, will You remember those who brought the horse as “contributors?” Thank you, Father, that all cultures are free to choose to contribute and be blessed by those they may not yet know!

Will You bless both horse and rider in Minnesota forever? Will You make us better as a people in our treatment of all horses? Will You give us insight into Your masterpiece; the horse?

*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 .  The current URL is http://www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

 

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18th Century, Catholic, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transportation

La Vérendrye & Grand Portage Trail 1731

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“Using a map made on birch bark by Assiniboin guide Ochagach, Pierre La Vérendrye follows the Grand Portage trail from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods. It is not a way to the western sea, as he has hoped, but fur traders will follow this trail for the next 100 years.” *

Sometimes the easy way is the hard way. A portage is an overland pathway that avoids dangerous rapids or falls for those traveling by river. Ochagach likely thought that the “western sea” that La Verendrye sought was Lake Winnipeg. Regardless of his disappointment, La Verendrye and the voyageurs respected and appreciated the wisdom in taking this 8.5mile trail past the dangers of the Pigeon River.

We often balk at the delays of modern life, even though we have such incredible technologies that serve our whims and convenience. Will You make us like Ochagach, so that we can see the dangers of convenience in our lives? Will You make us like La Verendrye, that we may heed the warnings of our friends to not try to foolishly “shoot the rapids?”

Father, thanks that You lead us on our way. Thanks that You delight in sharing your mysteries with us. Bless the Assiniboin people, Ochagach, and P. La Verendrye for the gift of this trail. Thank you that these two men showed trust to each other! Thanks for the lessons of the portage!

**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 .  Currently the timeline seems to be unavailable.

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