19th Century, Business, Canada, Civics, Exploration, History, Industry, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, railroad, Transportation

Hill’s First Railroad 1879

00902018

1879

“James J. Hill and his Canadian partners buy the near-bankrupt St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and rename it the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba. This is the beginning of the railroad career that will earn Hill the title “Empire Builder” and cement the importance of the Twin Cities as a commercial center. 

Hill’s career didn’t begin with railroads. He came to Minnesota at age 18, convincing a steamboat man to hire him as a clerk. From making sure freight reached the right people, he expanded into handling freight by boat, stagecoach, and wagon. By the time his empire was built, he was one of the nation’s leading industrialists. 

In 1891 James J. Hill will crown his success by building a house at 240 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. As massive and well-built as its owner’s railroad empire, the mansion will take three years to build and cost $931,275.01, furnished.” * 

Lord, thanks that You deal with us so patiently. You allow us to learn from our errors and seek You for mercy and truth. Thank You for the blessings of James J. Hill and his railroads.

However, we still feel the weight of the blessing and curses in the wake of his empire building! He was alleged to be duplicitous in his business dealings. He allegedly manipulated land grants or sales from cities, tribes, states, and the nations of Canada and the United States. He may have wreaked havoc on the stock market in his battle with Harriman of the Union Pacific line. **

Hill proved to be cut from a different cloth than the Robber Barons of his age whose modus operandi included manipulation of the stock market, public institutions and opinions, or Federal or State governments. In many ways, he retained the common-sense lessons of his Scots-Irish upbringing in Manitoba, Canada and the Midwestern states. A few examples of his forthright tongue and blue-collar wisdom below.

“Give me snuff, whiskey, and Swedes, and I will build a railway to hell.”

“Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.”

“The wealth of the country, its capital, its credit, must be saved from the predatory poor as well as the predatory rich, but above all from the predatory politician.” ***

Lord, You are the righteous ruler and justice of North America. Will You remove the curses we have laid on James J. Hill and the lines he laid? Will You forgive his debts to the people of North America and the Midwest? Will You forgive us our injustices and betrayals of Your trust?

Like Mr. Hill, we kill our competitors and covet and build empires in our hearts. We plunder our enemies in our thoughts, and do not see our brothers and sisters as precious lives that You died and rose for! Have mercy on us: the ambitious, the coward, the sluggard, and the average! Remove the curses brought on us, our generations, the land, the property, and our homes both now and until Your return! May the pathway of this railway become a track of blessing to both Manitoba and the Twin Cities! Amen!

*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!

** https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/harriman-vs-hill

*** https://www.azquotes.com/author/6703-James_J_Hill

Standard
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

images-2

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/

Standard
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

 

180px-Map_of_Minnesota_highlighting_Lake_of_the_Woods_County.svg

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

 

Standard