19th Century, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government

Indian Schools 1893

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Indian children are forced to attend government schools. Children in communities without local schools are sent away to boarding schools. White educators hope still that separating children from their families will make it easier to teach them to reject Indian ways.

“I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization, and when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.”
-Richard Henry Pratt, head of the Carlisle Institute

“I must read from books instead of from Nature. I must learn of the birds and the animals and the trees from books instead of from daily contact with them. This was what the white man said I should do, and I could do nothing but obey. Again I would forget the language of my people and speak in the tongue of the school.”
-Way-quah-gishig was six years old when he was sent away to a boarding school in South Dakota and given the name John Rogers. During the next six years, he and his sisters were not able to see or write their family.*

Help me observe this event with you Holy Spirit. I invite Your reflections, insights, and direction as I write. Will You lead me in prayer?
As I wait, the question arose of requiring immersion education for Native American students. If immersion education was simply offered rather than required, wouldn’t that have been more consistent with our Constitutional principals, and with Your word? As Washington once said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” If a student is placed in a servant-master relationship, where is the room for the joy of discovery? Can curiosity be born in an atmosphere of mandatory compliance?

Lord, will You forgive the offense of required immersion to the Native people of Minnesota? Will You forgive the offense of wanting to mold others into our image? Will You forgive this zeal to change others by force, rather than persuasion and real relationship? Will You forgive the impatience of this event? We separated children from their families instead of meeting them family to family?
Conversely, will You free Native Minnesotans’ from the temptation to hold onto this offense? American Indians were natural “homeschoolers” or “unschoolers”** during this era, will You forgive them their judgments’ against the State-defined modes of education? Will You remove this curse, and bring a blessing in its place? May we unlearn force, and learn to offer freedom of education to each other in this state! IHS

*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!
**Learn more about homeschooling and unschooling? http://www.homeschool.com/new/difstyles.asp#unschooling

***Peruse a brief history of U.S. government policies regarding the education of Native children? http://www.edweek.org/ew/projects/2013/native-american-education/history-of-american-indian-education.html

 

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19th Century, Agriculture, Civics, education, farming, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties

The General Allotment Act (Dawes Act)

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Feb 8, 1887
Congress enacts legislation that allots 160-acre tracts of land to heads of households of American Indian families. The rest of the reservation land is thrown open to non-Indian homesteaders. Eventually, Native-held lands are reduced by more than two thirds.*

“The Dawes Act had a negative effect on American Indians, as it ended their communal holding of property by which they had ensured that everyone had a home and a place in the tribe. It was followed by the Curtis Act of 1898, which dissolved tribal courts and governments. The act “was the culmination of American attempts to destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads.”[27] Land owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1934.[3]
Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado was one of the most outspoken opponents of allotment. In 1881, he said that allotment was a policy “to despoil the Indians of their lands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth.” Teller also said, “the real aim [of allotment] was “to get at the Indian lands and open them up to settlement. The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are but the pretext to get at his lands and occupy them….If this were done in the name of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name of Humanity…is infinitely worse.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

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Messiah, there is such a gap between intent and actions. One the one hand, the Dawes Act points to a desire to respect the property of Native Americans. On the other hand, it ‘gives’ them title to land if they accept the conditions. Is this freedom, or fiefdom?
First, as a human being and fellow Minnesotan, I want to acknowledge our sin of envy. We are not content with what we have. Lord, forgive us the envy contained in the Dawes Act of Native lands! Will You heal the whole inheritance of envy, and heal the lands that were annexed unjustly?
Second, I want to acknowledge the mixed motives of our hearts! I acknowledge the honest desire of many at this time that Native peoples assimilate and become one people with the United States, and with Minnesota. Many were motivated by a desire to share ‘common ground’ figuratively and literally with Indians. As in “I’m a simple Norwegian farmer who is trying to start a new life in America. What does my Indian neighbor have against me? I used to hunt and fish with him. I’m not a land man for the railways, or a representative of the Department of the Interior, but their actions make me the bad guy to my Indian neighbors.”

Many Natives did not want to not feel the pains of being a foreign enclave in their homelands. While they resisted many aspects of Western Culture, they also admired and even craved some of its fruits: new technologies and techniques, trade for useful products, positive interactions with new neighbors, etc. They seemed to both admire and fear the new culture in their land. Some Natives willfully accepted new ways, and others did not.

Lord, have mercy on these hearts! Some on both sides of this divide, whether Immigrant or Indian, wanted to take a chance and embrace. Some were repelled by clashing with another culture. Lord forgive how we have feared our brother’s ways, and rejected what You have to teach us through him! Lord, forgive us our hesitancy to trust! Will you restore us to chesed? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesed

Next, I want to acknowledge that both cultures succumbed to the “power men” within them. There were plenty of Minnesotans’ willing to capitalize on the imbalance of power the Dawes Act gave them! Too many tried to moralize the outright theft of property! They claimed desires to civilize native peoples to gain public approval for their land grab. Nothing changes. They are still among us. However, I mourn before you this day, and acknowledge this offense against my Native brothers! Have mercy! Will You reverse this curse? Will You restore these injustices?

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the counter judgments that some Native peoples made in response to these ‘land grabbers’. They chose to meet offense with counter offense, perhaps not learning from their own tribe to tribe, or First Nation to First Nation acts of offense and or war. It is clear to see these fruits yielding a harvest of separation even today in our state. Will You forgive these counter judgments? We have offended You first! Have mercy!

Will You have mercy on our natural desires for vengeance stemming from the Dawes Act? Will You give us a new common inheritance as Minnesotans’? Will You take the bitter roots from our hands so that we can recieve from You? When we must disagree, will You teach us to do it with understanding, clarity, and respect?

*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!

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19th Century, education, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

School Required

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1885
The state legislature passes a mandatory school-attendance law, requiring all children between the ages of 8 and 16 to attend 12 weeks of school a year.*

Jesus, will You observe this law with me? What is on Your mind when looking at the idea of mandatory school attendance? You don’t use the law forcibly in the New Testament, but did require certain obedience in the Old Testament. You instructed parents to teach, but also said, ‘Let the children come to me” when restrained by the disciples. You demand all from us, but want obedience from the place of lovingkindness rather than empty religious duty.
In any case, I thank You that Minnesotans’ have valued education. I thank You for the heart behind this law that children should be allowed a time and place solely for learning. I thank you that these 12 weeks were set aside to enhance the exposure of young minds’ to the enjoyable discipline of education.
As is the case whenever new laws spring up, I’m sure there was an element in the state that was resistant to comply for varying reasons. “What if my child becomes smarter than me? What if the school teaches something that I do not agree with? What is wrong with the way I am raising my child currently? Does the government of Minnesota know better than me? I need my son or daughter at home because they are essential workers on the farm!”
Lord, for these attitudes of distrust from the people to the state, have mercy on our judgements! Lord, for the attitudes of the state to the people, have mercy on our judgements! We are all people capable of misusing our authority. We are all people who capable of using some element of force when we do not get our way. We are not benevolent like You; we often do good things from impure motives.
Christ, will You have mercy on our motive conflicts? Will You give the correct balance in this contested area of education in the life of our state? Will you give us the grace for our neighbor that is inherent in Your law, and in the laws of Minnesota? How can we expect our freedom of choice to be respected, when we will not even acknowledge our neighbor’s vantage point as one worthy of consideration?

*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!

**Peruse the details of this law? https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?view=session&year=1885&type=0

 

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19th Century, Business, Civics, Culture, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Black Newspaper Begins Publishing

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Jun 6, 1885
Saint Paul’s Western Appeal newspaper becomes a voice against discrimination and proscriptive legislation and an important advertising medium for black businessmen.

Editor and owner John Q. Adams leads Saint Paul’s growing black community in its struggle for equality through the 1880s and ’90s. “No wrongs are ever righted,” he writes, “except by protest.”*

 

I thank you for the life and discipline of John Q. Adams. I thank you for giving him the desire to write and convey the ideas in his heart that brought a new awareness and significance to black Minnesotans. I thank you that he viewed himself as a man made in Your image and worthy of respect!
O Father, will you forgive the city of St. Paul, and the State of Minnesota, its judgments of John Q. Adams, “The Western Appeal”, black Minnesotans, and black Republicans? Will you forgive any counter judgments by him, his paper, or the black community of St. Paul, and the State of Minnesota? We often fear other cultures and sub-cultures because we are afraid to know them and experience the vulnerability of allowing ourselves to be known! Christ have mercy on this fear! Past, present, and future! What blessings we have not received here, specifically for this geographic region known as Minnesota, because we have not honored the Christ within our brothers and sisters!
Today, because of Your grace and truth, I ask: “Will You bless the generations of John Q. Adams? Will you bless the black community of St. Paul? Will you bless all African-Americans in this state? Will You reverse the curses of the Enemy on this State of Minnesota? Bring out those who will write the stories of this generation of black Minnesotans! Bring out those who will write in Your image of grace and truth! May we learn to record OUR history as those who have been betrayed, have betrayed others and ourselves, and most importantly, have betrayed You! May we remember how we have received mercy, have extended mercy to others and to ourselves, and received a perpetual inheritance of mercy from You!
Lord, because John Q. Adams was an author, I also want to pray a blessing specifically on his words, and their impact to all Minnesotans. May they be rediscovered and be a source of continual blessing to this state, and especially inspire African-American writers and publishers! 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!

**See an actual copy of the Western Appeal? http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016811/

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

1st Female Professor (Maria Sanford) 1880

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Maria Sanford becomes the first female professor at the University of Minnesota. A legend to her students and an ambassador of learning to the entire state, she gives thousands of public lectures on history, art, and travel. Beneath a statue of her in the U.S. Capitol are the words “the best-known and best-loved woman in Minnesota.”

In 1899, students at the U of M will nominate professor Sanford for the Minneapolis Journal’s “favorite-teacher” contest. She comes in third, but receives the first-prize trip to Europe after students convince the newspaper to let them make up the difference in cost.*

Thank You that our university chose to embrace knowledge whether housed in a male or female body. Thank You for the impact that this single woman created within the U of MN. Thanks that in Your eyes we are not limited by the cultural assessments of our gender. We are free to be Your man; Your woman!

Father, forgive us for any judgements as Your unique people of Minnesota that apply to gender from this time through the present. Forgive our misandry; the brand of bitterness that holds all males captive for the sins of our fathers’. Forgive our misogyny; the type of bitterness that holds all women prisoner for the separations with our mothers’. We hate our fathers’ and their incomplete masculinity! We hate our mothers’ and objectify women. Rescue us from our ungracious and misinformed assessments of our parents.

Will You make this state of Minnesota shine with the forgiveness of those who gave us life? Will You help all who wrestle with gender identity? Will You set in balance the influence of mother and father, maleness and femaleness, within all the children of Minnesota!? May we receive Your maleness and femaleness; we are indeed made in Your image!

Heal the ground below from the words we have spoken against our fathers’. Heal the water from the rejection of our mothers’. Heal the skies from the thoughts of vengeance we have entertained against them! Bring Your chesed, Messiah!

*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!

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

Pillsbury Becomes Governor Jan 7, 1876 to Jan 10, 1882

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John S. Pillsbury became the state’s 8th governor.

As Minnesota’s eighth governor, Pillsbury was a practical and compassionate administrator, finally resolving a sensitive railroad bond issue and increasing aid to those ravaged by the grasshopper plague. He also encouraged legislators to create the office of public examiner to detect and purge corruption in public office.*

Lord, thanks that You have chosen to spread Your gifts out among us so we are aware of our need for each other! We receive wisdom from you when we have an open hear and mind to our neighbor! Thanks for John S. Pillsbury and the benefits of his governorship. It appears that he was skilled in mediation and negotiation. Will You forgive the bitter roots that come from even his best negotiations?

Will You kindly watch between the railroad interests, (or any major future economic power), and the people and Minnesota? Will You forgive us when we expect the only the State to rescue us from nature, and do not see the provision that You have for us as well? Will You sanctify the suffering caused by: the grasshopper plague, the corruption of the government, and the dominance of the railroads? Forgive us both our flippant and well-forged assessments as we forgive our assessors!

*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!

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19th Century, Catholic, Civics, education, Faith, History, Immigration, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer

Catholic Colonization Bureau 1876

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Bishop John Ireland forms the Catholic Colonization Bureau to attract Catholics, particularly from Ireland, to Minnesota. A railroad provides land, and by 1885, 4,000 German, Irish, and Belgian Catholic families are living in southwestern and west-central Minnesota.

The towns of De Graff and Clontarf in Swift County; Adrian in Nobles County; Avoca, Iona, and Fulda in Murray County; Graceville in Big Stone County; and Minneota and Ghent in Lyon County become the business centers for the bishop’s colonies.*

Holy Spirit, thanks for Bishop John! Thanks for his help assisting so many to find a new way here in Minnesota! Thank You for friends like Bishop Ireland that keep offering us relief and making a way of exodus where it appears that there is no way. Will You again bless these counties: Swift, Nobles, Murray, Big Stone, Lyon, and Ramsey?

Lord, will You forgive us our bitter ways towards You and each other based on State and Federal law; legal and illegal immigration? Will You cause Your Church to bless Your image within each other in this effort; Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox? Our experience helps us see differing needs of those who migrate. Forgive us for favoritism, lawlessness, and placing unnecessary barriers in front of those who seek a safe haven and a bit of Your freedom here.

Will You give favor to these Catholic generations of Bishop Ireland, in their homes, the property You allow them to reside, and in the practice of their love for You? We need You! May we see You in all who emigrate their beloved homelands’ to immigrate to our Land of 10,000 Lakes in good faith! Come Lord Jesus and be our guest in the state of Minnesota!

*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!

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