19th Century, education, Exploration, France, government, History, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans, Science, State Government

Nicollet Maps of Upper Mississippi River 1843

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French astronomer Joseph Nicollet’s accurate maps of the upper Mississippi region, made over the course of several visits to Fort Snelling, are published by the U.S. Senate in 1843.*

Thanks for the blessing of accurate maps. Thanks that You give us a real assessment of the situations of our lives. Thank you that good maps help define land uses and indirectly, land disputes!

As I ponder Messr. Nicollet’s involvement in the life of this state, I quickly come to the question, “Why is an astronomer mapping terra firma so far from home?” Although I know so little about astronomy, I can easily imagine that he was trained to map the vastness of space. Perhaps working on such a small scale was a new challenge to him, or no challenge at all. His motives in this work are unknown to me, but would be an interesting campfire story.

However, I am practicing thinking about history as the Eternal Now. This is where Your Spirit leads me. I thank You that You led this man outside his discipline. I thank You that he was taken far beyond his home into the wilderness of North America. I thank You that he shared his gift, even if it was second place to astronomy! Will You bless us as his progeny to embrace the moments in life we are taken out of our expertise, and into the woods?

*www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/

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19th Century, Business, Culture, History, livestock, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans, trade, Transportation

Red River Oxcart Trade 1840 to 1850

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Métis families (formed by marriages between whites and Indians) take their furs from the Red River Valley to St. Paul in oxcarts. Long caravans of up to 200 carts travel from as far away as Winnipeg, Canada, making St. Paul one of the leading fur markets in the country from the 1840s to the 1860s.*

My first question, Lord, is who are the Metis people? Doing what any modern American would do when faced with something they haven’t encountered before I went straight to wikipedia, and found the following excerpt below.

“The Métis are the descendants of Indigenous Cree or Anishinaabe women who married French or Scottish fur traders during the early colonial period. They have a specific, unique culture. Most are found among the Michif-speaking peoples of the Red River region in modern ManitobaNorth Dakota, and Minnesota.[1] The Red River peoples are part of the same ethnic group as many of the Canadian Métis peoples. There is also a broader but limited use of the term to describe any people who descend from the united culture created by the intermarriage of various French and British fur traders and various Algonquian, Cree and other Native American groups intermarrying during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This use would exclude from Métis people-hood those whose ancestries became mixed between these different ethnic groups in other settings or more recently than about 1870.” **

So now I have a place to begin my prayer; with at least an inkling of a back story of the Metis. God, I don’t really feel too prayerful tonight, but I’m willing to wait with You and see where it goes. Ok?

To begin, thank You that the Metis are Your people, and included in Your family. Thanks that You have watched over and led them for generations before their participation in the fur trade took place. Today I give your gratitude for the this era of the oxcart trail!

Next, I thank You that Metis marriages became an intersection between Scotch, Irish, French, Cree, Anishinaabe, and perhaps more nations of people! My late aunt, Ingrid Trobisch, an author and marriage counselor once told me, “Interracial marriages may be doubly difficult, but they are also doubly blessed.” I  commend  and honor these marriages that forged a new and unique culture from their culture of origin to You Good Father! Will you bless the Metis and all their future generations with the same forbearing spirit?

How interesting that, again, a people group becomes synonymous with a form of transportation: the Sami people of Finland the reindeer, the Arabs the horse, the Peruvians the llama, and the Metis the oxcart. All through history You have given us gifts and innovative thoughts that improve our lives. Thank You for these gifts. Will You bless those who rode these caravans, and continue to provide for their needs in the present and future? Will You cause us to pause as we drive I-94 west of Minneapolis, and remember who those who first blazed this road; the Metis?

Lord, I ponder what those in the future will think about us when the car is an antiquated beast. Will our interstates lead them somewhere, or will they cease to have purpose ? Will we be associated with our vehicles? In any case, I ask that You bless the future forms of transportation that may be discovered here in Minnesota, and that they would be inhabited by people who drive them to intersect with their neighbors as the Metis did.

*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!

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

 

 

 

 

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17th Century, Exploration, France, History, Intercession, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans

Allouez Creates Map of Lake Superior 1671

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“Partie Occidentale du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France ou sont les Nations des Ilinois, de Tracy, les Iroquois, et Plusieurs autres Peuples; avec la Louisiane Nouvellement Decouverte etc. . . . 1688” Vincenzo Maria Coronelli / Jean-Baptiste Nolin. raremaps.com

 

“Claude Allouez, a missionary on Madeline Island in the 1660s, explores the western and northern shores of Lake Superior. In 1671, he produces one of the best early maps of the lake, indicating the first European awareness of Minnesota.” *

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the Way! Thank You for the roadmap of forgiveness that restores broken hearts and relationship! Thank You for the discipline of map-making and bless Allouez, his generations, and dwellings for this gift! Will You bless all future Minnesotans who are committed to showing us the way?

*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. I am hopeful that it will be back up in the future, as it was a valuable, user-friendly tool for anyone wishing to explore Minnesota history.

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