April 28, 1849
“Editor James Goodhue published the first issue of “The Minnesota Pioneer” on April 28, 1849.” *
Mr. Goodhue came to Minnesota Territory ca. April 18, 1849, and ten days later had: founded a newspaper, wrote, and published its first edition! Known as man with sharp wits and elbows, he had much to say and did not mince words. An avid Democrat, he unabashedly aired his views with vigor.
Inter alia, he debated a territorial judge so fiercely that the man stabbed him, but not before he left his challenger with a non-fatal gunshot wound!? His mixture of talk and tenacity ensure that “The Minnesota Pioneer” had enough forward momentum to survive. Currently the “(Saint Paul) Pioneer Press”, now the state’s eldest newspaper, traces its origins back to the efforts of Goodhue and the St. Paul Dispatch. ***
Lord we thank You for the gift of language and writing. We thank You for our human ability to speak. Will You help us divide this snapshot in the life of Minnesota and James Goodhue?
We thank You for the efforts and zeal of Goodhue to found a forum for public discourse in Minnesota Territory. We acknowledge the risks and personal costs paid by him for our benefit. We remember the tag line of his beloved paper to You; “Sound principles, safe men and moderate measures”.
We solemnly remember his zeal and the inherent weakness of this strength. We applaud Goodhue’s ability to articulate his heart-felt Democratic principles, but recognize that passion without self-control may yield division…or a stab wound.
Will You forgive the condemnation that came from his pen and mouth, and wounded his targets? Will You forgive the counter-judgment’s and condemnations of those who opposed him?
Presently, we find ourselves in the same position. We, at times, vigorously debate our neighbors until they become our foes. Will You give wisdom to all who pick up the pen, or tittle the keyboard in our newsrooms because they share the same heart to give voice to the times? Will You give our beloved reporters and newspapers a balance of forbearance and forthrightness, accuracy and mental acuity to enhance Minnesotan’s sense of current events? We love Your words, will You speak life to us so we can share it with others?
“With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” Berean Study Bible James 3:9-11