18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, Agriculture, farming, History, Intercession, Minnesota

Sugar Beets and Migrant Labor

220px-276_Beta_vulgaris_L

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! May we be one in purpose regardless of position: migrant, farmer, or president!

 

*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://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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20th Century, German Americans, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Political Suppression

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Meintz was tarred and feathered for not supporting War Bond drives.

1917
Anti-German hysteria runs rampant during the war. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety is given sweeping powers to bully German Minnesotans, suppress the right of free speech, break strikes, and even remove elected officials from office.*

Our Constitution is designed to protect us from both tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority.
“In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” – Speech, Constitutional Convention June 29th 1787 (https://thefederalistpapers.org/founders/james-madison-quotes)

To offer some more specific historical context, read the excerpt from Matt Reicher’s article on the MNopedia site.
“The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Minnesota legislators worked quickly to pass war-related laws before the end of their spring session. As a result, the Sullivan bill saw very little debate. It passed both houses and was signed into law by Burnquist on April 16, 1917. The MCPS took control of many of the state’s regulatory, public safety, and military functions.

Throughout its tenure the MCPS provided useful services. It distributed food, controlled the prices of goods, and conserved fuel. However, it is best known for its use of secret surveillance, intimidation, and other extreme tactics in the name of protecting Minnesota’s citizens.

Ensuring clear-cut loyalty to America eventually overtook the MCPS’s other efforts. Commissioners regarded any lack of patriotism as rebellion. Political beliefs were irrelevant. Governor Burnquist maintained that there were only two parties during the war: “loyal” and “disloyal”. He and the MCPS praised the former and tried to eliminate the latter.” (ibid http://www.mnopedia.org/group/minnesota-commission-public-safety)

As defined by the American Psychological Association, ambiguity is “a perceptual object that may have more than one interpretation. (http://www.apa.org/research/action/glossary.aspx) One problem with loyalty litmus tests is that they often force emotional ambiguity upon society. Citizens face the dilemma of feigning outward compliance to the law, but inwardly rejecting its divisiveness and lack of subtlety.

It is significant that this bifurcating mania existed towards our State’s most populous ethnicity during the run up to World War I. “The largest flow of German immigration to America occurred between 1820 and World War I, during which time nearly six million Germans immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans#World_War_I_anti-German_sentiment)
German Americans compose a plurality in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Midwestern states. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans)

Lord, hear our prayer! In the era of WWI, we allowed a consensus opinion to beat down the rights of German Americans solely on the basis of their race. In offending them, the largest and most populous group of Minnesotans, we have offended You. We have treated citizens as suspects: in social circles, in their work life, in their property, and in their faith. Have mercy!

Will You restore to German Americans the damages done to them in this chapter of history? Will You forgive our fears that overcame wise law during the Great War? Will You forgive us from literally erasing their names from the persons, places, and things of Minnesota? Will You forgive the MCPS and Minnesotans from “piling on” of shame over imagined offenses, instead of dealing solely with real guilt of actually breaking the law through collaborating with an enemy during wartime?

Contrarily, will You forgive the judgments of German Americans towards the MCPS and the State? Will You free them from the weight of maintaining the offense of their humilations? Will You remove this historic offense up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Only You can bear our sins, and change us into overcomers!

In our present and future, will You help us slow down our destructive reactionary responses to war and rumors of war through the gateway of our fears? Your Word says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love. 1John 4:18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English*** Will You help us to trust our neighbors, and honor the rights, privileges, and duties of their citizenship as much as our own?

Will You protect us from societal damages through the means of group and identity politics? We cherish our race, or our subculture, but You have called us beyond our ethnicities as individuals! Our worth to You is not based one our “ism”, “hyphen”, our other marker; we are worthy because You have called us worthy!

Further, will You heal Your Church to be cognizant that our first citizenship is in Heaven? Will You free us from the Enemy’s triggers, and the bait of ethnic-based offense? We relinquish our rights to maintain an offense and declare the Jubilee of Your grace towards all people of Minnesota now and always. Maranatha!

*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!
**Find primary sources of the Minnesota commission of Public Safety. http://invention.si.edu/minnesota-commission-public-safety-main-files-1917-1919
***http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

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20th Century, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, war

Indian Volunteers in World War I

292_w_detail

1917
More than 17,000 Indians volunteer in the U.S. armed forces despite their exclusion from the draft of the nation’s citizens. Even before the U.S. entered the war, others had crossed the border to join Canada’s distinguished 107th Regiment.*

“When the United States entered World War I a draft was implemented. Indian men were required to register for the draft. However, Indians were not generally considered to be citizens at this time, and most Indian men were therefore not citizens. Citizenship for Indians at this time was not determined by place of birth, but by whether or not they had taken an allotment and were considered “competent.” “**

“The rate of death and injury among American Indian soldiers is extremely high because they are often assigned dangerous scouting assignments—missions that many of them view as opportunities to demonstrate their strength as warriors.”***

“He (G-d) chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast in His presence.” I Corinthians I:28-29 Berean Study Bible****

Thank You today for the commitment of these warriors to protect and serve! Whether they went to defend their tribes, First Nations, the State of Minnesota, or the United States of America is unclear. Perhaps the question “why” they served is immaterial given that many were not conferred with citizenship or an obligatory duty to fight.

Will You forgive our State of its denial of the citizenship of its’ first citizens? Will You forgive the blindness of our laws in this era, both in terms of rights denied and privileges withheld to these men? Will You help us past, present, and future deal justly in the gray areas of our laws? Will You forgive the judgments between citizens and non-citizens?

We humbly remember their service this day, Master! Will You protect and keep their memories, their tribes, and their First Nations? Will You be the keepers of their progeny; and bless forever all who protect voluntarily?

We give You thanks that You are not given to the pettiness of humankind! You overcome our pridefulness, again and again, through humble hearts! Will You make us one Minnesota that will serve You and our neighbors beyond the politically defined boundaries of nations, across the borders of States, outside the familiarity of our tribes?

**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!
Want to gather more? Read this article at Native American Netroots.
**http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/573
***https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/timeline/650.html
****http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/1-28.htm

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20th Century, Christian, Girls, History, Minnesota, women

Camp Fire Girls and World War I

131545767900b3929f4a90a7793ee6b3--camp-fire-barbie

1917
The Camp Fire Girls of Minnesota, as led by Ruth Dale, participate in war relief efforts at the behest of the American Red Cross and the Minnesota Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Our correspondence matters to history! Below are two letters of women leading girls to participate in our society in a practical and meaningful way. These associations of women and girls reveal a wonderful example of their civic mindedness and actions.

“Dear Mrs. Lowry-
I wish to get a small club of Camp Fire Girls at work for Red Cross. I was wondering if they could not hem towels. I want them to work at something they can do & have it accepted. Will you please tell me what the material costs per doz. towels & where it can be gotten. Some where I heard, maybe in your lecture in St. Paul, before Public Safety Com that funny sayings & pictures pasted on paper and sent in to hospitals for soldiers was requested. if this is true, will you tell me the size of sheets required for pasting the scraps on. These girls could do this, they are too young to attempt much. […] A club of women here want to get at some of the work at once. What do you say to them beginning with sheets & pillow slips? […]
Sincerely,
Mrs. F.C. Corell
Big Falls
Minn”
http://www.mnhs.org/blog/collectionsupclose/8786

“13 April 1917
Minneapolis, Minn.

Miss Ruth Dale,
Roseville, Minn.

My dear Miss Dale:
Thank you so much for your kind offer of assistance. We have no pamphlets or government bulletins for distribution, but we are instructing classes in the art of bandage making, etc., at our headquarters in Minneapolis. This course consists of 8 lessons after which the pupil passes an examination and receives a certificate. These skilled workers are empowered to supervise work of others. I would suggest that you send one or two representatives of the Camp Fire girls to take this course.
In reply to your inquiry regarding materials, we prefer to have you raise the money for the same and let us buy since we can purchase in larger quantities and to better advantage.
Yours very truly,
Secretary.”
http://www.mnhs.org/blog/collectionsupclose/8101

“Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” Mark 9:41 NIV*

Lord, today we thank You for the actions of our foremothers! Will You bless Ruth Dale and all her heritage through the Camp Fire organization? Will You bless F.C. Corell and her generations of leadership in the Minnesota Federation of Women’s Clubs? We also remember and bless the unnamed secretary of the American Red Cross. Will You give honor to those anonymous contributors to the betterment of our State: past, present, and future?

Will You give the girls of Minnesota a sense of their value to each other, society, and to their Creator in perpetuity? Forgive us where we have not honored the leadership of women, and have stubbornly closed our ears to Your voice spoken through them? Will You guide our State in maleness and femaleness of Your image? Amen!

*http://biblehub.com/mark/9-41.htm
Learn more about the founding of the Camp Fire girls from these excellent sources.
**http://alicemariebeard.com/campfire/history.htm
***https://campfiremn.org/index.html

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20th Century, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Labor, Mining, Minnesota

Iron Range Strike

images

Jun 3, 1916 to Sep 17, 1916
Forty miners walked off the job on June 3, beginning the 1916 strike. The unorganized miners soon realized they needed help. Unlike the 1907 strike, this time the Western Federation of Miners was not interested in organizing the miners. Instead, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) responded, sending in some of their top organizers. Many of the strikebreakers from 1907, ironically, became instrumental in the 1916 strike. The number of strikers swelled to over 8,000. The 1916 strike was marked by violence and repression. Unlike 1907, strikebreakers were not as readily available and other tactics were employed to end the strike. The civil liberties of strikers were violated, mine guards and police used force to intimidate strikers, union leaders were jailed, economic pressure was exerted on merchants who extended credit to strikers, and finally, the Oliver Iron Mining Company refused to negotiate with the strikers. The strike was called off on September 17.*

Praying for the Iron Range Strike of 1916 is unsettling, Lord. We can empathize with both the ones who own the business, create jobs and make useful products for society, (Oliver Iron Mining Co.), and those who do the work, (the miners as represented by the IWW). Will You illuminate this moment of history, and lead our prayers and reflections this day, and leave us with a blessing for the future?

Your Word informs of the importance of both why we work, and how we work because it reflects both our character and our assessment of your character. To begin, we work because it is necessary for our survival, and provision for those in our care.
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ “ 2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV**

Yet, You also challenge us to take joy in our tasks?!
“And do all that you do with all your soul, as for Our Lord, and not as for the children of men.” Colossians 3:23 Aramaic Bible in Plain English***
Perhaps You want us to take pride in work because it balances our employers reaction of our performance to the pleasure that a job well done gives You?

What’s in Your heart for the working man or woman? What of those who own nothing but their labor? What is the position of Your Kingdom towards their employers?
“Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.” Leviticus 19:13 NLT****
Your Word connotes that those of us who own a company are obliged by the Owner of All Property to account honestly and pay employees on time.

So, what heart should a CEO have towards his staffers, laborers, hired hands, and factory workers?
“For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and, ‘The worker is worthy of his wages.’ “ I Timothy 5:18 BSB****
In Your economic model, the boss is to remember those with noses to his grindstone are essential as employees, and people of infinite worth as human beings. These Scriptures are a counter-balance to the common lie both the executive and small businessman misbelieves while making payroll; “I’m paying these guys way too much.”

With this in mind, we pray about this strike. Lord, will You forgive the pain caused to Oliver Mining Company by the judgments of the Wobblies? Will You forgive the discontent of these miners towards their bosses, and indirectly with Your means of provision for their lives? Will You forgive their rebellions against Minnesota statute and the laws of Your dominion? Will You forgive their envy?

Conversely, we remember the sins and separations of the Oliver Iron Mining towards You and its workers. Will You forgive the injustices of the “contract labor system”?******* No one should have to participate in graft or bribery to one’s boss to maintain employment! Will You forgive the pain caused to the miners and their unions? (IWW-Industrial Workers of the World and WFM-Western Federation of Miners) Will You forgive their failures as leaders to understand that right principles alone do not make right relationships or satisfy Your chesed?

Your Honor, will You change our defiance towards You in the maintenance of antagonistic relationships between labor and industry? Will You bless the future of mining in Minnesota, and create fellowships between companies and unions that enhance, not limit, the growth of the other? Will You break our strike against Your peaceful resolutions for our workplaces? Amen.
“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Psalms 89:14 KJV

*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!
**http://biblehub.com/2_thessalonians/3-10.htm
*** http://biblehub.com/colossians/3-23.htm
****http://biblehub.com/leviticus/19-13.htm
*****http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/5-18.htm
******http://biblehub.com/psalms/89-14.htm
*******https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2015/10/breaking-1916-iron-range-strike

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20th Century, History, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer, State Government, Uncategorized

Burnquist Becomes Governor

J.A.A. Burnquist

Dec 30, 1915
J. A. A. Burnquist takes office as the states’ 19th governor upon the death of Governor Winfield S. Hammond.*

Below are a few tidbits from our state’s archive underscoring the career of Governor Jospeh Alfred Arner Burnquist’s career as a statesman.
“When Governor Hammond died on December 30, 1915, Burnquist
became the 19th governor of Minnesota. Although many people referred to 36-year-old Burnquist as “just a youngster,” he was the successful candidate for governor in 1916, and was continued in office until 1921. Governor Burnquist recommended and worked for many important laws which are still extant.”**
Let it be also noted that he had the second longest career as Attorney General at sixteen years and one day. He listened to dissent and “always respected the right of each member of his staff to have an opinion and to hold to it” resulting in “many sound opinions.”**
So we remember these characteristics to You, Eternal Governor. We give thanks for Burnquist’s leadership, especially the example of listening to objections. Thank You that we are blessed by leaders who will listen and consider voices of objections. Thank You that his leadership, spanning the breadth of WWI, gave solidity to the peoples of Minnesota during the trials of war.
We ask forgiveness of our failures, then and today, of hearing our neighbors’ voice, and more importantly, Your voice, that is prompting us to reconsider our position. Will You forgive us making an idol of our opinion? We have failed You and our neighbors by breaking relationship by closing our ears! Have mercy!
Will You remake us to be both an opinionated and considerate State? Will You bless our leaders to grow in discernment? May we neither betray our heart, or the hearts of those we lead. May our future be blessed with: accommodating, magnanimus, sympathetic, complaisant, and kindly decisions and judgments. 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.leg.state.mn.us/archive/LegDB/Articles/11509LMTribute.pdf

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20th Century, Faith, government, History, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer, Social Studies, State Government

Governor Hammond Dies in Office

Unknown

Dec 30, 1915
Governor Winfield S. Hammond dies only eight months after taking office, when he suffered ptomaine poisoning on a trip south and died of a stroke in a little bayou town in Louisiana.*

Governor Hammond was “a staunch Democrat in Republican community”, namely, the city of Mankato and Watonwan County. His ambitions politically were to minimize the bureaucracy of our state government, and eliminate waste. He achieved his political office with bipartisan support. **

What draws me to his story today is that he lived as a political minority in his hometown, yet achieved the highest post of leadership in the state. Politics, both in his era and the present, is more often a game of division than multiplication. The effects of partisanship, past and present, often turns friend against friend, spouse against spouse, and family against family.

What is Your wisdom for us in this, King of Kings? Each day, each moment, we are offered choice by You; will we make relationship, or break relationship? Daily You offer us this insight:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is One.” Deuteronomy 6:4***

On the personal level, we can have a thriving connection with someone who disagrees with us. We often are married to such a person, work daily with them, or live nearby. We know that person so well, and love them, so we choose to agree to disagree in select areas for the sake of relationship.

Yet when it comes to politics, and its seasons of heated rhetoric, we allow our disagreements over knowledge to supersede our relational “knowing”. Why is this? Why does information trump partnership?

Eternal Father, have mercy on this condition, both in Hammond’s era and the present. We have asserted our superior knowledge against our resolve to continue relating in the context of relationships. We have broken faith with each other over the letters “D” or “R”.
Will You have mercy on on us? Will You help us to “love our enemies”? Will You especially give us grace for our beloved enemies; members of our own household whom we cannot reach agreement?

We offer thanks for Governor Hammond, and his propensity to listen and unite with his opponents. Will You bless him, his progeny, and those who work and especially listen to those across the aisle? Will You fulfill his incomplete visions to create a responsive system of leadership in Minnesota? Will You overcome the acceptance of faction and partisanship as a necessity for the civic leadership of our society? Will You replace knowledge with knowing, and make us one people? 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winfield_Scott_Hammond
***http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/6-4.htm

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