20th Century, African American, Black History, cultural transference, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Republican

Francis Appointed Minister to Liberia

Francis-1903

1927

“St. Paul attorney William T. Francis is appointed U.S. Minister to Liberia. His success is the product of an active black professional community in the Twin Cities. Francis had at one time been the chief clerk of the Northern Pacific Railway and had served as a presidential elector in 1920.*

Mr. Francis first found work in the Twin Cities with the Northern Pacific Railroad, working his way up to clerk. By 1904, he had graduated from St. Paul College of Law, and became the chief clerk of the law office of Northern Pacific. This high position made him a powerful leader and advocate for black Minnesotans.**

As was common in this era, he voted and actively participated in Republican politics. (African-Americans, on average, supported Republicans from the time of Emancipation until FDR, shunning the Democratic party for its support of slavery and slave states in the Civil War.) After two failed attempts in local races, his stalwart support garnered him the status of being a most powerful African American Republican west of the Mississippi as well as serving as a presidential elector by 1920.**

His quiet authority eventually paid off when in 1927 President Coolidge appointed him the U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia. American tire companies had made large investments in the rubber industry there critical to a country in love with the automobile. Francis, always alert for breeches of justice, made a key report that uncovered corruption of major Liberian officials taking bribes for supplying men for forced labor. Soon after submitting his report he succumbed to yellow fever, and died in Monrovia, Liberia on July 15, 1929.**

His death rocked the African-American community of Minnesota, and as a lifelong member of Pilgrim Baptist Church he was given the following eulogy by the mayor of Saint Paul.

“Whereas: The City Council has been officially notified of the death of Wm. T. Francis, U.S. Minister to Liberia…

Mr. Francis was a St. Paul product, a citizen of fine spirit, clean purpose and genuine devotion to the public good, held in high esteem of those who knew him. He fashioned his own career out of courage, determination and ability. Facing unusual handicaps he overcame them all by the quality of his character, and by single-handed struggle forced recognition of his worth. He won high honor on worth alone and earned a wide approval because he was sincere, kindly, human and gracious.

At the time of his death he was on the threshold of a distinguished career, and assured of a commanding destiny among men. His government associates were open in their praise of his achievements. Here in his home city he was respected for what he was- a true brave man, gifted with vision, cheerful and uncomplaining, and devoted to high aims. His untimely death is a tragic loss to his country and especially to his home community. He leaves behind him the memory of one who was unafraid of life, the example of one who was victorious against all untoward circumstances.”***

“…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” I Thessalonians 4:11,12 NIV****

In Your mercy, hear our prayer. We thank You for the stellar example of W.T. Francis. We thank You for gifting him with the tenacity, perseverance, and humility to stay at his task and quietly do so much good for so many. We thank You that his years of trials, like Joseph, prepared him to be the first African-American to be an American ambassador. We thank You that his process of overcoming led to greater freedom for tens of thousands of Africans!

Will You bless those who follow his patient path to greatness? Will You bless his progeny, both literal and figurative, to be blessings to their families, neighborhoods, and cities? Will You bless African-American leaders to be imitators of his invaluable contributions to the company, state, and nation he serves?

We ask that You forgive the judgments and jealousies that fell on him from Minnesotans, and by those in his own community. We ask forgiveness of the offense of judging You by judging the success of African-American leaders. We ask forgiveness of You by judging the success of all leaders.

Will You forgive us of judgments based on partisanship, of our own mothers and fathers, across political party lines? In this case, will You forgive our judgments against Republican leadership? We have largely forgotten as a society that slave states were led by Democrats, and that the leadership of President Lincoln and Republican principles of liberty defeated the slavery of African human beings in the United States. W.T. Francis did not forget, but used his liberty to procure liberty of Liberians being enslaved and betrayed by their own countrymen. Will You raise a generation of African Americans in Minnesota that similarly burn with justice for Africa?

We thank You that his inner peace begat external peace. May we receive Your peace in Minnesota, and let it radiate outward. May we work for Your applause just like William T. Francis.

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2017/03/lawyer-civil-rights-campaigner-and-diplomat-life-william-t-francis

*** http://credo.library.umass.edu/view/pageturn/mums312-b048-i368/#page/1/mode/1up

****http://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/4-11.htm

*****Read deeper on this good man’s life. https://publishing.rchs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/RCHS_Winter2017_Nelson.pdf

 

 

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20th Century, Agriculture, government, Governors, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Politics, Republican, Uncategorized

Christianson Becomes Governor

Unknown

January 6, 1925

“Theodore Christianson takes office as the state’s 21st governor.” *

Sorry Lord! Christianson is another Minnesota Governor that I have no recollection of, but I come prepared with a brief backstory below.

“Theodore Christianson, the twenty-first governor of Minnesota, was born in Lac Qui Parle Township, Minnesota on September 12, 1885. His education was attained at the University of Minnesota, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1906 and a law degree in 1909. After establishing a successful legal practice in Dawson, Christianson became the owner and publisher of the Dawson Sentinel. He entered politics in 1915, serving as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, a position he held ten years. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1924. He was reelected to a second term in 1926, and to a third term in 1928. During his tenure, a crime commission was formed, as well as a commission of administration and finance. Also, state expenditures were reduced; taxes were controlled; and state government was restructured. After completing his term, Christianson left office on January 6, 1931. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held from 1933 to 1937. Governor Theodore Christianson passed away on December 9, 1948, and was buried in the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.**

Governor Christianson, a.k.a. “Tightwad Ted”,  was a very fiscally conservative Republican who limited the power of government in favor of the individual. In this era, there were many fears about the insider capitalism of Wall Street, and the destabilizing reactions of sabre rattling socialists. He gave mostly agrarian Minnesotans a chance to regroup and recoup after the personal and property losses of WWI. (Those who lost sons to the war also lost heirs to their farms, as well as their most capable and loyal farm hands.)

So, here we give You thanks for “Tightwad Ted”. We thank You for his accountability and respect for the resources of Minnesotans. Theres a ‘time to scatter and a time to gather’ and we pause to remember Governor Christianson as a man who gave respite and a return to normalcy and simplicity to his constituents. Will You bless his heirs, both familial and governmental, who accept that there is season that the most reasonable course forward is to tighten the belt? 

In this, we give You honor for taking us through seasons scarcity and plenty. We thank You for the eternal promise to be our Jehovah Jireh. We ask Your forgiveness where we have forgotten You; either through the sins of easy living, or sins of destitution. Have mercy on Minnesotans’ past, present, and future failure to give You and our neighbors the free gift of gratitude. Amen.

Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8,9 NASB

PS. Will You continue to forgive the cycle of judgment & counter-judgment between the parties and political groups of this age? Perhaps the Republicans forgot Your principles of community because it came through a Socialist  or DFL messenger? Maybe the Socialists and Democrats failed Republicans and Your urgings to personal responsibility through lumping them in with Wall Street, and assumptions that they were against Main Street? Will You forgive all the judgments and counter-judgments of these parties committed then as well as their fruits poisoning the present? Will You make us a State of “tightwads” with our disparaging thoughts, words, and hearts against our neighbor?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_christianson_theodore.html

 

 

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20th Century, Faith, Governors, History, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Politics, Republican, State Government

Eberhart Becomes Governor 1909

Unknown

September 21, 1909

“Adolph Olson Eberhart takes office as the state’s 17th governor upon the death of Governor John A. Johnson. Eberhart was subsequently elected twice on his own merits.” *

It’s a timeless challenge to any society, during any period in human history, to change their leaders and maintain a continuity of authority. When a sibling stands in for mom or dad, they usually aren’t received with the same respect. The same goes for an anonymous lieutenant governor, Eberhart, suddenly thrust into prominence.

Events like these seem to underscore the importance of relationship and authority. We give our allegiance more easily to those whom we know. It seems a logical and reasonable unwritten precept of our survival instincts. We gain trust through consistent and positive relational knowledge of our neighbor.

I thank You that Governor Eberhart was up to the task. I don’t know the details of how he won the populace of Minnesota over, but it is recorded that he did. And he repeated his success twice.** Perhaps it was his consistent work ethic and and stalwart service to his constituents.

Author of authority, thank You for Eberhart’s continuity. Will You bless those who stand in a gap such as him? Will You bless those leaders who are challenged at every step, but simply follow the plan? Thank You for leaders who are not subject to reward, recognition, or favor-seeking. Bless those who lead because it is their nature!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_eberhart_adolph.html

 

 

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19th Century, African American, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, Politics, Republican, women

1892 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis

theresa-a-jenkins-portrait-archives

June 7, 1892 to June 10, 1892

“The 1892 Republican National Convention was held in Minneapolis and was also the first convention where women were allowed to be delegates. Mrs. Therese Alberta (Parkinson) Jenkins, delegate from Wyoming, cast the first vote by a woman for President. Wyoming had granted full suffrage for women at statehood in 1890.” *

Politics, in practice, is often a game of solidifying one’s base and fracturing the support of political opponents. One seeks to heal and forgive, while the other actively fragments relationships and maintains a grudge?! Although there will always be those who are honestly committed to their principles, most often, the duplicitous ‘win-at-all-cost’ partisans seem to be the norm. 

Rules and procedures are put in place to ensure that conventions are fair. However, those who know the rules often use them to beat up those who don’t, or those who simply trust in the integrity of their party. It’s like watching a board game played by children; the worst child will change the rules until he wins! 

Jesus, show me what You see. I have limited vision of this convention, but am not unfamiliar with the Republican Party. Help me dredge what is crucial, and leave the rest of the silt at the bottom of the river.

To begin, I thank You that one day, You will bring Your government to earth, and we will see real peace! Thank You that You cannot be double-minded, or attempt to create something good with false motives! You are the summit of integrity because You are perfect in contentment! You resist all bribes because there are no possessions that finite beings can give to the Eternal “I Am”!

Your names in the Bible describe your character, and they include both male and female attributes. Men and women are both made in Your image. Thank You that we finally began to recognize this fact politically on June 7, 1892! Will You bless this day, those who participated, their opponents, and their heritage? 

Will You forgive the dominant male pride and ego in the politics of Minnesota, its parties, and conventions? Conversely, will You forgive the bitter counter-judgments of women whether past, present, or future? Men want to lead like men, women want to lead like women, and we both fail to recognize Your wisdom and glory in the other at times! We fail to see Your hand of leadership in the other because we do not recognize  its style or legitimacy. Have mercy on our judgments of our fathers’ strength of love, and our mothers’ tenderness of love!

Bless the heritage of pioneers like Mrs. Therese Alberta (Parkinson) Jenkins. Bless her commitment and bravery. Forgive the scoffing her ears heard, the contemptuous faces she saw, and the judgments of her motives. Will You reverse the curses of this convention of 1892, and may we receive Your future insights whether housed in a male or female messenger?

**To read more, see: http://www.mnopedia.org/event/republican-national-convention-june-1892

***Another wonderful article about the convention? Read “African Americans and the 1892 Republican National Convention, Minneapolis” by Iric Nathanson

http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/61/v61i02p076-082.pdf

 

 

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19th Century, African American, Black History, Democrat, education, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Republican, State Government

Minnesota State Constitution 1857

unknown

1857
“Before it can become a state, Minnesota Territory must draw up a constitution. Republicans and Democrats disagree on fundamental issues and hold separate conventions. Much of the debate focuses on suffrage–Republicans believe black males should be able to vote; most Democrats oppose the measure.

When the two conventions come together in a “compromise committee,” Republicans agree to limit the right to vote to white males as long as the constitution is relatively easy to change at a future date. In 1868, the legislature passes an amendment giving black males the right to vote.” *

Jesus, thank for the good that comes from making a compact, covenant, or contract. It’s good to positively define what to do , as well as what not to do. Thank You for the battles of this Constitutional Convention in 1857.

Will You forgive the Democrats of Minnesota their judgments’ of Republicans. More accurately, will You forgive this Democratic judgment of black Minnesotans, and the desire to withhold the vote from them. Forgive the Republican party its counter-judgments of Democrats, and Minnesotans of African descent. Forgive both parties offenses of using “moral superiority” as a political weapon, and all assumptions, judgments, and counter-judgments based on it. Will You forgive the judgments, grudges, and bitterness of black Minnesotans’ towards each party?

Jesus, as a member of Your inheritance, and an heir to the state of Minnesota, I want to pronounce forgiveness for the acknowledgement of sins between the Democrat and Republican parties and black Minnesotans. Lord, will You bring this act to fruition? Lord, will use our state as an example of restoration? Will You reverse the generational curses we have received by our participation in these political parties? Will You reverse the curses pronounced over any American of African descent, and especially all Minnesotans of African heritage? Will You leave a heritage of blessing?

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe Yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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19th Century, Agriculture, Governors, History, Industry, Intercession, law, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Politics, Republican, State Government

McGill Becomes Governor

mcgill_andrew_ryan

January 5, 1887 to January 9, 1889

“A. R. McGill becomes the state’s 10th governor on January 5, 1887. During his term he recommends a revision of the railroad laws pertaining to transportation, storage, and grading of wheat; the watering of railroad stocks; a simplification of the tax laws; regulation of liquor; abolition of contract prison labor; establishment of a soldiers’ home; and creation of a Bureau of Labor Statistics.” *

“Transcript

Office of COUNTY AUDITOR, Marshall County Warren, Minn. March 16th 1887 Gov. A. R. McGill St. Paul, Minn. Honorable Sir: I enclose herewith Application from our County for Seed Grain, showing Number of Applicants and Amt of grain desired. We have allowed no one applicant to exceed the Maximum limit of $75.00 worth of grain, although many applied for much larger amounts. You will notice that the average am[oun]t we have allowed each applicant is only about $55.00 worth. We trust that you will allow our County a sufficient apportionment to cover the amount which we have asked for, as these applicants are certainly in needy circumstances. Trusting that our application is all correct and that there will be no delay in getting our apportionment, I am Sir Respectfully Yours, W. F. Powell Ch Bd. of Co. Commissioners Marshall County W. F. Powell. Co. Aud. 

(March. 16th 1887 Matters relating to applications for seed grain relief)” **

Lord, this doesn’t seem like a man whose governorship aroused much controversy at first glance. However, each change in law impacted a powerful coalition or group of Minnesotans. Changing law often seems to use an element of force to exert authority. But how do You view the elimination of law from an eternal perspective?

From what I gather about local perceptions of Governor McGill, he had a mixed reviews. On one hand, he had to mediate between the powerful lobby of the rails, yet gain concessions much needed by Minnesota interests’: farming, lumber, and mining. 

So what did he accomplish, and did he find a middle path?

“During his tenure, a state normal school was established in Moorhead; the improvement of state railroad laws was promoted; iron ore was discovered in the Mesabi Range; liquor regulations were supported; and a state school tax was sanctioned.” ***

Will You forgive our bitterness that comes with new laws whether local, state, or federal? Will You forgive us for the anger we have felt over the perceived loss of freedoms, liberties, and or benefits to us or our business? The state may attempt to take away rights that are not theirs, and give rights that they do not possess in the first place. 

Lord, help us find the middle ground! Will You forgive our usurpation of the other man’s inalienable rights, and teach us how to better protect them in the future? May our civic laws never surpass our privilege to love You, the Lord our G-d, our neighbor, and ourselves!

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 ESV ****

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/mhs/id/624/rec/

*** https://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_mcgill_andrew.default.html

****http://biblehub.com/colossians/3-14.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Civics, Democrat, Governors, History, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer, railroad, Republican, State Government

Austin Becomes Governor

candidate37119

January 9, 1870 to January 7, 1874
“Horace Austin takes office as the state’s sixth governor.

A reputation for clearheaded objectivity and disdain for contentious party politics enhanced the appeal of Judge Horace Austin as a gubernatorial candidate in 1869. Minnesota’s sixth governor was determined to bring legislative power to bear against the railroad barons. His advocacy of strictly regulated passenger and freight rates and his opposition to the wholesale allocation of state lands to railroad development earned him a second term. But he was unable to resolve completely the problems inherent in controlling a booming transportation industry and curbing the excesses of its owners.” *

Lord, thanks that You are our shield! To my knowledge, our people have suffered much through the over-reaching hands of the railroad. (Especially the farmers!) Thank You for providing a governor that would stand up to these barons; even if partially successful.

Will You forgive the judgements between us all: Minnesotans’, the railroad barons’, the U. S. Government, and our state government? We know that You have told us in Leviticus 19:35,36 to use “honest scales and honest weights”. Because You have forgiven us our debts, we forgive the numerous injustices perpetuated by all railroads, their employees, their owners, financiers, and any other party unnamed that have been bound in this unforgiveness.

Will You return us to a right relationships from where they skewed off in Austin’s term? Will You restore the lands that have been cursed through the contention between Indian Nations, citizens, and the railroad companies? There’s enough freedom for all in Your kingdom; help us to receive and give honor and freedom to our neighbor today! Thank You that Governor Horace Austin looked for solutions between the Democrats and Republicans! May we have more Governors and leaders like him who see and think in the areas of our common humanity. Amen!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

 

 

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