19th Century, education, First Nations, History, Indian, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government

Indian Schools 1893

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1893

“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.” * 

Father, I don’t understand Your ways. I don’t understand why You tolerate events that pit one people versus another. I do believe that part of the answer is that You allow us to choose our actions, inactions, and how we order our lives in the context of place and time.

Help me observe this event with you Holy Spirit. I invite Your reflections, insights, and direction as I write. Will you lead me? 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 to each other in this state!

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

**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, Business, Dakota, Governors, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, Native Americans, Ojibwe, omnipresent history, railroad, State Government, Treaties

Nelson Becomes Governor 1893

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January 4, 1893 to January 31, 1895

“Norwegian immigrant Knute Nelson becomes the state’s 12th governor in 1893, the first Scandinavian to hold the office. A fighter for farmers’ interests against the railroads and grain merchants, he resigned in 1895 to run successfully for the United States Senate, where he remained until 1923.” * 

Thank You for the life of Knute Nelson and his leadership in Minnesota. He became a prominent leader roughly 25 years after becoming a citizen. Negative attitudes about Scandinavians were tempered by his success.

Looking back at his career, the area of greatest contention were probably those issues concerning railroad interests. On one hand, the rails offered new markets to farmers and also supplied them with manufactured goods from the east. This relationship fueled western land development, and modernized communities along the way.

However, like all new technology, railroads were often the vehicle of economic bondage for immigrant settlers, and greedy for Native Americans’ land. Farmers became dependent on the rails to bring grain to market, but having a product with limited shelf life, were subject to the manipulations of the market and shipping costs charged by the railroad companies.

But how did the railways effect the Native Minnesotans? It is understandable that a sitting Governor wants to further the economic growth and standard of living in his state, but at what cost? These questions point to his writing of the Act cited below: 

“The Nelson Act of 1889 was a United States federal law intended to relocate all the Anishinaabe people in Minnesota to the White Earth Indian Reservation in the western part of the state, and to expropriate the vacated reservations for sale to European Americans. [1]

Approved by Congress on January 14, 1889, the Nelson Act was the equivalent for reservations in Minnesota to the Dawes Act of 1887, which had mandated allotting communal Indian lands to individual households in the Indian Territory, and selling the surplus. The goal of the Nelson Act was to consolidate Native Americans within the state of Minnesota on a western reservation, and, secondly, to encourage allotment of communal lands to individual households in order to encourage subsistence farming and assimilation. It reflected continuing tensions between whites and American Indians in the state. Especially after the Dakota Conflict of 1862, many Minnesota white residents were eager to consolidate the reservations, reduce the amount of land controlled by Indians and make the surplus available for sale and settlement by European Americans.

Minnesota congressmen Knute Nelson pushed for the allotment of Ojibway lands in Northern Minnesota and sale of “surplus” to non-Natives. He and others intended to force the Ojibway to relinquish most of their reservation lands. The intention was to relocate the peoples to the westernmost White Earth Reservation. All would receive individual allotments, with the remainder to be available for sale to European Americans. These actions were illegal and violated the treaties which the US had made with the tribes, but the government proceeded anyway. The Red Lake Band of the Ojibway were able to keep the southern portion of their Reservation.”**

Father, this story brings to mind the desire of King Ahab for his neighbor’s vineyard.

1 Kings 21:1-16

New International Version (NIV)

Naboth’s Vineyard

1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

3 But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”

4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.

5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

6 He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

7 Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

These verses tell of an authority figure who is complicit in the annexation of his neighbor’s land. The part that stands out to me are the words of verse 3; “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” Naboth did not want to sell away an inheritance.

Lord, there are many nuances that I do not know about this Act. I don’t know the Governor’s heart, his motivations, or the pressures on him. I simply see an action that is typically the breeding ground of bitterness and contention.

Will You forgive the injustice of this Act towards Native Minnesotans, their inheritance, property, and generations’? Will you release them from any binding counter-judgments that may hold them captive from receiving an inheritance from You? Will You reverse any curses on the lands specifically mentioned in this Act, and restore a right relationship between all Native Minnesotans and government?

Will You teach this state to have neither a tyranny of the majority or the minority? Will You enable us to neither feel the shame of asking for the help of our state, nor shame those who have graciously helped? Will You teach us about boundaries, property, lands, and inheritance?

Will You give honor to the just actions of Knute Nelson, his heritage, and generations? Will You forgive us in our judgments of the humanity and motive conflicts within our own natures’? Will You give us internal peace, contentment, and satisfaction in our hearts so we do not want another’s possession?

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Act_of_1889

*** For more depth on Governor Knute Nelson see the “Biographical Directory of the United States Congress”. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=n000040

**** More on property rights of the ancient Middle East. https://tifwe.org/resource/ownership-and-property-in-the-old-testament-economy/

 

 

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, music, omnipresent history

Dvorak Composes at Falls

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1893

“Antonin Dvorak, the renowned Czech composer, visits Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. Inspired by the beauty of the scene, he composes a melody on the spot, writing the music on his starched shirt cuff. The “Minnehaha Theme” is featured as a violin line in Dvorak’s Sonatina in G Major, opus 100.” * 

The first name You describe Yourself with in the scriptures is “Elohim”, which means something akin to “Artist” or “Strong Creator”. Your signature is in, around, and through all creation. You have created living art that is capable of reproduction, yet each “copy” is a unique masterpiece?! Whether we view the nano particle level through microscopes, observe with our own eyes, or with powerful telescopes, we are in awe of the Master’s handiwork!

It is no wonder that Dvorak saw an inspiring scene at Minnehaha Falls. It’s beauty has been renowned by Minnesotans for generations. What is a wonder is his response; that this beauty is so valued that it is worth recording immediately without thought to practicality or cost. Thank You that Antonin instantly responded to the beauty presented to him.

Will You bless him, his family, and the nation of the Czech Republic? Will You bless his indirect generations of artists, composers, writers, and simply those who listen and respond to greatness? Will You bless this place and those who visit it in perpetuity?

Will You forgive us the judgments we as a people make on those who follow instinct? Will You forgive our judgments of those who pursue their visions, no matter how absurd or irrational they may appear? I believe it was the Celts who likened the Holy Spirit to the wild goose. Will You give us wisdom and discernment to support those on “a wild goose chase”?

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

** Read more about Dvorak’s visit to these lovely falls? http://www.classicalmpr.org/story/2014/07/24/the-music-of-minnehaha-falls

*** Learn about a “wild goose chase”? http://thewildgooseisloose.com/why-wild-goose/

 

 

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Mining, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Gunflint Trail 1893

homeslide4

1893

“The American Realty Company and the Gun Flint Iron Company rejoice at the completion of the Gunflint Trail. They will use it to transport iron ore from inland mines to Grand Marais, where it can be moved by ship.

The area lies on the eastern edge of the Mesabi Iron Range, but proves to be less rich in iron-ore deposits than prospectors had originally hoped. In the end, the road is used more by logging trucks and later by tourists.”* 

Thank You Messiah that You encourage and allow us to dream, and the strength to fulfill even part of those dreams. Lead me on the path of Your thoughts on the Gunflint Trail of Minnesota. What will You reveal today?

I share the joy of the American Realty Company and the Gun Flint Iron Company of the completion of this task. How could they know that their ore trail would become a logging trail, or one of the most lovely roads leading people to the peace of the Boundary Waters? How will You repurpose this road in the future?

I will assume that the motive of a realty company building a road is to create access to land, and make it usable for the needs of that generation. This hits a past and present wound; our judgement(s) of others’ land use. Each generation tends to judge or blame or assess the actions of the ones before.

 

So, here I will start; Lord, this piece of ground known as Minnesota is Your property. All treasures above, below, or on the surface of its boundaries belong to its Creator! Forgive our offense to You by judging the motives of this generation in 1893. Forgive our offense to You through the many battles fought in our courts over Your property. Our vision is short-sighted. We lack mercy. We hate what our brother does with the ground You’ve allotted him, and we sue him. We despise the generosity of resources You give to our sister, and we steal it from her!

Will You remove these curses on the Gun Flint Trail? Will You bless it thoroughly?       Will You break the cycle of judgment between those who want it for recreation, those who want it completely undeveloped and pristine, and those who want to use its resources?

Our state government has accrued land, or limits the use of privately held land through regulation. what are Your thoughts on that, Lord? Is that simply, “nothing new under the sun” because that is the way of rulers? Is it a wise idea to set aside land for  future use, and does it truly increase ‘sustainability’? Are we like the servant who buries our talents, in this case land resources, because we refuse to utilize them?

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

** Need a primary source? Peruse the “Cook County Herald”? https://www.loc.gov/newspapers/?q=grand+marais+minn

***More on the Gun Flint Iron Company? http://www.padwrr.ca/iron.html

 

 

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19th Century, Business, History, Intercession, marketing, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Sears Starts Selling 1886

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1886

“Twenty-two-year-old Richard Sears starts selling pocket watches out of Redwood Falls. Encouraged by his quick success, he opens a mail-order company in Minneapolis. He then moves to Chicago, takes on a partner, and in 1893 forms Sears, Roebuck & Company. 

By the turn of the century, only the Bible has more readers than the Sears, Roebuck catalog. From its pages people order everyday items and oddities including clothing, harnesses, buggies, bicycles, guns, pianos, and parlor organs. 

1897 – Sears, Roebuck sends 318,000 catalogs across the Midwest. 

1908 – 3.6 million people receive Sears, Roebuck catalogs in a single mass mailing.” * 

God bless Richard Sears, and his embrace of the imagination you gave him. Thank you for fulfilling his vision to provide people with a new way to acquire needs, and wants irregardless of geography. Thank you that his catalog was a bridge builder between urban and rural, mountain and prairie, young and old, and many other stratifications of society!

Father You are generous with us. You allow us to express both needs and wants, and are infinitely able to provide for us. Your freedom allows our heart to be tested with what we have been given. Will we share our blessings? We will humble ourselves to make our needs known to others, or pridefully hide our lacking from the eyes of others?

Will you forgive the judgements cast on Richard Sears, his company, his employees, and his astounding success? He put possibilities in front of millions of eyes, and let them decide what was useful, or what was luxury. His business created heaps of jobs, and probably ended many smaller enterprises that could not, or would not, adapt to this new way of doing business. It is hard for us to admit when we have been outdone by another’s incredible effort. Have mercy! Will you forgive us this type of jealousy? Will you release us from the envy of another’s success in Minnesota? Will you give us hearts that rejoice at our brother or sister’s success?

In many ways, the mail order business predicated the modern world of advertising. Through it, we are tested daily to discern between our needs and wants, likes and dislikes. It is a good thing to have a choice! It is wonderful to have a plethora of options for nearly every item we desire.

However, the knowledge of many things often leaves us with a craving for many things. We often feel a lack by the simple knowledge of what we do not yet possess. Again, this option tests our mettle! Is it bad to know what we do not have? Sometimes it inspires us to new efforts. Sometimes a new tool gives us an inspiration for working a new way.

Lord, forgive us for choosing to focus on our discontent. Forgive the pining for something new that will bring us contentment! We too often love things, and use people! Will You break the roots of those cravings that came from the Sears catalog, and still bind us today? Will You help us in this struggle to want everything we see?

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

**More about this extraordinary pioneer of marketing? https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-W-Sears

 

 

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19th Century, Americana, Architecture, Business, Civics, Energy, History, Industry, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Real Estate, Science, Technology

Industrial Exposition 1886

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1886

“The Mill City answers St. Paul’s State Fair with the Minneapolis Industrial Exposition. Despite elaborate attractions and the latest wares of 800 exhibitors, the exposition can’t compete with the fair and closes its doors in 1893.” * 

“The idea for an exposition in Minneapolis arose in August 1885, when it became known that St. Paul had secured the permanent home of the Minnesota State Fair. Prominent citizens of Minneapolis such as Minneapolis Tribune owner Alden Blethen felt slighted, and an open meeting was called to gauge public support for an annual Minneapolis industrial fair, or exposition, to rival St. Paul’s agricultural one.” **

 Lord, we are competitors. Competition is not a sin, but the envy or covetousness that often accompany it leads to disunity or complete breaks in relationship. What do You want to reveal in this moment of rivalry in 1886? 

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have had friendly rivalries that go far into our history. Will You forgive, first, the jokes, speech, and written words that have been used to put down the ‘other’ Twin City? Will You forgive the heart it reveals, one of mockery and pride? 

How many actions have resulted in our heritage because one “prominent citizen” felt slighted? There is nothing wrong with a human being of any status in society taking leadership according to their conscience. However, if the attitude of civic pride, in this case personified by Alden Blethen was an offense to You, will You forgive us? Will You forgive us our pettiness over another’s blessing? Will you help us; “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7 ***

You have ideas for both of these places that we have not considered. What are they? Will You replace the rivalry of Minneapolis and St. Paul stemming from the Industrial Exposition of 1886 with blessing? Will You download into us a mindset that rejoices at the success of the other? Will You bless us with the kind of competition that brings virtue, excellence, and mutual respect?

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

**Learn about the short life of this huge structure?

http://www.mnopedia.org/structure/industrial-exposition-building-minneapolis

***http://biblehub.com/jeremiah/29-7.htm

 

 

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