19th Century, Culture, education, Faith, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government

Bishop Whipple 1859  

Rev. Henry Whipple

Rev. Henry Whipple

Episcopal bishop Henry Whipple comes to Minnesota to “civilize” the Indians, but he also protests their mistreatment by the government.

When more than 300 Dakota are sentenced to death after the war of 1862, Whipple convinces President Lincoln to cut the number to 38.*

Great Holy Spirit, thank you for Bishop Whipple and his heart to know and minister to Indians. There are so many trigger points between Native Americans and our society that seem apparent to us now: ethnocentrism, casinos, property rights, and hunting rights to name a few. Perhaps these same flash points may not have been so obvious then?

For example, the Bishop wants to “civilize” the Indians. Only You know what this meant to Whipple. He could have meant to Anglicize the Indians by teaching them about his culture, and underscoring the importance of a written language and education. He could have meant that we are civilized when we meet Jesus, and cease our rebellion against Him, ourselves, and others. He could have meant to turn them into good Anglo-American citizens.

Whatever his motive Lord, I simply am aware of these judgments and counter-judgments that cloud the relationship between Your Native peoples and the rest of Minnesotas’ inhabitants. Will You forgive ALL Minnesotans’ our judgments? Will You hack any bitter roots that were planted by Henry Whipple, the Episcopal church, or other believers in 1859? Will You create a new relationship between Dakota and Your bride, the Church?

Thank you for the mercy that was extended to the Dakotas by President Lincoln due to Whipple’s intervention. He stuck his neck out to save Native necks!  May we continue to honor the lives You have given us, and even love the lives of those who oppose us! We are so far from Your tolerance and forebearance! We so easily forget that we once were rebels and enemies of Your kingdom of kindness, but You loved us while we were still sinners. May we imitate Your mercy and justice in the state of Minnesota! May You cause us and uphold us to be just! Will You “civilize” our hearts, and intervene for us in our deepest sorrows?

*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!

 

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19th Century, Culture, Faith, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

Ezekiel Gear Arrives at Fort Snelling Apr 28, 1839

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Episcopal priest arrives at Fort Snelling. He is chaplain at Fort Snelling from 1839-1858. He remains in Minnesota until his death in 1875.*

Thank you for Gear, and his commitment to Minnesota. Thank you for the blessing his presence had on early Minnesota and especially Fort Snelling. Thank you for his example to future generations here: we are free to reach across cultural boundaries when motivated by Your love!

It is my belief that we have a limited view of our history. We know in part, and we often project our vantage point onto the characters of the past. Perhaps we need a new lens to view the history of Native Minnesotans and its European settlers? May we equally remembers those that built relational bridges in this meeting of peoples as those who tore them down.

The following excerpt demonstrates where the heart of Priest Gear:

“Ezekiel Gilbert Gear was horn in Middletown, Connecticut, September 13th, 1793. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Griswold in the same church in which he was baptized, and his diaconate was passed in that diocese. He was ordained priest by Bishop Hobart, and was appointed missionary in the western part of New York state. There he labored at Onondaga Hill, Avon, Manlius, Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton and Brownsville. He also worked among the Oneida and Onondaga Indians, baptizing, marrying, and admitting many to the communion of the Church. He was present at the confirmation by Bishop Hobart of ninety-seven Indians, presented by Eleazar Williams. We can well imagine that this previous connection with Indian work led him to take an especial interest in advocating, as he did, the beginning of work among the Sioux and Ojibways of Minnesota.”

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/mn/edsall_gear.html

*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!

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