19th Century, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

1837 Treaties

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The United States negotiates treaties with the Ojibwe and the Dakota for the wedge of land between the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers—land that will later become part of Minnesota. Ratification of the treaties opens the land for settlement by non-Indians. The Ojibwe will receive payments in money, goods, and provisions for 20 years; they also reserve the right to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice within the ceded area. The Dakota do not reserve their hunting or fishing rights, but their annuities are to be perpetual. Indian Agent Lawrence Taliaferro boasts that he made the better bargain for the Dakota.*

Lord, this wedge of land is quite valuable real estate in the present. It contains parts  of St. Paul, Oakdale, Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, and Hastings which are all fast growing parts of the metro area. This is surely a challenge for our present-day lawmakers; how do you give hunting rights in a suburban develop ment?

We need Your wisdom for all such cases. First, we need to accurately understand the meanings of past treaties which is no simple matter. Next, how does one interpret the spirit of this meaning into a present-day context that preserves the spirit and the heart of the treaty? Will You enable our government to honor these treaties in the present and future, as well as make restitution as specific and meaningful as possible?

By Your mercy, will You free all parties in the past of dissension and bitter assessments: the U.S. government and its agents , the Dakota, and the Ojibwa? Will You make us free from the fruit of this event in the present, and create the proper honor and respect between all parties?

*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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19th Century, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, justice, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics

Taliaferro Becomes Indian Agent 1820  

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Lawrence Taliaferro

Virginian Lawrence Taliaferro (pronounced “Tolliver”) becomes the Indian agent at Fort Snelling. Respected by the Indians for never making promises he could not keep, he works hard for 20 years to rid the fur trade of whisky and cheating. At last, in poor health and tired of the government’s broken promises, he resigns.*

Lord, thank you for honest people! What pleasure it is to have someone return our phone, admit a mistake in our favor at the cash register, or actually put a lost item into the “lost and found” so we can reclaim it. As King Solomon wrote so many years ago, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” I simply wish to honor and remember the “honest people” of the world to You today, and commend to You their example.

Father of Honesty, Mother of Truth, today I wish to honor  and remember Lawrence Taliaferro, who crystallizes this type of character. Thank you that he wanted a square deal for Indians of Minnesota who came to him at Fort Snelling. There is such power in a person who is willing to let their yes mean “Yes”, and their no mean “No”.

We are no different than Lawrence. There are many times that we tire of doing good and quit. Often, there is more punishment and criticism for doing the right thing than sweeping the wrong thing under the rug!? Will You forgive our hearts to quit doing right and forgive Mr. Taliaferro!? Will you forgive any assessments he made, probably quite logically, of the Federal government’s failure to honor its promises? Will You bless these specific tribes of Indians in the specific areas that they have been wronged? Will You forgive any tribal counter-judgments or resentments of State or Federal government? Will You begin to heal these centuries-old heartaches today?

*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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