19th Century, government, History, Indian, Intercession, law, Leadership, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government

Gorman Becomes Territorial Governor

Willis Arnold Gorman

Willis Arnold Gorman

May 15, 1853 to April 27, 1857
“Willis Arnold Gorman takes office as the territory’s 2nd governor. As a U.S. Representative from Indiana, he supported Franklin Pierce in his successful bid for the presidency and was rewarded with the governorship of the Minnesota Territory.” *

“Democrat Franklin Pierce took office in March 1853 and replaced Ramsey with Willis as Minnesota territorial governor.” **

Today I told the Lord that this is a portion of our history that I don’t know much about. I don’t know about Gorman or why he was replaced. Some days I watch and pray and things flow easily. Others days it is difficult to see the significance of the event I’m meditating on.

After some research I found one plausible answer why the Governor Ramsey was replaced by Governor Gorman. The facts seem to indicate that he wrestled with balancing his interactions with the Ojibwe and with the powerful lumbering interests. Looks like he was caught in the middle; which master to serve? His waffling is documented below:
“This quagmire of incompetence and callousness went on for three years, while several hundred Indians died of starvation and disease.” ***

As to Governor Gorman’s temperament, he was a lifelong lawyer, and his character of self-restraint seemed better suited to the times. His legalistic disposition must have helped to find nuanced solutions for a government between a First Nation, and a booming timber industry. He was so dedicated to law that he returned to it after serving in the Civil War! There he remained, serving as St. Paul City attorney, for the rest of his life.

Thanks for Governor Gorman! In him, You brought a man who was even-keeled and suited to the issues of his days! Bless him and all leaders who calmly and deliberately serve their constituents!

As for Governor Ramsey, will You forgive his double-mindedness? We are humans just like him, and sometimes fail to be strong in our decisions. Irregardless of Your mercy, will You bring justice to all human suffering caused by his hesitancy? Will You bring restoration to the Ojibwe, both then, now, and into our future?
http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** Redix, Eric M., “The Murder of Joe White: Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin”.
*** Risjord, Norman K. “A Popular History of Minnesota”

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19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, Faith, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Treaty of Mendota

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August 5, 1851
“In August the commissioners begin negotiations with the Lower Bands at Mendota. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute are pressured into agreeing to terms similar to those forced on the Upper Bands, including $220,000 in upfront cash to the fur traders. Both treaties promise the Dakota new reservations along the Minnesota River “in perpetuity,” a pledge that will not be kept.” *
Lord, forgive the human desire to ‘work the system’ and pad our own nests! Will You forgive this heinous offense of the fur traders towards the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute within the Treaty of Mendota? Even greater, will You forgive this breech of justice committed against You through the deception of these two tribes?

Per contra, will You forgive the shame and anger of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute towards: Lea, Sibley, Ramsey, Minnesota Territory, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Federal Government, and all unnamed parties participating in their deception? Sweet Jesus, it’s always so hard for the victims of injustice to let go of their righteous anger; will You give this gift to the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Nations? Will You kindly and gently take this generational curse which has bound them to their historic offenders up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Will You restore what the enemy has taken from them, and bring Your Healing Presence to the peoples and lands involved? This land is Your property, may we view it as such both now and “in perpetuity”!

We, in the present, are angered by the deception of the Upper and Lower Dakota Bands at the hands of Luke Lea, and Alexander Ramsey through the trustful signing of the “Trader’ Papers”!!! The desire to disconnect ourselves from this event is powerful, yet Your Word gives us no escape when we offend You by accusing our neighbors. You do not yield the spirit of the law to comply with the letter of the law. You are both Grace and Truth! Help us remember this example spoken to self-righteous human accusers so many centuries ago?

“They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger. When they continued to question Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” Berean Study Bible, John 8:6-7 **

Will You give us the merciful eyes of Christ today, and into the eternal future of Minnesota? Help us see the humanity within victim and victimizer, the accuser and the accused, and to stand humbly with You against evil and for the good? May we become agents of humanity against the division and deception of the Evil One; the Author of All Grudges. Amen!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://biblehub.com/john/8-7.htm

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19th Century, Agriculture, Emigration, Exploration, farming, Food, History, Immigration, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, trade, Treaties

Settlement in Minnesota 1849 to 1860

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“The number of non-Indian people in Minnesota jumps from 3,814 in 1849 to 172,072 in 1860, a 4,500 percent increase! The newcomers break sod, start businesses, plot towns, look for jobs, and dream of getting rich.

Pent-up demand for good agricultural land is the primary reason. Iowa and Wisconsin had been heavily settled and had both passed from territorial to statehood status by 1848. It had been dangerous and illegal to settle on land in most of Minnesota before treaties with the Dakota and the Ojibwe were signed. But after several treaties were ratified in the 1850s, the floodgates of migration burst open.” *

When we move, we make assessments of our new neighbors and neighborhood. They, in return, watch us move into their neighborhood, and may ‘size us up’ by our friendliness, possessions, (or lack of possessions), our physical appearance, etc. These assessments, I believe, are instincts designed for our survival, but must be tempered or they can morph into prejudice.

Lord, what were the judgments of these ‘new neighbors’ in Minnesota? Will You forgive us the inheritance of those who knowingly moved into the state illegally? Will You forgive the betrayals committed between settler and tribe, and their counter-betrayals? Will You break the power of the derogatory words and names given among these groups? Will You break the vows made in anger, envy, revenge, arrogance, unforgiveness, fear, and unbelief of each group towards its real or supposed nemesis?

Thinking about the impact of these past separations on the present, will You forgive the heart behind the relocation of Native Americans? Will you free us from the bondages and entanglements within poorly made treaties? Will You bring Your heart of restoration to Minnesota? Will You bring to light a new kind of history in Minnesota? Will You write a history that remembers the good, the pleasing, the fair, the gracious, the restored relationship on our hearts? Will you give us Your eyes to see our neighbors’ inherent value?

*mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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

Lake Harriet Mission School July 19, 1836  

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Six students attend the opening of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota, founded by the Reverend Jedediah D. Stevens. An early example of education within the boundaries of present-day Minnesota, the school was sponsored by the Presbyterian Missions Board and taught by the founder’s niece, Lucy C. Stevens, in a cabin built by Gideon H. and Samuel W. Pond.*

Good Teacher, thank you for the benefits of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota. Thank you for the heart of providing education to all! It’s so good to share what we know and have it received.

It is not easy to be the first. It takes boldness to reach out across cultural lines. On one side of this picture we have Dakota students who are reaching out to Stevens. Conversely, he is stepping out of his comfort zone to meet and teach members of an unfamiliar culture. Will You bless both sides of this exchange? Will You remember their boldness and trust to know each other? Each group is an exploratory party of sorts. May we never forget what its like to be an alien!

Lord, I also want to acknowledge our separations that may begin as academic pride. We assume our knowledge will change our ‘underprivileged’. We often fail to pass on wisdom (good judgment), and even foster an academic culture that hesitates to recognize the merits of wisdom. As moderns, we cringe at even the word ‘judgement’, although one could argue that good judgment is the root of justice?!

I feel prompted to acknowledge the potential judgments of Stevens and Williamson against the Pond brothers, and perhaps a spirit of competitiveness. Lord, will you forgive any heritage of academic  or religious pride stemming from  them forward to us if this is the case? Will you forgive the stinging pain of criticism towards or counter-judgments from the Ponds, the Dakotas, these first six students, or any other pertinent unaddressed party? Will You free the land  of Minnesota from these judgments, and bring the blessing of humility that we all have betrayed You, Your peoples, and our selves? Will You make us humble teachers and students of the “knowledge” You have revealed to us? Amen.

*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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17th Century, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans

Dakotas meet Europeans

Source: Wikipedia

CHARLES WILLIAM JEFFREYS IMAGINES RADISSON MEETING AN INDIGENOUS LEADER. ARTSFILE.CA

 

Exploring the West for furs, French explorers Radisson and Groseilliers canoe along the south shore of Lake Superior. They meet the Dakota Indians, whom they call “Buffalo People,” and are probably the first Europeans to reach Minnesota.*

Lord Jesus, thank You for the meeting of Radission and Groseilliers and the Dakota Indians. Was this by chance, or was it orchestrated by You? What wonderful purposes were in Your mind to meld France to the Dakota peoples? What fantastic opportunities do You wrap up in our chance meetings?

I want to acknowledge before You any bitter judgements rooted in this event. I recognize the judgments made stemming from technological “superiority” or “inferiority.” Thank You for our inherent worth as human beings. Release us in the present from any wounds rooted in this meeting. Will You send Your mercy from this event forward, and create  a heart of remorse, repentance, reconciliation, and a new relationship? Will You reverse any curse, and send Your blessing to the inheritors of this event, whether French, Native American, or Minnesotan?

Thank You that every tribe, tongue, and nation of people is equally loved by You.

*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 .  Currently the timeline seems to be unavailable. I am hopeful that it will be back up in the future, as it was a valuable, user-friendly tool for anyone wishing to explore Minnesota history.
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