19th Century, government, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties

Nelson Act Allots Indian Lands

unknown

Jan 14, 1889
Passed into law on January 14, 1889, the Nelson Act breaks up Ojibwe reservations into individual plots of land, leaving only Red Lake in tribal hands.

Named for Knute Nelson, who from 1883 to 1889 served as representative to the U.S. Congress from Minnesota’s newly formed fifth district. It was during this time as a congressman that Nelson made one of the most significant moves of his political career when, as a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, he drafts an act entitled “Relief and Civilization of the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota,” commonly known as the Nelson Act. The Act stipulates that Ojibwe families receive “allotments” of land on the White Earth Reservation.

This attempt to consolidate all of Minnesota’s Ojibwe people on a small land base results in the loss of Indian lands beyond what had already been ceded to the United States through treaties as the government sells leftover land to lumber companies.*

Father, You have established order in this universe. You have said over and over to any who would listen, “ Pray for Your leaders, for those in authority. May Your will be done!

As a human being, I acknowledge the potential for fantasy we may create when we have a self interest. Nelson may have genuinely believed that the sale of these lands were the path to reducing the conflict between Native Minnesotans’ and their new neighbors. Christ have mercy! However, it appears to be more probable that he thought he knew how to use their land better than the Ojibwe did.
Will You forgive the heart of force in the Nelson Act? Will You forgive the pride of our government in these dealings with the Ojibwe? Will You forgive the heart judgments’ against the Ojibwe, Cherokee, or any other native Minnesotans? **
You do not abhor property in your word. You gave allotments of lands to specific tribes of Israel. (See Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 26:4, Exodus 32:13, Deuteronomy 1:35-36) You teach us to be good stewards of the property You have given us to manage, yet You ultimately are its Sovereign and owner.

Father, we have broken Your laws and have broken faith with Your Native Minnesotans! We have used the force of government to wrongly divide their land. Lord, will You release us of this sin? Will You release Native Minnesotans of their counter-judgements’ stemming from the Nelson Act, and the accrued judgments since?

Will You reveal to the Ojibwe that You alone are indeed the Sovereign of all land in Minnesota? Will You show Minnesotans how to disagree and maintain relationship on the issue of private property? Will You release the lands affected by this Act from their respective curses? Will You turn the Nelson Act into a blessing for ALL Minnesotans in perpetuity?
In faith, I send these offenses and counter-offenses to the Cross of Christ. I send these curses to the Cross of Christ. I wish to bring the Nelson Act into Your eternal present, that You may give us life and blessing! Lord, forgive our unbelief and failure to evenly steward Your property in our charge! You alone are Sovereign of all property of all States and Nations, all Worlds, and the only and honorable King of the Universe!

*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! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** For more depth on the Bible and private property, see “Ownership and Property in the Old Testament Economy” by Dr. Walter Kaiser: tifwe.org

Standard
19th Century, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Beltrami County Formed

images

Feb 28, 1866
Beltrami County was formed.*

A seemingly simple note in history. A county is born, but what makes this place unique, Lord? Why is it special in the history of my state? It’s the headwaters of the great Mississippi, supplies drinking water for a quarter of Minnesota, supports hundreds of species of animals, and gives witness to approx. 10,000 years of human history. http://mississippiheadwaters.org/History.asp

Some of the land Beltrami County sits upon was originally Ojibwe (Chippewa) land. “Home to the federally recognized Red Lake Band of Chippewa, it is unique as the only “closed reservation” in Minnesota. In a closed reservation, all land is held in common by the tribe and there is no private property.” Charles Brill (1992). Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life, University of Minnesota Press, p. 19. ISBN 0-8166-1906-9
Will You direct my thoughts and prayers today for this peoples’ influence on this event?

Unknown

This county is named after the Italian count Giacomo Beltrami. He explored the area ca. 1825 and claimed to have discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi. After more years of adventures and travels he wrote his memoirs, but could not get them published by the Church-led government of Italy. What, if any, prayer points does this bring to the fore? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Beltrami

First, I will give thanks for the gift of this river; the Mississippi. What would Minnesota be without it? It has given so much to so many: a 2300+ mile waterway, massive hunting and fishing grounds, thousands of years of drinking water, and immense beauty! May we forever remember this blessing from You, and be honorable stewards of it!

Next, I commend the Ojibwe-Chippewa Nation to You. I remember their choice to live in common, a huge commitment to trusting relationships most moderns will not dare undertake.You entrusted them with the gift of the Mississippi, and they did not withhold this treasure from Beltrami. http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/would-you-trust-your-life-red-umbrella

Lastly, I observe this lesson from this snippet of Minnesota history; the debt of gratitude is like a great river. Minnesota owes a debt of thanks to Italy, who owes a debt of gratitude to Giacomo Beltrami who owes a debt to the Ojibwe, who owe a debt to their forebearers, yet we all owe a perpetual debt of honor to the King of the Universe. As long as there is time, may this river of remembrance and honor never cease to flow and refresh! Amen!

*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! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

Standard
19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Swift Becomes Governor

Unknown-17

Jul 10, 1863 to Jan 11, 1864
Henry A. Swift takes office as the state’s third governor. Described by peers as gentle, self-effacing, and ambivalent toward politics, Henry Swift was Minnesota’s third governor for less than a year, completing the second term of Alexander Ramsey, who had been elected United States Senator. With little time or apparent inclination to effect major change, this un-elected governor concentrated on assuring the welfare of Civil War veterans.*

It’s difficult to ascertain which information is critical to convey about any historical event, let alone a single human life. On this day, I chose to scan the data I could easily find about Governor Swift, but remain listening to what the Holy Spirit prompted me to underscore.

This is what I’ve learned about him so far: he was very capable, he did his duty, and then he moved on. Below is an example, not unusual in party politics, where there is a hesitancy to take leadership.

“Republican party leaders nominated Swift for Sibley County’s state Senate seat, after another candidate refused the offer.” (Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 2, 1993, p. 16)
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail?ID=15034

G-d Almighty, thank for those, like Swift, who do their part and then get out of the way. Thank you for leaders uncorrupted by power and authority. Thank you for his example of humble governing. May his successes be amplified, his failures forgiven, and his generations be blessed by Jesus’ authority. Amen!

“HENRY A. SWIFT, the third governor of Minnesota, was born in Ravenna, Ohio on March 23, 1823. His education was attained at Western Reserve College, where he graduated in 1842 with high honors. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1845. Swift entered a career in public service in 1846, serving as the assistant clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position he held until 1847. He also served as chief clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1848. After moving to Minnesota in 1853, Swift established a career in the real estate and insurance business. He returned to politics in 1862, winning election to the Minnesota State Senate, a position in which he also served as senate president. As senate president, Swift assumed the office of lieutenant governor in 1863. On July 10, 1863, Governor Alexander Ramsey resigned from office, and Swift, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the state’s population increased; and a treaty with the Chippewa Indians was negotiated that resulted in the acquisition of substantial land. After declining to run for a term of his own, Swift left office on January 11, 1864. He later secured an appointment as registrar of the St. Peter Land Office, a position he held from 1865 to 1869. Governor Henry A. Swift passed away on February 25, 1869, and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna, Ohio.”
http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_swift_henry.html

For more specific information regarding Governor Swift, see the link below:
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gov017.xml

*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!

Standard