19th Century, Governors, History, Indian, Intercession, justice, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government, Transference, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

Marshall Becomes Governor

Unknown

January 8, 1866 to January 7, 1870
“William R. Marshall becomes the state’s fifth governor. Energy and ambition characterized the life of Minnesota’s fifth—and only southern-born—governor. During William Marshall’s administration, his adoptive state experienced a post-Civil-War surge of growth and development: its population doubled to 350,000, its railroad mileage quadrupled, and its commercial endeavors flourished.” *

Governor Marshall personified the spirit of his pioneering neighbors in the Midwest. His work experience included: dairy farming, livestock farming, reporting the news, and banking. He voluntarily fought in the Civil War, and the Dakota Wars. **

Some of us, living in the present, may stumble over Marshall’s support of the abolition of slavery, and then fighting to expel the Dakota Nation from Minnesota. Would modern scholars, educated in the doctrines of the Frankfurt School or Cultural Marxism, consider him a racist because he fought for African-Americans, but against Native Americans?

Perhaps we would do better to enter the worldview of his era, and see things through the lens of 19th Century Midwesterners? Maybe it’s consistent with his belief system to come to the rescue of slaves because they did not aggress against his country (United States)? What if he rationalized specifically fighting the Dakota Nation, (not all Native Americans), because a few hundred of them made war on Minnesota?

Lord, I simply do not know his heart. You are the Only Wise Justice of this world, so will You reason and wrestle with us in prayer? It is easy to applaud those who voluntarily gave their lives to fight in the Civil War, if it was out of a heart to end the institution of human slavery. It is less laudable, but still reasonable, to assume that some Minnesotans fought the South because of political rather than moral or spiritual reasons.

In the same fashion, we know little of Marshall’s rationalizations for his role in the Dakota Wars. Did he fight for the protection of his political state? Did he do battle because he was “just following orders”? Was Marshall a man given to ethnocentrism and racism towards “Indians”? Was he an amoral conqueror, only acting out his role in the drama of natural selection? Did he fight out of a sense of justice?

So we go to prayer, Eternal Father, beginning with gratitude that You are the Only One who can unravel the mixed motives of the human heart. We do good with a bad heart. We do bad things to others with good intentions. Will You forgive us our pride whether in doing justice, or in our failures to do so? Will You forgive us the pride of a glorious, self-righteous martyrdom; of “falling on the sword” for others with narcissistic hearts?

Regardless of his motives, we applaud the honorable actions of the governorship and life of William R. Marshall. We thank You that he took part in: freeing slaves, protecting settlers, and growing our economy? Where Marshall offended You in the displacement of the Dakota Nation; will You bring forgiveness and healing?

Holy Spirit, thank You for the encouragement of charity Marshall brought to the state of Minnesota. Forgive any judgments established from him or to him through the generations. Thanks for his heart of good will towards our most vulnerable neighbors shown by the following quote below.

“It is due to the State that an enlarged philanthropy should characterize its efforts for its helpless ones. These children of sorrow, the blind, the dumb, the insane, have a claim upon us that we cannot disregard. If speedy action for their relief is not taken it will be a reproach to our Christian civilization.”

Lord, may we be civil because we are Yours! May we love our enemies! May we be conduits of Your generosity for those in need! Amen!
http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rainey_Marshall
*** Minnesota Historical Society Collections. “The inaugural address of Governor Marshall, January 8, 1866, “Executive Documents for the state of Minnesota for the year 1865”, pages 31-38 (St. Paul, 1866).

Standard
19th Century, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, war

Bishop Whipple

Rev. Henry Whipple

Rev. Henry Whipple

1859

“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!

 

Standard