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

Bounties and Punitive Expeditions

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“The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.” The Daily Republic, Winona, MN, September 24, 1863

The state of Minnesota places bounties—ranging from $25 to $200—on the scalps of Dakota people. Nathan Lamson receives $500 from the state for killing Taoyateduta (Little Crow).

Governor Alexander Ramsey orders punitive expeditions into Dakota Territory to hunt down the Dakota people. Two forces totaling more than 7,000 soldiers are formed under generals John Pope and Alfred Sully. When the Dakota hear of approaching soldiers they flee their camps, leaving valuable supplies. Most of the fleeing Dakota are women and children. Many die from starvation and exposure over the winter.*

Jesus, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that my state had bounties on scalps, but I’m a product of the 20th century where we only take off the heads of our political opponents verbally or figuratively. It made me curious as to why and who began the practice in the first place. This is a brief snippet of what I found.
“Scalping–cutting off the scalp of a dead enemy as proof of his demise– was common practice throughout North America before colonists got here. It is described in Indian oral histories, and preserved scalps were found at archaeological sites. Colonists learned to scalp enemies from the Indians. (The European custom was to cut off people’s heads for proof/trophies, originally, but scalps are easier to transport and preserve, so the colonists quickly switched to the Indian method.) Once they picked up the technique, the English did a tremendous amount of scalping, both of natives and of rival Frenchmen.” http://www.native-languages.org/iaq12.htm

Will You forgive Alexander Ramsey, John Pope, Alfred Sully and their expedition into Dakota territory, (now North Dakota and South Dakota) to pursue the Dakota’s out of Minnesota? Release us from the bondage of this inheritance. Will You forgive the understandable bitterness that has entered the hearts of the Dakota people, as You forgive those among their tribes who taught Minnesotans this practice? Will You give them the grace to remove this hook of the enemy from their hearts? I want to live to see Your blessing of the Dakota people! May we honor You, instead, by keeping trophies of conflicts resolved peaceably, and build displays of unmerited favor shown among all families of nations that make up this place.

*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, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, war

Punitive Expeditions: Massacre at Whitestone Hill

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Jul 1, 1863
On September 3, soldiers with Gen. Alfred Sully spot a large encampment of Indians in Dakota Territory who are in the middle of preparing food for the winter. Only some of these Indians are Dakota. Seeing that they are outnumbered the soldiers return and report their find. Aware that they’ve been seen, the Indians break camp, but are pursued by the soldiers. Men, women, and children flee in all directions. The Indian men make a desperate resistance but are soon overwhelmed. At least 150 Indians are captured, and hundreds are killed. In his report Sully gloats “I can safely say I gave them one of the most severest punishments the Indian have ever received.”*

Dear Ruah Ha-Qodesh, I’m so thankful that You are the good Counselor. My heart is so heavy as I ponder these memories today. Will You come and bring light and wisdom to pray for this cruel day of July 1, 1863?

My first guidance from You came circumstantially through a video I watched yesterday on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-uqtQQmYOA This lesson is from an Elijah House teaching series titled “Healing Trauma” featuring, Prayer Minister/Teacher, Sandra Sellmer-Kersten. In it, she articulates some profound ideas about healing prayer for those who are victims of trauma.

The concept that struck me the hardest was her intentional prayers for the amygdala portion of the brain. “The amygdalae (singular: amygdala; /əˈmɪɡdələ/; also corpus amygdaloideum; Latin, from Greek ἀμυγδαλή, amygdalē, ‘almond’, ‘tonsil'[1]) are two almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans.[2] Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.[3]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala

How fitting that we should minister to the exact part of the brain where memories are stored! I’m no scientist, but it makes sense that as memories form much of the basis of our personality and being, that we should humbly and gently pray for You to take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ. Maybe this is a clue for this meditative journey through history You have me on, Lord; to pray for the amygdala of the collective brain of my broken and wounded culture?

So here I start, today I recognize to You the memory of the Massacre at Whitestone Hill. Gracious G-d, all our offenses are an offense to You first! This day these unnamed soldiers led by General Alfred Sully failed to recognize Your image within the Native Americans living at Whitestone Hill. Whether their punitive actions could be classified at that time as an act of war or simply retribution is unclear. What is clear is that the judgments of the General, his soldiers, the state of Minnesota, and perhaps the U.S. government resulted in the death of innocents. Lord, have mercy on this shedding of innocent blood!

It is apparent by the quotation of Sully, “…I gave them one of the most severest punishments…”, what prompted his heart. But what do You say about this motive?
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” I John 4:18 http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

How much blood has been spilt on this ground because of one strongman’s fear of another strongman’s fear? How much devastation our home has seen because a General fears a Chief, or a Chief who fears a General? We are incomplete in love, and choose leaders with the same human faults. They have overstepped their boundaries and moved from “protectors” of our culture and society into its’ “avengers”.

Will You place Your hand on the amygdala of all involved in this massacre? Will You remove the heart of the avenger, and guilt of all military men and their eternal progeny involved in this day? Will You guide the same into Your balanced heart of justice and protection, and heal them of the horrors of war?

Further, Will You remember this day of trauma for those Native Minnesotans who were simply preparing food for winter? Will You vanquish these victims? Will You speak into these hearts and their eternal progeny that they are welcome and wanted at Whitestone Hill, and a beautiful part of of Your good plan for this state? Will You redeem this land? Will You take the pain of this memory, and turn it into a blessing? Will You cause a heart commitment to the political practice of acts of love that surpasses our political acts of fear? Will you complete us in love? Touch the memory of Minnesota! Heal our trauma!

*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, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Dakota banished from Minnesota

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May 1863
“After the deadly winter of 1862-3, the 280 Dakota men convicted the previous fall are brought to a compound in Iowa, where they will spend three years before being exiled. The 1,400 Dakota at Fort Snelling are sent by steamboat down the Mississippi and up the Missouri to new reservations. Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota Territory is a terrible place—bone dry and not at all suitable for farming. “It is the dirtiest country I ever saw,” writes missionary John Williamson. “The dust rises in the tent and settles all through the woods so that you cannot get rid of it. Even the river is full of it.” Because of the military’s poor planning, extreme rationing is implemented as soon as they arrived. The death rate is high. A federal law, the Dakota Expulsion Act, abrogates all Dakota treaties and makes it illegal for Dakota to live in the state of Minnesota. The act applies to all Dakota, regardless of whether they joined the war in 1862. This law has never been repealed.”*

Lord, how often it happens. We covet our neighbor’s house. We covet our neighbor’s wife. We covet our neighbor’s land or property. We are not content with what we have. We worship our longings or belongings instead of You; the Rightful King of the Universe! Have mercy on us! The American nation told the Minnesotan nation what to do with the Dakota nation.

I feel great shame when I read of the Dakota Expulsion Act. I believe that the Dakota involved in the war in 1862 may justly be expected to pay some consequence or restitution to Minnesota. However, the idea that Dakotans’ not involved in the war should be forever expelled from Minnesota, from their native homeland, is unconscionable. Lord, the Dakota Expulsion Act has not been repealed in the government of men, but I appeal to You this day, Saturday May 14, 2016, to repeal it in the heavenlies. Will You make this injustice right also in my state and nation? Lord, although the Dakota were wronged, will You also forgive them any counter judgments against the U. S. government, the states of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakota Territory, and the nations of people within them?

Will You cleanse and heal our lands of this sin against You? You have said:
“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 23:9
“’Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.’” Leviticus 19:15

Lord, bless this people with mass visions of You. Bless them to forgive the sins against their ancestors, and to view themselves humbly as recipients of Your kingdom. May they add their crucial voice to the “Song of the Lamb”! May the full number of Dakota be rescued from the enemy! May You soothe and release them from the orphan spirit and the principality of abandonment. May their entire Nation know, recognize, and receive Your adoption and treasuring love in its place. Welcome home Dakota Nation!

*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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