19th Century, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

Itasca State Park Established

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1891
Conservationists win a bitter fight against lumber interests to establish Itasca, Minnesota’s first state park, at the headwaters of the Mississippi River.*

“Even after Schoolcraft’s discovery, a few other explorers claimed they had found the source in various tributaries of Lake Itasca. The controversy continued until 1889 when Jacob V. Brower studied the topography of the Itasca basin. He concluded that several creeks do contribute to Lake Itasca, but only at the lake’s outlet is a river formed. To learn more about his great North American River, stop at the interpretive center next to the parking lot before leaving. A souvenir shop is located in the same complex.
Brower struggled for years to preserve Itasca. In 1891, the legislature established Itasca State Park. It is Minnesota’s first state park, and one of the oldest in the country. But Brower, appointed the first park commissioner, received no pay and no funds or support to make the park a reality. Logging companies muscled their way into the park and began to clear-cut the timber. It wasn’t until 1919 that the major logging operations were completed. Today, however, there are still stands of virgin red and white pine in the park with some of the oldest and largest pine trees in Minnesota.” http://mntrails.com/trail-log/itasca-state-park-log

Help me with this, Lord of the Forests! I’m neither a man of the woods or of the city, but have empathies with both. What shall I pray?
First, let me say thanks for the discovery or rediscovery of the source of the Mississippi. May You bless this river, and keep, and make Your face shine on it! Thanks for the creation that it has blessed and upheld! Thanks for this pathway across our nation!

I thank You that You are not offended by our science! I thank You that You do not bristle at our questions! I thank You that, though You may hide the truth for a time, You bless those that earnestly seek it.
With this in mind, will You bless Schoolcraft, Brower, and any other unnamed or unrecorded explorer for the source of the Mississippi? Will You bless their heritage of family, friends, and any who would follow in their path to study and discover new aspects of this Creation?

Also, I ask Your blessing on those who sought to gather a harvest from this land. Every human on the face of this planet uses its resources on a daily basis. Thankou for those who worked the logging camps, fished, hunted, mined, or sought a better life in this region. Will You also bless their heritage of people who gather resources or repurpose those resources?
And here comes the guardian lie, that the motives of the former are superior to the latter, or that the actions of the latter are superior to the former, etc. You have made some to explore, some to study, some to harvest, some to gather, some to refine what is gathered, but NONE can claim superiority! We are all independently dependent on the Author of Life! We are necessary parts of the same body, but we have failed to recognize this, acknowledge this point of separation, or seek forgiveness, or give honor where it is due.
Will You forgive us of our zealous judgments and counter-judgments regarding the land use of Itasca? Will You forgive our arrogance towards our neighbor for whom Christ rose and highly esteems? Will You remove the curses that have bound this land, this state, and this river? Will You help us remember the wisdom that You already have given regarding land? **

*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!

** See The Year of Jubilee Leviticus 25 http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0325.htm

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19th Century, education, Exploration, Geology, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Natural Science

Nicollet and Fremont visit Pipestone quarries 1838

Nicollet

Nicollet

Fremont

Fremont

While on expedition, Nicollet and John Fremont camp at the Pipestone quarries (in what is now Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone County) and engrave their initials near the Winnewissa Falls, leaving a lasting record of their presence there.*

God, since when did graffiti become history? It seems we are unaware of our actions today on future generations. Yet historians and achaeologists surely appreciate these moments of civil disobedience. What is literally scrawled on the walls of the present gives us a much more colorful picture of what happened in the past. Thanks for graffiti artists!

More specifically, thank You for moving Nicollet and Fremont to explore and physically record their attendance to Your pipestone quarry. All on earth belongs to You, but You move some of us to wonder, to travel, to seek out the wonders You have made. It is only my opinion, but I sense a smile on Your eternal face when our curiosity moves us outward, beyond, and into the the unknown!

Thanks for the blessings of pipestone and its amazing uses. Its physical properties made it a natural treasure for past and present minnesotans. Will You bless the quarries at Pipestone! May we continually discover incredible uses for this resource, and use it wisely. Will You free the quarries from the bitter judgments between all relevant parties over its use/misuse?

*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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History, Prayer, Uncategorized

Grand Portage is established 1784

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Grand Portage on Lake Superior becomes the western headquarters of the new North West (fur) Company. From here the British dominate the North American fur trade until Americans arrive in the early 1800s.*

Grand Portage is both a place and a route. The route refers to an 8 1/2 mile portage that starts at the settlement and ends at the Pigeon River, above its waterfalls. Traveling from there through the many lakes along the Canadian Shield, a person could reach the Pacific or the Arctic Ocean without carrying a canoe much farther than the Grand Portage itself.

People and goods could reach Grand Portage, the place, from the East via the Great Lakes, from the South by the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, and from the West by the Grand Portage route. That location had been a central meeting point for trade long before Europeans came looking for furs. Once the fur trade began, Grand Portage also became a port–the westernmost point where goods could be delivered from the east coast by ship.

It is hard for us to imagine in this present era why fur could be so sought after. For moderns, it is a luxury that is contentious and risky to wear despite its  beauty. Most of us don’t know that our world experienced a small “Ice Age” and these European explorers were driven to find furs, like native Minnesotans, because of their warmth.

Will you forgive any judgments of North West Company? We show loyalty to our beloved brands of outerwear like: Columbia, North Face, Filson, Orvis, L.L. Bean etc. We buy these brands because we are convinced they are the best for our purpose. Yet, we have hated those companies who saw the beaver and said, “This is the best source material for warmth, comfort, and style.” Will You forgive our arrogance towards a company that saw an opportunity, provided work to both Native and European Minnesotans, and created useful and beautiful items for trade?

This brings me to ponder that You created fur to shield Your beloved creatures: the mink, the beaver, and the fox to name a few. I am in awe of your artistry in these first “fur coats”?! This day I thank You for the meaning of fur: first to the animals, then to Native Americans, European explorers and traders, and finally to the state of Minnesota!

Not only did You create this astonishingly warm fur, but provided a waterway to it! Thanks that you revealed Grand Portage to Indians, who shared it with the French and English who further established this trade route and town! Will You forgive our conflicts over the fur trade? Will You forgive our grudges, past, present, and leave a blessing?

*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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17th Century, Catholic, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Hennepin publishes book about his travels 1683 

UnknownHennepin exaggerates his exploring feats in a book he writes after returning to France. In one colorful chapter he romanticizes St. Anthony Falls, turning it into a dream destination for adventure travelers. Hennepin becomes famous as his book is translated and read throughout Europe.

Hennepin writes that the falling water “of itself is terrible, and has something in it very astonishing.” Printed in multiple languages and editions, the book’s original title translates to Description of Louisiana: newly discovered to the southwest of New France, by order of the King. With a map of the land: the customs and the way of life of the natives. Dedicated to His Majesty by the R.P. Louis Hennepin, Franciscan missionary and apostolic notary.*

Thank you for choosing Father Hennepin to relay this story to France and the Continent! Often, You choose a spokesman who is imperfectly perfect for the job. In this way, we the recipients automatically relate to the humanity of the message.

Where Hennepin may have exaggerated his adventures; will You forgive him? Will You also forgive those of us like him who may embellish the truth because we lack the trust that the straight story is enough? Will You credit him with the fortitude to put pen to paper, and at least attempt to record what he experienced?

Lord, we are trapped at times by the limitations of words, and especially we historians who wrestle with tone and style. If we insert our voice into historical writing, we may be taken as “too passionate”, or “not impartial.” If we attempt to remain a transparent, neutral reporter, our personality still can betray us through our unspoken biases, our framing of events, and even the limitations or vastness of our vocabulary!

Will You bless those, like Hennepin, who may record our history for those a continent away? Will You give humility to reader and writer to appreciate the limitations of one human’s perceptions? Will You give present and future generations of explorers the bravery to simply write: whether ornamented or truncated?

Lord Jesus, thanks for Your book! Thanks for the power of story to connect head and heart! Will You give power to the stories of Minnesota, and help us to know each other better?

*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.

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17th Century, Catholic, Culture, Exploration, France, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans

Hennepin at Falls of St. Anthony 1680  

 

 

Source:Google Images

“Early explorer who named St. Anthony Falls” copyright Ken Fox

 

Louis Hennepin, a missionary with the La Salle expedition in Illinois, is sent up the Mississippi to explore the country. The Dakota stop him and his two companions and take them to a village near Lake Mille Lacs. While Hennepin is with the Dakota, he sees a great waterfall on the Mississippi and names it after his favorite saint–Saint Anthony.*

Lord, thanks that You position us to encounter Your mystery! I don’t know if Hennepin was stopped by force or friendliness, but thank you that You moved him to see the Falls, and the Dakotas to lead him! What a gift these Dakotas’ shared with a total stranger?! What a generosity of spirit! Will You remember their willingness to share the findings of their exploration? Release us from any false judgments or assumptions, Hennepin to Dakota, or vice versa, that stem from this event. Release Your blessings on both groups; the explorers and first residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Amen.

*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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