20th Century, History, horses, Prayer, Uncategorized

“Whiskey” Retires

Unknown

^

1932
Leaping through rings of fire, then bowing shamelessly for applause, the celebrated jumping horse “Whiskey” was a star attraction at Fort Snelling and throughout the Northwest.*

Below are a few fun snippets from “Smartest Horse in the U. S. Army” by Marilyn L. Slovak.
“He went into training in 1921, reached his peak of popularity in the late 1920s, and retired from performance in 1932. In 1944 Whiskey was buried with full military honors and a government headstone near the present Federal Building at Fort Snelling.
The future initially appeared bleak for this wild horse that reputedly “didn’t even wear shoes” and “could kick a hole in a battle-ship.” Considered unsuitable for the army because of his rebellious spirit, he might have been destroyed were it not for another 1921 arrival at the fort, Lt. William Reuben Hazelrigg. Seeing the possibility of greatness beneath the horse’s unruly exterior, the experienced equestrian selected the chestnut as his assigned mount and, perhaps because of the sway in his walk, named him Whiskey.”**

“Whiskey’s greatest talent was jumping. Combining spectacular jumps with a repertoire of tricks, the horse and his rider did double duty at fort polo games, also supplying the half-time entertainment. No obstacle deterred the fearless, high-flying horse, be it a team of mules hitched to a supply wagon; the white mule, Snelling, standing between two fences; a group of diners seated at a table; a human hurdle; or a blazing jump. When the crowds in the stands clapped and shouted their approval, the Minneapolis Star reported, “it seemed Whiskey knew they were cheering at him.”**

“At night, using a front hoof to maneuver the two-by- four that held the door closed, Whiskey routinely escaped from his stall. “I’d meet this horse in the aisle every night,” recounted Stewart Montgomery, a former sentry and Third Infantry band member. “I’d try to get him back into his stall with no success. Whiskey wasn’t going to follow my instructions. He just didn’t like to be locked up.”**

Today, after reading about the connection between Lt. Hazelrigg and Whiskey, I ponder the significance of the relationship of animals and human beings, Lord. Why is it that animals can play such a crucial role in revealing Your heart to humankind? Why is the Bible so full of revelations that are brought or symbolically taught a lesson through another species?

A brief list from the top of my head:
The heart of the greatest ruler on earth was tempered by gnats, lice, frogs, and locusts in Exodus 8-10.
The nation of Israel miraculously escapes Egypt by the hand of the Almighty. Then they miss having meat so G-d delivers so much quail they struggle to eat it all in Numbers 11.
Jonah runs away from his destiny and is delivered back to it by the trauma of being swallowed by a whale in Jonah 1.
Elijah, driven into hiding, was fed by ravens in I Kings 17.
Daniel refused to stop praying, and was thrown into a den of lions as punishment. Yet, he was spared, and his accusers were torn to shreds when they shared the same fate in Daniel 6.

We see an archetype of animals being agents or messengers of change to specific individuals and peoples. Our contemporaries scoff at Biblical accounts of the miraculous interventions of Your creatures. We often rationalize along with them, and have been ashamed of Your word in an era of science. Will You forgive us?

We have forgotten that the King of the Universe can use anything, anywhere, at any time to convey His messages. We train domestic animals, but what do we know about communicating with them, or listening to their speech? We pat ourselves on the back for cloning animals, yet we cannot create a creature as magnificent as Your horse.

I thank You today for the life of Whiskey and Lt. Hazelrigg. I thank You for their example of the redeeming relationship between Your creatures and humans. I thank You for the lessons taught by Bill Hazelrigg to his horse, and by the lessons kindled by Whiskey to him.

I do not want to diminish the value of either human beings or animals in Your kingdom. According to Your word, we are to be the managers and stewards of Your creation, but You are the owner of all.**** I want to acknowledge that Your heart is on display when there is a strong bond between us and the animals we know.

Can a horse experience joy? Only You know. Does a horse do tricks for anything other than a conditioned response-reward cycle? You also understand this.

We do thank You for bravery of war horses like Whiskey. We thank You that our animals seem to have sense of humor. We thank You for how we grow to “know” them, and as they may “know” us. We thank You for the heritage of Whiskey, and all creatures that make us better creatures! Amen!

Whiskey’s gravestone marker resides alongside the fallen soldiers of Fort Snelling, Minnesota and reads; “Whiskey / a great horse /a stout heart / 1911–1943.”***

**“Smartest Horse in the U. S. Army” by Marilyn L. Slovak ibid pp 337-339
http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/61/v61i08p336-345.pdf
*** http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMRRHP_Whiskey_the_Horse_Fort_Snelling_Minneapolis_MN
**** https://biblehub.com/genesis/1-28.htm and https://biblehub.com/psalms/24-1.htm
^ Lieutenant William Hazelrigg and Whiskey jump the army mule Maud. Creator: Minnesota Historical Society, Photo Lab. 10/21/1922. Courtesy: © Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN (USA) photo “Donkeyversity” Pinterest

Advertisements
Standard
19th Century, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government, war

Sakpe and Medicine Bottle Kidnapped and Executed

Shakopee_0

Jul 1, 1864
Dakota Leaders Sakpe (Shakopee) and Medicine Bottle are drugged and kidnapped near the Canadian border. They are brought to Fort Snelling to be tried for war crimes; they wait almost a year for their trials. Witnesses called by the U.S. government provide only hearsay evidence. The two Dakota leaders have no witnesses to summon on their behalf, nor can they cross-examine U.S. government witnesses. Sakpe and Medicine Bottle are sentenced to death by hanging. On November 10th, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press states that “no serious injustice will be done by the execution tomorrow, but it would have been more creditable if some tangible evidence of their guilt had been obtained.”*

Sakpe and Medicine Bottle met the one of the two ends that are common to warriors; execution or glory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_were_executed Their motives to start a war seem understandable under their circumstances. Our state and local government seems to have made life extremely difficult for them and their people. However, it was their choice to reciprocate injustice by starting a war. (Medicine Bottle below)

Unknown-19

Holy Spirit, You are perfect in justice. Will You visit the broken relationships between the nations of Sakpe and Medicine bottle and the nations of Minnesota? Our collective nations have broken faith with each other and greatly offended Your righteousness! You made us to be neighbors, but we have broken the blessing You meant for us, have cursed and killed each other, and have stained Your land! http://biblehub.com/hebrews/6-8.htm

We forget that all land belongs to You, and that we are only temporary stewards of this state of Minnesota! Forgive us Lord! Heal us! Heal the land, the skies, and all that is below!

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

Dakota banished from Minnesota

Unity Riders_massHEADER_990

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!

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

Civil War Troops 1861  

Unknown-13

Governor Alexander Ramsey is in Washington when the Civil War breaks out. He rushes to the White House and is the first to pledge troops for defense of the Union.

Slavery has never been legal in Minnesota, but not everyone feels the issue is worth going to war over. Yet when war comes, most of Minnesota is gripped by patriotic excitement. Flags wave as troops are sent off to a long and bloody battle that tears America apart.

In Fillmore County, patriotism is so high that men “leave their reapers in the field, their grain uncut, their stacks half-built” to gather in Preston for a recruiting drive. Thousands of troops train at Fort Snelling before leaving for battle.

More than 100 black men from Minnesota enlist in the Union Army. If captured by Confederate troops, black soldiers are not treated as prisoners of war but as escaped slaves. (The 1860 census lists a total African American population in the state of only 259 men, women, and children.)*

Only 259 black Minnesotans in 1860 Jesus! Wow! Will You visit this piece of history Jesus with you healing presence? Especially for these 259 American citizens? Will you honor the 100 who enlisted to fight slavery? Will You remember their bravery to future generations? As Your friend, I bless these 259 African American children of God in the name of Jesus. I bless them, their generations backwards and forwards, and their dwellings. Holy Spirit, will You remove the curse the enemy has tried to put on them through the heritage of slavery, of being the vanquished? Jesus, through Your omnipresence will you send these words to them?

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Roman 8:37-39

As to the patriotism of Minnesotans’, thank you for the love of this place that would make men choose to lay down their lives and fortunes for the sake of defending the most vulnerable Americans. Thank you that our state was the first to lend a hand to the black freedom! Jesus will you temper our patriotism or humanistic idealism with honesty and forbearance? Will You take our love of state and country, and place it in proper perspective with the love of Your kingdom? Will you clear the channels starting in this generation of the extremes of statism, or the nihilism manifesting as ambiguity towards human suffering?

Will you bring Your wisdom to our heritage? Protect my house and this present generation from harsh judgments of our forbearers! We are often in the same boat as they! We hate to see and hear of the suffering in Muslim nations: Egypt, Libya, Iran, Iraq, etc., but does this mean we should engage in war here or abroad to correct what we perceive as injustices? Will we raise the status of Your daughters’ behind the burqa by slaying their men, or praying for their men? How do we intersect with the sects of Islam that have openly bound themselves to conquest?

There is a difference between self-defense and aggression; will You show this boundary to us? Even under interrogation by Pontius Pilate, You often chose to stand firmly and silently. Jesus, bring Your marvelous wisdom to this state of Minnesota! We need You to guide us, and guide our zealousness into paths that bring Your dominion of grace, safety and truth!

 

*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
19th Century, Business, Economics, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

1st Lumber Mills in MN 1848

history_franklinSteele

Pioneer businessman Franklin Steele builds a sawmill at the falls of Saint Anthony. By 1856, there are eight mills at the falls.*

May I sit with You and observe this chapter of life in my state? Mr. Steele came here through the invitation of the man who would become his brother-in-law; Henry Hastings Sibley, a prominent Minnesotan. He staked an advantageous claim on the east bank of the St. Anthony Falls. Soon, he established a partial dam, sawmills, and a crew upriver to supply him logs, and commence a successful business. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Steele

Digging further, this is what I found:
“But Steele surreptitiously staked the first claim on the choicest land before sunrise on the first day of legal settlement.” http://www.nps.gov/miss/learn/historyculture/upload/River_Ch_6.pdf

Is there nothing new under the sun? Once again, a man becomes successful through an inside scoop, and bending the rules to his advantage. We, indeed, are people of mixed motives, bearing both good and bad fruit!

Will You forgive his offense to You in making an illegal claim? Will You forgive his offense to all parties affected in his day whether Native, immigrant, loggers, and sawyers? Will You restore the losses of Steele’s contemporaries?

Yet, we sometimes exhibit the same heart as Steele. We try to grow beautiful things from ugly roots! We often esteem the shrewd, and shun those led by conscience. We are so in love with success stories that we brush past whom our heroes step on and over in the process. Will You forgive us our “illegal claims” today?

Precisely because I am a man with a mixed up heart like Franklin, I am drawn to Your mercy! Through Your kindness, I can offer honest thanks for the accomplishments of others with on-again/off-again hearts. Thanks for providing ample waterpower in Minnesota! Thanks for the resources of wood! Thanks for Franklin Steele who put together an enterprise to use both for the betterment of Minnesota!

*www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/

Standard
19th Century, education, Exploration, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government

Nicollet Maps of Upper Mississippi River 1843

220px-Joseph_Nicollet_001

French astronomer Joseph Nicollet’s accurate maps of the upper Mississippi region, made over the course of several visits to Fort Snelling, are published by the U.S. Senate in 1843.*

Thanks for the blessing of accurate maps. Thanks that You give us a real assessment of the situations of our lives. Thank you that good maps help define land uses and indirectly, land disputes!

As I ponder Messr. Nicollet’s involvement in the life of this state, I quickly come to the question, “Why is an astronomer mapping terra firma so far from home?” Although I know so little about astronomy, I can easily imagine that he was trained to map the vastness of space. Perhaps working on such a small scale was a new challenge to him, or no challenge at all. His motives in this work are unknown to me, but would be an interesting campfire story.

However, I am practicing thinking about history as the Eternal Now. This is where Your Spirit leads me. I thank You that You led this man outside his discipline. I thank You that he was taken far beyond his home into the wilderness of North America. I thank You that he shared his gift, even if it was second place to astronomy! Will You bless us as his progeny to embrace the moments in life we are taken out of our expertise, and into the woods?

*www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/

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

Ezekiel Gear Arrives at Fort Snelling Apr 28, 1839

Unknown-10

Episcopal priest arrives at Fort Snelling. He is chaplain at Fort Snelling from 1839-1858. He remains in Minnesota until his death in 1875.*

Thank you for Gear, and his commitment to Minnesota. Thank you for the blessing his presence had on early Minnesota and especially Fort Snelling. Thank you for his example to future generations here: we are free to reach across cultural boundaries when motivated by Your love!

It is my belief that we have a limited view of our history. We know in part, and we often project our vantage point onto the characters of the past. Perhaps we need a new lens to view the history of Native Minnesotans and its European settlers? May we equally remembers those that built relational bridges in this meeting of peoples as those who tore them down.

The following excerpt demonstrates where the heart of Priest Gear:

“Ezekiel Gilbert Gear was horn in Middletown, Connecticut, September 13th, 1793. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Griswold in the same church in which he was baptized, and his diaconate was passed in that diocese. He was ordained priest by Bishop Hobart, and was appointed missionary in the western part of New York state. There he labored at Onondaga Hill, Avon, Manlius, Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton and Brownsville. He also worked among the Oneida and Onondaga Indians, baptizing, marrying, and admitting many to the communion of the Church. He was present at the confirmation by Bishop Hobart of ninety-seven Indians, presented by Eleazar Williams. We can well imagine that this previous connection with Indian work led him to take an especial interest in advocating, as he did, the beginning of work among the Sioux and Ojibways of Minnesota.”

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/mn/edsall_gear.html

*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!

Standard