19th Century, Culture, History, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, Treaties

Winnebago Moved to Reservation 1847  

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A treaty with the U.S. government moves the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) from northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota to a reservation in Todd County. With the Ojibwe to the north and the Dakota to the south, government officials hope the Winnebago reservation will serve as a buffer zone between Minnesota’s two larger Indian nations.

The Winnebago prefer the terrain of the prairie to this wooded area, and in 1855, they relocate to a smaller tract of land in Blue Earth County. They remain there until after the U.S.-Dakota Conflict, when the government forces them to move with the Dakota to the Crow Creek reservation in South Dakota.*

Jesus, thanks for the peoples of Minnesota. Thanks that You made us Your people whether of Winnebago, Ojibwe, Dakota, English, German, French, or Swedish descent. It’s wonderful that we are uniquely made, distinct families conveying some reflection of Your light!
Will You illuminate and forgive the bitter root judgments of the US government towards the Winnebago and vice versa? Will You forgive the government’s desire to use this people as a “buffer” between Ojibwe and Dakota, and the implications that they needed help maintaining peace between their peoples? Will You fill hearts and lands with the gift of restoration here in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and replace the curses from the hearts of all parties in this event?

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

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19th Century, education, History, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, women

Saint Paul’s 1st Public School 1847

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New Englander Harriet Bishop arrives in St. Paul and opens the town’s first public school. In a log cabin that had once been a blacksmith’s shop, students sit on wooden benches while chickens wander in and out.*

Thanks for Harriet Bishop and her desire to make education ‘public’. There were few opportunities for female teachers in New England, and she relished the adventure of moving west into unfamiliar territory.  She credits Harriet Newell and Ann Bishop, missionaries to Burma, as her inspiration.

The first school house, which she opened in a former blacksmith shop on July 19, 1847, was a “mud walled log hovel… covered with bark and chinked with mud” at what is now St. Peter Street and Kellogg Boulevard in the relatively isolated fur trading post of Saint Paul. Of the seven students in her first class, only two were caucasian. She had to rely on a student who was fluent in French, Dakota, and English to translate for her classes (which she taught in English). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Bishop

It’s astounding to think that most schools in our nation were private or parochial at the time. Public schools were often for the benefit of Protestants and the poor, whose communities did not have the resources or organizational structure to support them. How far we have come from this log cabin filled with students and wandering chickens!

However, presently we fail future generations because learning is disconnected from the Omniscient One. We have generations leading lives filled with facts, technology, and the benefits of science, but detached from meaning or a reason for being. This state was made by our Loving God, but even Your presence in school is an affront to the humanistic underpinnings of our current system of education! Will you forgive us this offense? Will You forgive our education system, legal system, and hearts where we have blocked You, and therefore any real sense of Divine Purpose, from our lives!

Today I remember the risk of Harriet Bishop, and her heart to see all children learn! Perhaps her home culture did not value her, but we thank You for incredible contributions to our state! Will You bless her, and all like her, who bravely risk the frontiers of our educational system?

Will You forgive any arrogance and academic pride of our forbearers, as You forgive us those same separations in the present? Will You bless future schools of Minnesota with wonder and awe of knowledge beyond our reach? May we remember the Infinite One who perceives the oceans of information beyond our drop in the bucket! May we receive Your forbearing spirit for each other, and a willingness to honor each other in Minnesota’s classrooms regardless of our faith in God or man?

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19th Century, education, Exploration, France, government, History, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans, Science, State Government

Nicollet Maps of Upper Mississippi River 1843

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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/

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19th Century, Business, Culture, History, livestock, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans, trade, Transportation

Red River Oxcart Trade 1840 to 1850

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MĂ©tis families (formed by marriages between whites and Indians) take their furs from the Red River Valley to St. Paul in oxcarts. Long caravans of up to 200 carts travel from as far away as Winnipeg, Canada, making St. Paul one of the leading fur markets in the country from the 1840s to the 1860s.*

My first question, Lord, is who are the Metis people? Doing what any modern American would do when faced with something they haven’t encountered before I went straight to wikipedia, and found the following excerpt below.

“The MĂ©tis are the descendants of Indigenous Cree or Anishinaabe women who married French or Scottish fur traders during the early colonial period. They have a specific, unique culture. Most are found among the Michif-speaking peoples of the Red River region in modern Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota.[1] The Red River peoples are part of the same ethnic group as many of the Canadian MĂ©tis peoples. There is also a broader but limited use of the term to describe any people who descend from the united culture created by the intermarriage of various French and British fur traders and various Algonquian, Cree and other Native American groups intermarrying during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This use would exclude from MĂ©tis people-hood those whose ancestries became mixed between these different ethnic groups in other settings or more recently than about 1870.” **

So now I have a place to begin my prayer; with at least an inkling of a back story of the Metis. God, I don’t really feel too prayerful tonight, but I’m willing to wait with You and see where it goes. Ok?

To begin, thank You that the Metis are Your people, and included in Your family. Thanks that You have watched over and led them for generations before their participation in the fur trade took place. Today I give your gratitude for the this era of the oxcart trail!

Next, I thank You that Metis marriages became an intersection between Scotch, Irish, French, Cree, Anishinaabe, and perhaps more nations of people! My late aunt, Ingrid Trobisch, an author and marriage counselor once told me, “Interracial marriages may be doubly difficult, but they are also doubly blessed.” I  commend  and honor these marriages that forged a new and unique culture from their culture of origin to You Good Father! Will you bless the Metis and all their future generations with the same forbearing spirit?

How interesting that, again, a people group becomes synonymous with a form of transportation: the Sami people of Finland the reindeer, the Arabs the horse, the Peruvians the llama, and the Metis the oxcart. All through history You have given us gifts and innovative thoughts that improve our lives. Thank You for these gifts. Will You bless those who rode these caravans, and continue to provide for their needs in the present and future? Will You cause us to pause as we drive I-94 west of Minneapolis, and remember who those who first blazed this road; the Metis?

Lord, I ponder what those in the future will think about us when the car is an antiquated beast. Will our interstates lead them somewhere, or will they cease to have purpose ? Will we be associated with our vehicles? In any case, I ask that You bless the future forms of transportation that may be discovered here in Minnesota, and that they would be inhabited by people who drive them to intersect with their neighbors as the Metis did.

*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!

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MĂ©tis

 

 

 

 

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