19th Century, government, Governors, History, Intercession, Minnesota

Sibley Becomes First State Governor

H.H. Sibley First Governor of Minnesota

H.H. Sibley
First Governor of Minnesota

“Henry H. Sibley takes office as the state’s first governor. He served three times as territorial delegate to Congress, and with statehood imminent, he played a leading role in drafting the Minnesota constitution. He chose not to run for re-election as governor, but continued to serve the state as military commander during the Dakota War of 1862.” *

“Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on them selves.” Romans 13:2

Jesus, thank you for the leadership of Henry Sibley. Thank you that he had foresight to draft a constitution for the state. Lord, will You forgive the bitter judgments of his term, and those made of him? Starting with Sibley, will You retrain us to honor or leaders in our heart, bring our dissonance with them to You, and not merely show respect externally?

 

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

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19th Century, Civics, education, government, History, law, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer, railroad, State Government

Bill for Minnesota Territory January 18, 1849  

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“Stephen Douglas proposes a bill for the creation of the Minnesota Territory.” *

Douglas was born in Vermont, and spent his early years there. When he was able, he migrated west and settled in Illinois. Within a year of moving west wrote is relatives back in Vermont saying,”I have become a Western man, have imbibed Western feelings principles and interests…” His political principles meshed nicely with the free-spirited populism of the west.**

Delegate to Congress from the soon-to-be “Western” Minnesota Territory, Henry H. Sibley worked with Senator Douglas to develop the nuts and bolts of this original proposal. Called the Organic Act, it provided organization of legal and legislative representation for the new territory. As an interesting sidebar, “an important provision of the Organic Act was the reservation of sections 16 and 36 of each township for school purposes.” ***

So we come to You to remember this event, Lord. We see, again, the spectacle of the mixed motives of Minnesota’s founders. On the one hand, they believe in organization, law, and education. On the other hand, the Territory soon enabled massive railroad land grants and corruption. In 1854, the Minnesota & Northwest Railroad, (eventually known as the Great Northern) committed so much fraud and bribery that their charter and land grants were revoked. Within three years, the same was granted five million acres and millions of dollars in bonds, yet they only built ten miles of railroad!? ****

We remember this dichotomy of purpose with You. Will You bless those, like Douglas and Sibley, who created the potential behind our state? We thank You for the aspirations of great men and women like them, who see the end from the beginning.

Conversely, we confess the dangers of living in a free society. Those who misuse their freedom can seek their own ends, and cause such devastation to their neighbors and the land. Will You have mercy on their selfishness, as well as the counter-judgment’s made by those most affected?

Minnesota is Your land. We are Your incomplete people. Come and help us live in right relationship with You and each other. Amen.

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_A._Douglas
*** https://www.sos.state.mn.us/about-minnesota/minnesota-government/organic-act-of-1849/
**** http://www.landgrant.org/history.html

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19th Century, Business, Economics, History, Industry, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, trade

1st Lumber Mills in MN 1848

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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. **

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.” *** 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 too 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 those whom our heroes stepped 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!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Steele
*** http://www.nps.gov/miss/learn/historyculture/upload/River_Ch_6.pdf

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