19th Century, History, horses, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Technology, Transportation

Electricity Replaces Horses

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1890
Electricity replaces horse power on the Grand Avenue trolley in St. Paul. In four years, an intercity electric line will whisk passengers between the downtowns of the Twin Cities in only 45 minutes.*

Again Lord, thank You for inspiring improvements in our means of transport in Minnesota! What is it about movement that so appeals to us? Or is free movement something that appeals to You first, and us secondly? Transport my thoughts, God, in Your direction.
First let us not forget to thank You for the gift of the horse! How these creatures have served us so mightily! As a Minnesotan, I want to say thanks for all horses that have, are, or will exist here. Will You bless our horses, those who work with them, and trade them? Will You bless their health and lives in perpetuity?
In this era, the 1890’s, will You forgive any root thoughts or actions between those who used horses and those who wanted to replace them with electrical trolleys?
Will You forgive the judgments of those who pit technology vs. animal, or extant technology vs. new technology rooted in this era, and continuing into the present?

Why did the horse fall into disfavor for use with trolley car companies such as the TCRT?
“Despite the advantage of steel wheel on rail, the cars were still horse powered, and horses were a problem. Up to seven were required to keep a single car in service all day. They produced epic quantities of manure. They were slow, couldn’t handle steep hills and were subject to disease.”
http://www.trolleyride.org/History/Narrative/TC_Transit.html

These problems are serious in an urban setting. It’s understandable that Minnesotans of this era would look to a new means of propulsion.
So, I want to say thank You for the gift of the electric-powered trolley. Will You bless it’s inventors, and their heritage? Will You bless those leaders who experimented and took a chance on a new technology? Will You cleanse the land where these rails ran, where man and beast were cursed by one or the other of these factions?

Beyond these prayers, more thoughts arise without answer…yet. Why do we long to “get there” faster? Do we really “save time” by increasing the speed at which we travel? Is the increase of leisure time a net blessing or curse on Minnesota? How does “more speed help an attitude that is given over to impatience? For these questions, and the millions of others that are unspoken and unwritten, give us wisdom and insight! Lord, hear our prayer!

*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!

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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, Civics, education, Energy, farming, government, History, horses, Intercession, Jesus, livestock, Medicine, Minnesota

Energy Crisis 1872

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Epizootic fever strikes horses throughout the Midwest. The three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.*

I need to let this one simmer for a bit; “the three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.” It’s hard to relate to this not-so-distance past when “horse-power” really meant the labor of a workhorse. I believe it was as late as W. W. II when the majority of Minnesotans still lived on farms, and felt this connection to living “horse-power. (I still need to let this steep.)

There’s something good about the connection between human and horse. Your draft animal as a precious commodity, means of production, and even friend?! A car with a face? A tractor with a face? A companion who saw the same sights, and explored the same paths as its master?

Below is some documentation of the breadth and width of this epizootic fever.
“Beginning in Toronto, Canada, in the late summer of 1872, in only three days the disease hit nearly all the livery stables and the horses used to pull streetcars in that city. By mid-October, horses in all of Canada, Michigan and the New England states were infected. By the beginning of November the disease had spread to Illinois, Ohio and South Carolina. By the end of the month, Florida and Louisiana reported cases.” http://www.heritagebarns.com/the-great-epizootic-of-1872/#.V9s-fmPSfVo

Holy Spirit, today I remember the I remember this equine flu epidemic of 1872. I accede to Your will in the relationship between the suffering of animals and the people of this state. I acknowledge the contribution of veterinarians to the well-being of these individual animals, and indirectly to our state.

Will You forgive us any judgments made against Your goodness or holiness because of the epizootic fever then? You care about each detail of our lives, and of each creature in Your world. We give You thanks for these horses past, and sincerely thank You for Minnesota’s present stock. We ask Your blessings on each colt, filly, mare, stallion, bronco, foal, and gelding that will walk the North Star state in perpetuity!

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!

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19th Century, Business, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transportation

Red River Oxcart Trade 1840 to 1850

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Métis 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 Métis 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 ManitobaNorth Dakota, and Minnesota.[1] The Red River peoples are part of the same ethnic group as many of the Canadian Métis 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 Métis 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!

 

 

 

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18th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transportation

Horses Arrive 1740 to 1760

By the mid-1700s, thUnknown-1e Dakota are riding horses, obtained in trade with other tribes, on their buffalo hunts on the prairie. They can now follow the herds farther west on the plains.

Horses had been extinct in the Americas for about 8,000 years. Columbus reintroduced them when he carried European breeds to the continent in 1493. Nearly 200 years later, horses were abundant on the plains, where they transformed the lives of the region’s inhabitants.*

Master, thank you for the creation that You allow us to live and thrive in! Thank you that horses have blessed the lives of the Dakota and immigrant alike! Thank you for the gift of the buffalo to our forbearers! Thank you for reintroducing the horse to North America, and for it’s profound impact on Dakotans’ survival!

Why did You use Europeans to bless North America with the horse? It is good to remember that European explorers were not solely the “exploiters”  of North America as some revisionists may hold. In this case, will You remember those who brought the horse as “contributors?” Thank you, Father, that all cultures are free to choose to contribute and be blessed by those they may not yet know!

Will You bless both horse and rider in Minnesota forever? Will You make us better as a people in our treatment of all horses? Will You give us insight into Your masterpiece; the horse?

*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 http://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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