20th Century, German Americans, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Political Suppression

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Meintz was tarred and feathered for not supporting War Bond drives.

1917
Anti-German hysteria runs rampant during the war. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety is given sweeping powers to bully German Minnesotans, suppress the right of free speech, break strikes, and even remove elected officials from office.*

Our Constitution is designed to protect us from both tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority.
“In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” – Speech, Constitutional Convention June 29th 1787 (https://thefederalistpapers.org/founders/james-madison-quotes)

To offer some more specific historical context, read the excerpt from Matt Reicher’s article on the MNopedia site.
“The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Minnesota legislators worked quickly to pass war-related laws before the end of their spring session. As a result, the Sullivan bill saw very little debate. It passed both houses and was signed into law by Burnquist on April 16, 1917. The MCPS took control of many of the state’s regulatory, public safety, and military functions.

Throughout its tenure the MCPS provided useful services. It distributed food, controlled the prices of goods, and conserved fuel. However, it is best known for its use of secret surveillance, intimidation, and other extreme tactics in the name of protecting Minnesota’s citizens.

Ensuring clear-cut loyalty to America eventually overtook the MCPS’s other efforts. Commissioners regarded any lack of patriotism as rebellion. Political beliefs were irrelevant. Governor Burnquist maintained that there were only two parties during the war: “loyal” and “disloyal”. He and the MCPS praised the former and tried to eliminate the latter.” (ibid http://www.mnopedia.org/group/minnesota-commission-public-safety)

As defined by the American Psychological Association, ambiguity is “a perceptual object that may have more than one interpretation. (http://www.apa.org/research/action/glossary.aspx) One problem with loyalty litmus tests is that they often force emotional ambiguity upon society. Citizens face the dilemma of feigning outward compliance to the law, but inwardly rejecting its divisiveness and lack of subtlety.

It is significant that this bifurcating mania existed towards our State’s most populous ethnicity during the run up to World War I. “The largest flow of German immigration to America occurred between 1820 and World War I, during which time nearly six million Germans immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans#World_War_I_anti-German_sentiment)
German Americans compose a plurality in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Midwestern states. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans)

Lord, hear our prayer! In the era of WWI, we allowed a consensus opinion to beat down the rights of German Americans solely on the basis of their race. In offending them, the largest and most populous group of Minnesotans, we have offended You. We have treated citizens as suspects: in social circles, in their work life, in their property, and in their faith. Have mercy!

Will You restore to German Americans the damages done to them in this chapter of history? Will You forgive our fears that overcame wise law during the Great War? Will You forgive us from literally erasing their names from the persons, places, and things of Minnesota? Will You forgive the MCPS and Minnesotans from “piling on” of shame over imagined offenses, instead of dealing solely with real guilt of actually breaking the law through collaborating with an enemy during wartime?

Contrarily, will You forgive the judgments of German Americans towards the MCPS and the State? Will You free them from the weight of maintaining the offense of their humilations? Will You remove this historic offense up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Only You can bear our sins, and change us into overcomers!

In our present and future, will You help us slow down our destructive reactionary responses to war and rumors of war through the gateway of our fears? Your Word says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love. 1John 4:18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English*** Will You help us to trust our neighbors, and honor the rights, privileges, and duties of their citizenship as much as our own?

Will You protect us from societal damages through the means of group and identity politics? We cherish our race, or our subculture, but You have called us beyond our ethnicities as individuals! Our worth to You is not based one our “ism”, “hyphen”, our other marker; we are worthy because You have called us worthy!

Further, will You heal Your Church to be cognizant that our first citizenship is in Heaven? Will You free us from the Enemy’s triggers, and the bait of ethnic-based offense? We relinquish our rights to maintain an offense and declare the Jubilee of Your grace towards all people of Minnesota now and always. Maranatha!

*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!
**Find primary sources of the Minnesota commission of Public Safety. http://invention.si.edu/minnesota-commission-public-safety-main-files-1917-1919
***http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

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19th Century, Agriculture, farming, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Homestead Act 1862

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Congress passes the Homestead Act, offering millions of acres of free land to settlers who stay on the land for five years. Lumber companies acquire valuable timber lands through fraudulent claims.

“A Homestead Bill Passed. Minnesota will derive great benefit from the passage of this act. Not only will it afford relief to thousands of settlers at present upon our public domain, but offer additional inducements for emigrants from the east and the old country to settle among us.” -Mankato Record, June 26, 1862

The act brings 75,000 people to Minnesota over 3 years. To qualify for 160 free acres, settlers have to live on it for five years, farm, and build a permanent dwelling. Those able to spend the money can buy the 160 acres at $1.25 an acre after living on it for six months.*

I am a witness to this truth this morning: Minnesota is the property of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for the heart of the Homestead Act to offer a place for the emigrant: “exile, expatriate, emigre, colonist, migrant, displaced person, D.P., traveler, foreigner, pilgrim, refugee, fugitive, wayfarer, wanderer, immigrant, alien, outcast, man without a country.” (p.136, “Webster’s New World Thesaurus” by Charlton Laird) This is an honorable motive, to be a place of refuge, consistent through Minnesota’s history.

However, there is a heritage of mixed fruit. Some land given away by the state was “acquired” or unjustly taken from Native Americans. We see the continuation of the root sins of greed for land by the fraudulent claims of special interests: lumber companies, railroads, land speculators, and corrupted government agencies. Lord will You be the arbiter of justice over these parties to mass theft, deception, or at least self-interest? Will You specifically restore the Native American to his land(s), or find a path to reasonable compensation? Will You meet this bitter root of land greed today?

Under the the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I announce to the spirit and attitude of land greed that your reign in Minnesota from the Homestead Act of 1862 through the present and into the eternal future is broken. Land and property, be reassigned according to the will of the Lord, to the stewards whom He may choose. O land of Minnesota, all below, and sky above, I declare a “Year of Jubilee”: a year of returning and rest, a year of the favor of the Lord!

*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!

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19th Century, Business, Exploration, Health, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Technology, Transportation

First Steamboat at Ft. Snelling 1823

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The “Virginia” is the first steamboat to reach Fort Snelling. Needed supplies are missing from the cargo, though the boat does carry the umbrella-wielding Italian count Giacomo Beltrami.*

Today’s meditation is on the relevance of the arrival of steamboats in the state of Minnesota. For the author, the practical is spiritual, and often the super-normal is the basis of the super-natural. Therefore, if I want to hear what my Good Father is saying to me today, I may have to slow my thoughts to the speed of a paddle-wheeler headed upstream. That said, below is a succinct general history to amplify this event:

“As early as the 17th Century a handful of explorers, hardy French voyageurs, and missionaries had ventured into the environs of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Through a variety of relationships that included cooperation, intermingling, and competition with the native inhabitants of the region, several temporary encampments and forts had been established to support the lucrative fur trade. But most historians agree that nothing changed the frontier as quickly as steam transportation.(1)

In April, 1823 the small steam packet Virginia backed out into the channel of the Mississippi from the St. Louis levee to become the first boat to ascend the Father of Waters into what would later become the Minnesota Territory. This remarkable journey was chronicled by Giacomo Constantine Beltrami, the Italian explorer who went on to play an important role in Minnesota history. (2) A Kentucky family en route to the lead mines of southern Wisconsin on board the 118-foot vessel represented the first trickle of what would soon become a deluge of immigration. Also on board the Virginia for this historic trip was Captain William Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1805.

Imagine the contrast of traveling in the relative ease and comfort of this sturdy little boat with his experience of just a few years earlier.” http://www.winonahistory.org/sesqui/steam/

There is much here to ponder: the new technology of the steamboat, how this technology changed history, and what timeless truths can we grasp from it? Lord of Mighty Rivers hear my simple thoughts and prayers.

Strong Creator, thank You for the scientific properties of water. It’s truly amazing! It’s like Your character, it can appear as ice, liquid, or steam, yet it is always the same substance. You put it into Your creative children to harness this transitional power for the betterment of humankind. Which of their ancestors would imagine that one day their boiling tea kettle would power massive loads upstream against the might of the Mississippi?

Here is my first confession and petition. Lord forgive our lack of imagination, both for ourselves, and for the dreams of others. May we practice to spur this generation to dream, and to the enjoyable discipline necessary to their fulfillment. May we be a voice of encouragement that pushes others to defy the current! Thank You for the symbolic value of the lonely Virginia moving slowly to its destination!

Next, new technology often makes the impossible possible, and the impractical practical. Again, who in the 18th century would think that their steaming iron maple syrup pot could actually become a boiler? And that that boiler would have the power to move unthinkable payloads up and downstream? And that those payloads would enable trade and previously unimaginable lifestyle for the average American?

We, in the 21st century, have the luxury to throw away old socks and t-shirts. Cotton products have become so accessible they are practically disposable. We do not know or remember that our ancestors may have experienced the incredible comfort of cotton articles from the South for the first time because of this steamboat’s success. Conversely, those in the South were likely amazed at the beautiful white flour Minnesota could send them so affordably.

Lord, we don’t often pause to remember what it’s like to do without. We do not see the masterful design of a plain white cotton t-shirt, or ponder that in past generations, it was a garment fit for a king. Or that the greatest chefs of Paris were astounded at the silky wheat flour from some unknown place called Minnesota. It was “Incroyable”!

Incredible Dreamer, thanks that You are not offended by our inventions! Thanks that this steamboat enabled Beltrami to better share his discoveries with a much wider audience. Ultimately, thanks that You take pleasure in our discoveries! May this river valley yield new discoveries and discoverers who make the impossible possible! (Just like You!)

*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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