20th Century, Business, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Labor, Mining, Minnesota

Johnson Becomes Governor

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Jan 4, 1905
John A. Johnson takes office as the state’s 16th governor. Johnson became the first Minnesota-born governor, the first to serve a full term in the present state capitol, and the first to die in office. He also was the first Minnesota governor to bask, fleetingly, in the national spotlight when he sought the 1908 Democratic presidential nomination, but lost to William Jennings Bryan.*

G-d, it is so difficult to prayerfully write about politicians; there’s so much to know about these individuals, and mere facts do not often give one a grasp of their character and motivations. Will You guide me to information that tells the story You most want me to record? Will You give insight to my dullness today?

After a quick hunt on the internet, I found this excellent source at google e-books. It was published in 1910, so the information would be a recent memory of the authors. This is what they had to say,

“As an executive the most spectacular achievement of his career was his handling of the strike on the Minnesota iron range in the summer of 1907.”
“Led by Italian socialist Teofilo Petriella…”
“Needed only a spark to explode this magazine of hatred and fancied wrong…”
“Without guard or escort, he sought out the leaders of the strike…”
“The leaders of the other side were seen in the same personal manner.”
“And the peace was kept without the use of a single soldier or the firing of a single shot-at the cost to the state only of the Governor’s trip to the Range.”

Frank Day and Theodore Macfarlane,Life of John Albert Johnson, Three Times Governor of Minnesota., Forbes and Company, 1910. pp.161-163.
http://books.google.com/books?id=iVxAAAAAYAAJ&dq=john+albert+Johnson+taxation&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Lord, I want to acknowledge this memory to You. Thank you for the peacemaking abilities of Governor Johnson. Thank You for the power of listening intently he showed those in this disagreement. Thank You for the gifts of wisdom this Governor exercised to avert hostility.
However, absence of war alone does not mean peace. Those who followed Petriella to the precipice of revolt suggest that their grievances were deep and unresolved. Lord, will You forgive their bitterness towards their employers? Will You forgive their employers’ judgments towards them?
As a man who did physical labor for years, I may understand part of their pleas for relief. We are human beings, not machines, and sometimes we simply cannot work more without rest. It is very hard to hear criticism from a boss when you have worked yourself to the point of exhaustion day after day. Will You remember the cross of physical exhaustion these men bore? Will You hear their yearnings for their labor to be valued and respected by their bosses and society?
Conversely, hear the voices of their leaders, foremen, and employers! So few of us know the loneliness of being a leader, or of having extremely high pressure decisions on our plate day after day. Often these leaders have no one to confer with, or have insufficient time and data to make informed choices. They just have to “man up” and make the call.
Will You hear their longings for appreciation? Will You heal their feelings of beings hated and punished for creating jobs? Will You be with them in their lonely decisions?
It is easy to look back on this situation and see how these two groups, labor and employer, may have misbeliefs towards each other. Each group has real needs and wants and limitations that should be heard and considered. In light of that, I bless these two groups of Minnesotans that have, are, or will work on the Iron Range; the laborer and the employer. Jesus Christ, will You overcome all their obstacles to a symbiotic relationship? Will You provide mediators like Governor Johnson who can skillfully deal with any crisis? Will You give us Your imagination, and offer new and creative means to repair rifts long before they erupt?
Finally, forgive us, both then, now, and into perpetuity, of failing to see that judgements of our sister, brother, or boss are judgments of You. Who are we to judge Your laborers’ intents rather than actions? Didn’t You make them strong and skilled and able to withstand the elements? Who are we to judge Your employers? Didn’t You give them the ideas to create useful products, to manufacture those products, and sell those products to the world for a profit that enables the cycle to continue? Didn’t You make some who are born leaders? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for the will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

*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!

**Excellent summary of this strike by Jack Lynch of the Hibbing Daily Tribune. http://www.hibbingmn.com/news/years_of_yore/petreila-brains-of-strike/article_9a2d9290-ee82-5421-b481-92b4012fef38.html

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20th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Life, Minnesota

Wonderland Park

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1905
Wonderland Park in Minneapolis draws visitors with a 120-foot-high electric tower. Before going out of business in 1912, the park offers a carousel, a dance pavilion, a scenic railway, and a “House of Nonsense.”*

In Your creation, You ordained a day of rest, and have established a pattern for us. You worked six days, and then took a break on the seventh day. Thank You for showing us a plan for a happy life-balance.
Thank You for the creation of Wonderland Park in Minneapolis! Thank You for those who saw some land, and envisioned: a tower of lights for docking airships (dirigibles), a carousel, a scenic railway (rollercoaster), an Infant Incubator Institute for free treatment of pre-mature babies, a place where anyone could afford to ride a horse, and a place to meet and dance!
I particularly think You must have taken delight in the “House of Nonsense”! What good grandpa doesn’t relish the laughter, silly jokes, and just plain goofing off with his grandkids? You made a universe of discovery for us, and today I want to acknowledge and thank You for that.

Further, I want to acknowledge the burden of this amusement park on its’ neighbors.* The heavy traffic and noise caused a local church to sue for interfering with worship services. Thankfully, they settled out of court, and rebuilt further away.
In response, I find myself cringing in judgment of the Church of missing Your moments. Granted, the trash, glaring lights, and melismatic din of a permanent carnival could grow very tiring in an era where open doors and windows were the primary means to cool off. Yet, what opportunities to know and serve its patrons were missed in this transplant?
Will You forgive Elim Presbyterian for passing up the opportunity to demonstrate love to Wonderland Park? Will You forgive the same for the Church Universal? We get too caught up in the execution of religious ceremony to notice the chance for relationship with Your people outside it. Christ have mercy!

Will You bless those who experienced this park, and their generations? Will You grant us the grace to be a people who love the Sabbath rest? Will You give us the gift of having fun? Will You help us see the Wonderland just outside our doors?

*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!
**A nice article by Ben Welter of the StarTribune newspaper, and a bonus reprint of the opening day article from May 15, 1905. http://www.startribune.com/may-15-1905-wonderland-amusement-park-opens/142547735/

***Lawsuit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderland_Amusement_Park_(Minneapolis)

 

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19th Century, Agriculture, Civics, education, farming, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties

The General Allotment Act (Dawes Act)

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Feb 8, 1887
Congress enacts legislation that allots 160-acre tracts of land to heads of households of American Indian families. The rest of the reservation land is thrown open to non-Indian homesteaders. Eventually, Native-held lands are reduced by more than two thirds.*

“The Dawes Act had a negative effect on American Indians, as it ended their communal holding of property by which they had ensured that everyone had a home and a place in the tribe. It was followed by the Curtis Act of 1898, which dissolved tribal courts and governments. The act “was the culmination of American attempts to destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads.”[27] Land owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1934.[3]
Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado was one of the most outspoken opponents of allotment. In 1881, he said that allotment was a policy “to despoil the Indians of their lands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth.” Teller also said, “the real aim [of allotment] was “to get at the Indian lands and open them up to settlement. The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are but the pretext to get at his lands and occupy them….If this were done in the name of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name of Humanity…is infinitely worse.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

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Messiah, there is such a gap between intent and actions. One the one hand, the Dawes Act points to a desire to respect the property of Native Americans. On the other hand, it ‘gives’ them title to land if they accept the conditions. Is this freedom, or fiefdom?
First, as a human being and fellow Minnesotan, I want to acknowledge our sin of envy. We are not content with what we have. Lord, forgive us the envy contained in the Dawes Act of Native lands! Will You heal the whole inheritance of envy, and heal the lands that were annexed unjustly?
Second, I want to acknowledge the mixed motives of our hearts! I acknowledge the honest desire of many at this time that Native peoples assimilate and become one people with the United States, and with Minnesota. Many were motivated by a desire to share ‘common ground’ figuratively and literally with Indians. As in “I’m a simple Norwegian farmer who is trying to start a new life in America. What does my Indian neighbor have against me? I used to hunt and fish with him. I’m not a land man for the railways, or a representative of the Department of the Interior, but their actions make me the bad guy to my Indian neighbors.”

Many Natives did not want to not feel the pains of being a foreign enclave in their homelands. While they resisted many aspects of Western Culture, they also admired and even craved some of its fruits: new technologies and techniques, trade for useful products, positive interactions with new neighbors, etc. They seemed to both admire and fear the new culture in their land. Some Natives willfully accepted new ways, and others did not.

Lord, have mercy on these hearts! Some on both sides of this divide, whether Immigrant or Indian, wanted to take a chance and embrace. Some were repelled by clashing with another culture. Lord forgive how we have feared our brother’s ways, and rejected what You have to teach us through him! Lord, forgive us our hesitancy to trust! Will you restore us to chesed? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesed

Next, I want to acknowledge that both cultures succumbed to the “power men” within them. There were plenty of Minnesotans’ willing to capitalize on the imbalance of power the Dawes Act gave them! Too many tried to moralize the outright theft of property! They claimed desires to civilize native peoples to gain public approval for their land grab. Nothing changes. They are still among us. However, I mourn before you this day, and acknowledge this offense against my Native brothers! Have mercy! Will You reverse this curse? Will You restore these injustices?

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the counter judgments that some Native peoples made in response to these ‘land grabbers’. They chose to meet offense with counter offense, perhaps not learning from their own tribe to tribe, or First Nation to First Nation acts of offense and or war. It is clear to see these fruits yielding a harvest of separation even today in our state. Will You forgive these counter judgments? We have offended You first! Have mercy!

Will You have mercy on our natural desires for vengeance stemming from the Dawes Act? Will You give us a new common inheritance as Minnesotans’? Will You take the bitter roots from our hands so that we can recieve from You? When we must disagree, will You teach us to do it with understanding, clarity, and respect?

*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, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Social Studies

Reestablishing Dakota Communities in Minnesota

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1865 to 1895
About 150 Dakota who assisted in the punitive expeditions are allowed to remain in Minnesota after the war. They take refuge on lands at Mendota and Faribault owned by Henry Sibley and the Faribault family. As the decades pass, more Dakota find their way back to traditional homelands, living near old villages at Prairie Island and the Upper and Lower Sioux Agencies. In 1889 Congress passes legislation allowing the Dakota to establish communities at Lower Sioux, Shakopee, and Prairie Island. A similar community at old Upper Sioux lands is established in 1938. These four communities are all that remain of federally recognized Dakota land in Minnesota. In addition, several Dakota communities are established in Canada.*

Amazing! This is exactly the type of stuff that I have looked for during this effort. Here are layer upon layer of opportunities for the enemy to build his evil networks to break the society that You have intended in this state of Minnesota. I’m blind apart from You Holy Spirit! I will tell You what I see. Will You guide my prayers and observations? Will You forgive my errors and move me to what is in Your heart?

Lord, is this an attempt to divide and create unforgiveness among brothers? Is this a task that is understandably messy because we are human beings? Proverbs 6:15,19 NIV tells us “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:” one of them being “ a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Holy Spirit, we see the fruit of dissension sown among the Dakota people. Will You forgive the offense of the judgments these two groups had towards each other? Will You forgive this offense? Will You re-establish good faith and trust among the Dakota nation? Will You establish good faith and trust between present Dakota nations and Minnesota nations? Will You bless and restore them to You, the land, and their generations? Will You break the power of the spirit “who stirs up dissension among brothers?”

*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, Civics, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, Social Studies, State Government, war

Civil War Ends

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Apr 26, 1865
The Civil War ends after four bloody years. Minnesota has sent 25,000 men, about half the state’s eligible male population, to fight the South. More than 600 are killed in battle; twice that number die of disease.

At bloody Gettysburg, the First Minnesota Regiment makes one of the most heroic charges of the war. Close to half the regiment is killed or wounded.*

Lord, you alone know the heart. Thanks that our state had so many who identify with the cause of freedom and overturning slavery. Thanks for the 25,000 who stood up to injustice. Will You bless them, their generations, dwellings, and property this day in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?

All wars have judgments. Most war propaganda seeks to dehumanize the enemy. As a Minnesotan and a son of a U.S. soldier, I acknowledge to You both the pure and the impure motives of the Civil War. There were political motives to establish the power of the Federal government over the states. There were economic motives that the industrial northeast desired to keep the south dependent its manufactured goods and banking prowess. These are just a few, Holy Spirit, that I can think of today. Will You forgive the bitter roots judgments of pride, views regarding states’ rights, and the economic fears between the Northern and Southern ‘kingdoms’ of the United States during the Civil War?

Then, as now, we are often the toughest on the beloved enemies of our own house. These wounds are so painful because they are mixed with a profound breaking of trust; those we have fully “let into” our lives. May we receive Your grace for all beloved disagreements. Will You give us wisdom to resolve these conflicts before permanent schisms result? You understand betrayal; Judas was Your disciple and friend, yet he sold You down the river for about $30 worth of silver!?! Will You replace the character assassinations of our American brothers and sisters with the fruit of Your spirit? Will You restore our memories of our “beloved enemies”?

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

Sakpe and Medicine Bottle Kidnapped and Executed

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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)

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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!

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

Miller Becomes Governor

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Jan 11, 1864 to Jan 8, 1866
Stephen Miller takes office as the state’s fourth governor.

His military career during the Civil War and Ramsey’s support assured Miller of a gubernatorial victory in 1863. He was the first of several Civil War veterans to serve as governor of Minnesota. Although lacking a college degree himself, he valued higher education and advocated generous appropriations to state normal schools and the University of Minnesota. In his final address to the legislature, he strongly but unsuccessfully urged adoption of a black suffrage amendment to the state constitution. Miller chose not to run for re-election.*

Today I will again resist the temptation to sum up Stephen Miller’s life based on his known accomplishments, and listen between the lines with You. There’s much to write about his life: as a flour inspector, as a war hero, as punisher of Indians, as Civil War hero, and as a great orator. Yet, You have me focus on this obscure fact:
“Miller’s interest in politics also led him to edit and publish a ‘leading organ’ of the Whig party, the “Pennsylvania Telegraph” for several years before moving to Minnesota in 1858.” http://wjon.com/st-cloud-resident-stephen-miller-nominated-for-governor-on-this-date-in-central-minnesota-history/

Lord, what is the spiritual heritage of the Whigs? What was in their heart and the heart of Gov. Miller?
“Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:
Democrats stood for the ‘sovereignty of the people’ as expressed in popular demonstrations, constitutional conventions, and majority rule as a general principle of governing, whereas Whigs advocated the rule of law, written and unchanging constitutions, and protections for minority interests against majority tyranny.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_(United_States)
Without doing major research, I see this; men like Miller wanted to see consistency and impartiality in government. The law for one is the law for all. No one is above the law, nor under the law.

Eternal Father, I ask You to bless this notion of equality of opportunity in Miller’s heart. I ask that You bless the notion that there should be neither a tyranny of the majority or of the minority. That we are humble and peaceable equals as citizens. Will you forgive how we have diminished our neighbor through political manipulations? How we may have offended Your Sovereignty by discounting our brothers’ and sisters’ beliefs and views?
Again, thank you for Governor Miller. May his successes be rewarded, and his misuse of authority be forgiven. Thank you for his heart to include Black Americans as functional citizens! May the works of justice be remembered more and more as Your return approaches!

“STEPHEN MILLER, the fourth governor of Minnesota, was born in Carroll, Pennsylvania on January 17, 1816. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. Miller entered into a career in public service in 1853, serving as the prothonotary of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, a position he held two years. He also was appointed in 1855, as the flour inspector of Philadelphia. In 1858, he moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he continued his path in politics. He served as an 1860 Republican presidential elector for Minnesota. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army and rose through the ranks, becoming brigadier general of volunteers by the time of his discharge. After his military service, Miller secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 3, 1863. During his tenure, assistance was promoted for impoverished soldiers; funding for state schools was advocated for; and troops were raised for the ongoing war. After declining to run for reelection, Miller left office on January 8, 1866. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, a position he held from 1873 to 1876. He also served as an 1876 presidential elector-at-large for Minnesota. Governor Stephen Miller passed away on August 18, 1881, and was buried in the Worthington Cemetery in Worthington, Minnesota.” http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_miller_stephen.html

For more specific information regarding Governor Miller, see link below:
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail?ID=13988

*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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