20th Century, authors, History, Immigration, Minnesota, Prayer

“Giants in the Earth” Published

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1927
Ole Rølvaag, a Norwegian-born professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, publishes Giants in the Earth, his brooding, epic novel of immigrant pioneer life. The book becomes a huge success both in Norway and the United States.*

“The infinitude surrounding her on every hand might not have been so oppressive, might even have brought her a measure of peace, if it had not been for the deep silence, which lay heavier here than in a church. Indeed, what was there to break it? She had passed beyond the outposts of civilization; the nearest dwelling places of men were far away. Here no warbling of birds rose on the air, no buzzing of insects sounded; even the wind had died away; the waving blades of grass that trembled to the faintest breath now stood erect and quite, as if listening, in the great hush of the evening….”

-Giants in the Earth, excerpt from Chapter II “Home-founding.” *

Rolvaag, named after his birthplace five miles from the Arctic Circle, was born one of seven children in 1876. He worked as a fisherman with his father and brothers for six years until he was recruited to be a farmhand in South Dakota at age twenty. After a few years, he went after his education graduating from: Augustana Academy in 1901, Saint Olaf both in 1905 (B.A.), and 1910 (MA). His rugged life experiences gave authenticity and realism to his recollections of the struggles of Norwegian pioneers in the Midwestern United States.**

We remember, with You, the plight of the pioneers from Norway to the Midwest. We remember that this earth is Yours, as well as all its peoples and resources, and that in Your forbearance You move them where You choose. So we give thanks for the example of these aliens, and that within their hardships of displacement that they were perfectly placed to thrive by the King of the Universe!

We give thanks to You for the life and extreme austerity experienced by Ole Rolvaag. He knew both the frigid waters of Norway’s Lofoten fishing area, and the burning sun of South Dakota. He battled the elements for the privilege to enrich his mind, and truly took in the discipline and lessons of both.

We recognize the tribulations of the Norwegian characters of “Giants in the Earth”, and reflect on their lessons for all peoples at all times. Each immigrant must wrestle the elements of his environment, a culture that is unfamiliar, and the loneliness for home. We also ponder the judgments of aliens against Your Sovereignty.

Will You forgive our ancestors their environmental judgments against their new home land? Will You forgive the thoughts and words this wave of Norwegians made in their attempt to tame the “amber waves of grain”? Will You forgive our judgments in this era of them? We have forgotten what pestilence means: losing whole crops to blight, grasshoppers, and fire.

Will You forgive Norwegian Americans their judgments and false assessments of their neighbors? They encountered foreigners, also from Europe, who though racially similar held no common culture or language. They met Native Americans who led migratory lives following the buffalo, again somewhat relatable to fisherman following their catch, but different. For all their cultural struggles we seek Your mercy and restoration.

Granted, these are stalwart, hearty people who endured much more than our present generations, but even giants have hearts of flesh. Because of Your kindness, will You forgive the inward struggles of these pioneers? It’s understandable that one would ask, “Who am I?” while at home, but even more so, “Who am I in this new place?” Will You forgive their sins of fear and doubt related to their identity stemming from Norway rather than the Maker of Norway?

We, like them, are displaced from the heritage of our Creator. Much of our travail is that our identity is based on geography, ethnicity, and culture, but these are comforting false gods. Will You give us an unshakable sense of place that can only come from the Cornerstone of the Universe and Your unchanging Word?

17″You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge. 18″But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. 19″When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.…
Deuteronomy 24:17-19 NASB***

* 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!
**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ole_Edvart_Rølvaag
***http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/24-18.htm

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Sisseton Wahpeton Reservations Established Feb 19, 1867

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The Sisseton (or Lake Traverse) Reservation in northeastern South Dakota and the Devil’s Lake Reservation in central North Dakota are established for the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands, originally from Minnesota. These two bands had argued for the restoration of their treaty rights on the grounds that they had not fully participated in the war of 1862.*

Lord Jesus, I ask that You enter this negotiation of February 19 so long ago. Will You bring Your justice into this situation? Will You free the Minnesotan and tribal members from the sins of their generations? Will You bring a new peace between Sisseton Wahpeton and our State?

*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, State Government

Bounties and Punitive Expeditions

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“The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.” The Daily Republic, Winona, MN, September 24, 1863

The state of Minnesota places bounties—ranging from $25 to $200—on the scalps of Dakota people. Nathan Lamson receives $500 from the state for killing Taoyateduta (Little Crow).

Governor Alexander Ramsey orders punitive expeditions into Dakota Territory to hunt down the Dakota people. Two forces totaling more than 7,000 soldiers are formed under generals John Pope and Alfred Sully. When the Dakota hear of approaching soldiers they flee their camps, leaving valuable supplies. Most of the fleeing Dakota are women and children. Many die from starvation and exposure over the winter.*

Jesus, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that my state had bounties on scalps, but I’m a product of the 20th century where we only take off the heads of our political opponents verbally or figuratively. It made me curious as to why and who began the practice in the first place. This is a brief snippet of what I found.
“Scalping–cutting off the scalp of a dead enemy as proof of his demise– was common practice throughout North America before colonists got here. It is described in Indian oral histories, and preserved scalps were found at archaeological sites. Colonists learned to scalp enemies from the Indians. (The European custom was to cut off people’s heads for proof/trophies, originally, but scalps are easier to transport and preserve, so the colonists quickly switched to the Indian method.) Once they picked up the technique, the English did a tremendous amount of scalping, both of natives and of rival Frenchmen.” http://www.native-languages.org/iaq12.htm

Will You forgive Alexander Ramsey, John Pope, Alfred Sully and their expedition into Dakota territory, (now North Dakota and South Dakota) to pursue the Dakota’s out of Minnesota? Release us from the bondage of this inheritance. Will You forgive the understandable bitterness that has entered the hearts of the Dakota people, as You forgive those among their tribes who taught Minnesotans this practice? Will You give them the grace to remove this hook of the enemy from their hearts? I want to live to see Your blessing of the Dakota people! May we honor You, instead, by keeping trophies of conflicts resolved peaceably, and build displays of unmerited favor shown among all families of nations that make up this place.

*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, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Minnesota Territory Established Mar 3, 1849

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Minnesota becomes an organized territory, an important step on the way to becoming a state. Minnesota Territory stretches west to the Missouri River in what will become North and South Dakota.*

The name “Minnesota”comes from the Dakota word for “clear blue water.” Owing to its large number of lakes, the state is informally known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Its official motto is L’Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota

Thanks that our ancestors decided to establish this Minnesota territory. There is power in naming or renaming. You renamed the people of Israel and Judah through the prophet Hosea saying, “So let your brothers be called “My People” and your sisters be called “Shown Mercy.” Hosea 2:1 Formerly, they had been called Lo-Ruhamah meaning “No Mercy” and Lo-Ammi meaning “Not My People.” Lord, will You rename us throughout Minnesota territory from March 3, 1849 forward?

*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 .

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, 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 Winebago, 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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