Zebulon Pike, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, meets with a party of about 150 Dakota people at the confluence of the St. Peter’s (Minnesota) and Mississippi Rivers. Pike’s commanding officer, Gen. James Wilkinson, wants to obtain sites for future military posts in case of war with Great Britain. Pike makes a deal with two Dakota leaders for roughly 100,000 acres of land; enough for the U.S. government to build a trading post and fort. Though the boundaries are poorly defined, the agreement becomes the basis for U.S. claims on the land at the confluence. The “treaty” was ratified by Congress in 1808, but since Pike didn’t have the authority of the U.S. Senate or the President, it was not an official government act. According to an 1856 Senate committee report, “There is no evidence that this agreement, to which there was not even a witness . . . was ever considered binding upon the Indians, or that they ever yielded up the possession of their lands under it.”*
Lord, I praise Your omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence! I’m grateful that You are “Faithful and True”! Lord, because You are omnipresent, may I observe this event with You? It appears that Pike’s Treaty of Nov. 23, 1804 @12:00pm is lacking: “poorly defined boundaries”, “not even a witness”, “Pike didn’t have the authority of the U.S. Senate or the President.” This is a legal issue for us as inheritors of the actions between the Dakota peoples present, Pike, Wilkinson, the U.S. Army, and indirectly to Great Britain, and anyone else present and unrecorded.
Jesus, thank you that You love clear boundaries. Your word says:
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you.” Proverbs 23:10,11
“Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water.” Hosea 5:10
Lord, will You have mercy on the confusion, injustices, and bitter responses to this event? Will You bring conviction of sin, Holy Spirit, to victim and victimizer? I remember these things to You today. Come and heal our land!
Also, Lord I acknowledge my ability to run over another’s personal boundary stones. I have sinned against You, myself, wife, family, etc. through sinful force of will. Lord have mercy! We as Minnesotans’ and Americans’ and Native Americans’ are all guilty of not respecting another human’s limits. We have offended You when we hold offense in our heart towards ANY of Your children! We have offended You when we use the power of law, popular opinion, and the authority of government to FORCE another’s actions for our gain and benefit.
Hear my prayer, King of the Universe, because You are: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands (of generations), and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.”… Exodus 34:6,7a Will You reverse the curses of Pike’s Treaty, and leave a blessing in it’s place?
*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!