BY LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK
My writer’s instinct reacted to the metaphor, “reframing Minnesota,” as a failure to see the content within the frame. So I decided to follow that, by beginning with a hard look at the large painting that sat in the Minnesota governor’s reception area. It is the source of controversy about whether the painting should remain in the state Capitol, once the extensive renovations underway now are completed. It is seven feet four inches by ten feet ten inches wide. In this painting, government officials are on a raised platform and Native people are sitting submissively on the ground. It is a grand view of the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux (1851), and of the painting, the Minnesota Historical Society describes the Native people as being dressed in “barbarian finery.”
In another painting of the same size we see Father Hennepin depicted standing with a great gesture while seemingly submissive Native people sit piously below the priest with arms outstretched toward the falls. Were they giving up the falls so willingly? Was the island in the falls, center of Dakota spirituality, such an easy place to leave? Both of these paintings were installed in 1905. So what was happening in 1905 in Minnesota?
Native people were not citizens of the United States. The 1862 Dakota War still left stinging anger in the immigrant communities, and the Dakota patriot felled in the war, His Red Nation (Little Crow,) suffered the further indignity of having his head removed and his skull placed at the Minnesota Historical Society. It was still there in 1905 and was there until repatriated in 1971. The 1862 War resulted in the largest public execution in the country’s history. Were it not for presidential pardons by Abraham Lincoln, 304 would have been executed after the five-minute judgments by the Henry Sibley kangaroo tribunal. Military rules of conduct coming into use in the United States would have protected these foreign military prisoners, who were patriots and protectors of their lands and sovereignty, but Sibley chose to treat them as common criminals. The greed for land was far greater than any regard for human life, so much so, that Governor Alexander Ramsey said all Dakota “must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” The thinly veiled greed for land needed no cover up. By 1905 any pangs of regret were smothered by a sense of victory over adversity and even misbegotten patriotism.
Louisiana State University Press
Phillips Community is named in tribute to Wendell Phillips recognizing the social justice causes for which he and Ann Green Phillips fought. The last Chapter of this book is written by local residents highlighting some of the same social justice issues in four decades of Phillips Community history.
Wendell Phillips, Social Justice, and the Power of the Past
edited by A J Aisèrithe
edited by Donald Yacovone
Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World
384 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 14 halftones
Hardcover / 9780807164037 / November 2016
Born into an elite Boston family and a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School, white Massachusetts aristocrat Wendell Phillips’s path seemed clear. Yet he rejected his family’s and society’s expectations and gave away most of his great wealth by the time of his death in 1884. Instead he embraced the most incendiary causes of his era and became a radical advocate for abolitionism and reform. Only William Lloyd Garrison rivaled Phillips’s importance to the antislavery and reform movements, and no one equaled his eloquence or intellectual depth. His presence on the lecture circuit brought him great celebrity both in America and in Europe and helped ensure that his reputation as an advocate for social justice extended for generations after his death.
In Wendell Phillips, Social Justice, and the Power of the Past, the world’s leading Phillips scholars explore the themes and ideas that animated this activist and his colleagues. These essays shed new light on the reform movement after the Civil War, especially regarding Phillips’s sustained role in Native American rights and the labor movement, subjects largely neglected by contemporary historical literature. In this collection, Phillips’s views on matters related to race, ethnicity, gender, and class serve as a lens through which the contributors examine crucial social justice questions that remain powerful to this day. Tackling a range of subjects that emerged during Phillips’s career, from the effectiveness of agitation, the dilemmas of democratic politics, and antislavery constitutional theory, to religion, violence, interracial friendships, women’s rights, Native American rights, labor rights, and historical memory, these essays offer a portrait of a man whose deep sense of fairness and justice shaped the course of American history.
Dave Moore, Susan Gust, and Harvey Winje, Phillips residents and The Alley Newspaper writers, have
written the last Chapter Essay of this book titled
The Phillips Community of Minneapolis: Historical Memory and the Quest for Social Justice, 1968-2014. This last Chapter Essay will be published separately by Alley Communications and available locally.
Red Lake Nation will build affordable housing on Ambles site next to AIOIC, Cedar Box Co. and Franklin LRT Station
BY RED LAKE NATION NEWSPAPER Courtesy of Red Lake Nation Newspaper and website
The Red Lake Nation has bought an old warehouse property in Minneapolis, and announced plans this week to turn it into an affordable housing complex.
According to Red Lake Economic Developmenat Director Sam Strong, it’s the tribe’s first attempt to provide affordable housing to members who live outside the northern Minnesota reservation.
“It’s really more than just a housing development,” Strong said. “It’s a fully inclusive development that allows us to serve all of our band members in Minneapolis.”
The design process is still in its preliminary stages, but Strong said the tribe plans to build a clinic and social services hub for tribe members on the main floor of the former Amble’s Hardware building.
September 1st (Thursday) 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Phillips West Monthly Community Meeting– Please join the Phillips West Board and Community Members for pizza and updates about what is going on in the Community. Ward 6 City Council will update us on what is going on at City Hall. Also come and meet the new 3rd Precinct Minneapolis Police Inspector Catherine Johnson. Meeting is located in the Center for Changing Lives Building (2400 Park Avenue, 1st floor Centrum Room). Free parking adjacent to the building is available. For questions please call Phillips West Staff (Crystal) at 612-879-5383 or email her at email@example.com.
The $140 in the pocket of Julius Edward Johnson was more than enough to cover the cost of his burial. Graves sold for fewer than $10 and a plain box would not have cost even that much. His money bought him a place in the cemetery that is about as far from the Potters Field as it is possible to get. He is buried in Lot 3, Block 3, in the 12th grave from the north, near the 29th Street overpass over the Midtown Greenway.
By Sue Hunter Weir
It’s hard to disappear these days—not impossible—but very difficult. That was not always the case. Before we had all of the various forms of identification that we have now, to say nothing of fingerprints and DNA, people were more or less who they said they were. People could pull up stakes, move to a new town and start over. They could also simply get lost—no one who knew them knew where they were when they died so they were buried as strangers.
There are two men buried in the cemetery who were assigned names by the county coroner. Newspaper accounts about the circumstances surrounding their deaths referred to these men simply as strangers. They are different from the 32 unknown men buried in the Potters Field, though. The difference is that these two men had significant amounts of money in their pockets when they died and that was enough to keep them from being buried in the cemetery’s paupers’ section.
In the early part of the 20th century, when bodies were found and went unclaimed by family or friends, they became the property of the county coroner. In the case of these two men the coroner at the time made what might be considered heroic efforts to locate the men’s friends and families to take charge of their remains and make funeral arrangements. Despite his efforts, the coroner did not succeed and wound up making his best guess as to what the stranger’s name might be and arranging for the stranger’s burial.
The first stranger, whose name most likely was Edward Johnson or perhaps Julius Edward Johnson although possibly neither, collapsed in a clothing store on Washington Avenue on October 6, 1900. He was conscious long enough to tell the store’s clerks that he was registered in a local lodging house; before he could say more he lapsed into a coma. He was taken to Swedish Hospital where he died from a cerebral hemorrhage eleven days later.
When he was found he was carrying his “first papers,” his application to become a naturalized American citizen. He had filed the papers in Lewis and Clark County, Montana two and a-half years earlier. Since there was a five-year residency requirement to apply for citizenship, he had probably come to the United States in the early 1890s. If the papers were his, and there is little reason to think that they weren’t, his name was Julius Edward Johnson; he was 28 years old and had come from Sweden. For some reason, the doctor who signed his death certificate dropped the name Julius and recorded the stranger’s name as Edward Johnson.
By Janine Freij, member of Phillips Wellness 50+ team
Participants and supporters met Tuesday, July 26, for a potluck to celebrate the success of the Phillips Million Step Challenge. The 8-week program, sponsored by Phillips Wellness 50+, set a goal for the participants to walk one million steps collectively between our first meeting on June 7 and our final meeting on July 26.
By July 5th, we had surpassed our original goal by 1.5 million steps. The group of Philips residents, all 50 or older, kept on walking to our final night, where we learned that we had surpassed 6 million steps.
People have discovered not only the health benefits of walking, but also how much fun it is to walk with friends who support, encourage and celebrate each other’s accomplishments and will challenge you to do even better. The food at the potluck was delicious, plentiful, and healthy, a testament to the awareness of building new healthy habits that the group embraced enthusiastically throughout the challenge.
Phillips Wellness 50+ is a group that encourages adults 50 and older to learn more and do more to create wellness in their lives. The group has offered 3 series of classes on nutrition at the Center for Changing Lives, and at the Ebenezer Tower Apartments at 2523 Portland. In 2015, the group organized a walking group at 2700 Park Apartments.
At the celebration for this summer’s challenge, we decided to continue walking as a group for another 8 weeks, beginning on August 9. We meet at 6:30 in the lobby at 2523 Portland and walk for a half hour to an hour. The group walk is open to all. We have people who are strollers and people who are striders, people who walk with a cane, people who are walking to improve their health, people who are walking for fun and camaraderie.
We invite anyone who is interested to join us. Come a little early to sign up and get your pedometer and t-shirt. Dress comfortably, wear shoes that support you, and bring a water bottle for hydration. Together we’ll continue to build wellness and community in Phillips.
Phillips Wellness 50+ is a grassroots community organization. We welcome the involvement, support, and donations (financial and in-kind) from individuals, businesses and organizations as we continue to promote Wellness for the Phillips Community, focusing on the 50+ population.
by David Wang
Why has architecture become an exercise in stage set building?
ON THE PRAIRIE WHERE I LIVE arises a strip mall. It looks like it belongs on the French Riviera: turrets and arches, awnings, balconies with wrought iron railings…
Well, I’ve never been to the French Riviera, but in this ignorance is my point.
The everyday buildings we build around us want to be anything but everyday. They want to be stage sets of Somewhere Else. And their proliferation seems to suggest that everywhere we Americans go, we want to be Somewhere Else. Getting up in the morning on the Moran Prairie, where the deer and the antelope used to roam, we have our cereal, and then we must drive by Something Mediterranean on our way to Washington State University’s Riverpoint campus in Spokane.
It is an irony that the hot topic in teaching architectural theory these days is “sense of place.” Faculty write about it. Students stress over it. Academic conferences are held on it. What is “sense of place,” or it’s near cousin: “sense of community?” Whatever these mysterious substances are, search the history of architecture, and you’ll find that past cultures did not fret about these matters. One reason is because they had sense of place. It never occurred to them to go looking for it.
It is only we–we in our postmodern, poststructuralist, post-this and post-that culture–it is only we who wonder where sense of place as gone, like a set of keys we misplaced some time ago, but only recently came to realize it is no longer among our belongings.