Download Dakota: The Story of the Northern Plains by Norman K. Risjord PDF

By Norman K. Risjord

The northern plains are usually overlooked via the remainder of the state or, if now not, are pointed out within the context of the elements, Mount Rushmore, or the Black Hills. notwithstanding, North Dakota and South Dakota have a colourful past—and present—deserving of higher acceptance.

Norman ok. Risjord relates the notable histories of those states, from the geological formation of the nice Plains to financial alterations within the twenty-first century. Risjord takes the reader on a trip throughout the centuries detailing the 1st human population of the northern plains, the Lewis and Clark excursion, homesteading and railroad development, the political impression of the revolutionary circulate, the construction of Mount Rushmore, and Wounded Knee II. integrated are tales of such noteworthy characters as French explorer Vérendrye, the Lakota chief pink Cloud, North Dakota political boss Alexander McKenzie, and South Dakota Democrat George S. McGovern.

Despite the shared topography and the rivers that direction via either states, the various reactions of the 2 states to the demanding situations of the 20 th century offer possibilities for arresting comparisons. This eye-catching examine the Dakotas’ geography, ecology, politics, and tradition is vital studying for Dakotans and people drawn to the wealthy background of this crucial sector.

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Additional resources for Dakota: The Story of the Northern Plains

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Members of the Algonquian language group, they had originated in the northeastern woodlands, but at the time the Europeans encountered them they were living a nomadic life in the valleys of the Red and James Rivers, following the buffalo herds. By the early eighteenth century they were drifting westward into the river valley (a tributary of the Missouri River in present-day South Dakota) that bears their name. Although their oral traditions place them on the plains from time immemorial (one scholar has them on the plains as early as the time of Christ), this cannot be confirmed by archaeology because of the scant remains in their short-lived campsites.

He did learn by this means that there were five more Mandan villages on the river a day’s journey away, and each was twice the size of the current outpost. The Indians also told him that a day’s journey beyond the last of the Mandan villages were the towns of two tribes (evidently Hidatsa and Arikara) with whom the Mandans were at war. Lacking an interpreter, the French were certain to receive a hostile reception there. The Mandans also told him that white men with horses and armor lived at a great distance down the river — the journey there and back took all summer — and with that piece of intelligence Vérendrye seems to have realized that the Missouri would not lead him to the Western Sea.

The governor, who was excited by Vérendrye’s report on the gateway to the West but not enough to finance an expedition, agreed to his move and ordered a replacement at Nipigon. At his new post Vérendrye continued his interrogations and this time chanced upon a captive slave belonging to an aged Cree chief. The captive, probably a Mandan or Hidatsa who had been captured by the Assiniboines and sold to the Crees, came from a country far to the south of Lake Winnipeg. He told Vérendrye that his people lived on a explorers and fur traders 39 great river in permanent villages of earth houses.

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