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History of North Dakota

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North Dakota was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago The first Europeans explored the area in the 18th century establishing some limited trade with the natives

Much of the area was first organized by the United States as part of the Minnesota Territory and then the Dakota Territory in the 19th century North Dakota gained statehood in 1889

The railroads became the engine of settlement in the state Its economy has since its early days been heavily based on the production of agricultural products such as wheat, flaxseed, and cattle, however its farming industry has declined and the state has suffered population decline in formerly heavy farming areas


  • 1 Early history of North Dakota
  • 2 Late 19th century of North Dakota
    • 21 Settlers
    • 22 Railroads
    • 23 Germans from Russia
  • 3 20th century
    • 31 Retail stores
    • 32 Politics
    • 33 Langer and the NPL
    • 34 After 1945
      • 341 Isolationism
      • 342 NPL merges with Democratic Party
    • 35 Farming
  • 4 21st century
  • 5 Themes in North Dakota History
  • 6 See also
  • 7 Notes
  • 8 Bibliography
    • 81 Primary sources

Early history of North Dakotaedit

North Dakota was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago The major tribes in the area by the time of settlement were the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sioux, and Chippewa

By the time European trade goods were making their way through native trade routes, the Mandan had developed a notably advanced agricultural and trading society

La Vérendrye was the first European to explore the area He visited the Mandan tribes around 1738 and was astounded by their level of development Limited trade with European powers followed through the end of the century1

The Mandan villages played a key role in the native trade networks because of their location and permanency Their location at the northernmost reaches of the Missouri River placed them near the closest portages to the Hudson Bay basin and thus the fastest access to French and British traders Additionally, valuable Knife River flint was produced not far from the villages

Late 19th century of North Dakotaedit


In 1861, the area that is now North Dakota was incorporated into the new Dakota Territory along with what is now South Dakota On November 2, 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became separate states

Eager to attract immigrants, state officials broadcast widely pamphlets and newspaper accounts celebrating the "Myth of North Dakota" This myth included: 1 the myth of the garden; 2 the "work and win" philosophy that promise to the realization of the American Dream of home ownership through hard work; and 3 an image of an empire in the making, settled by good and just people2 The settlers came by 1910, with the largest numbers comprising German Americans, Scandinavian Americans, and Americans from the East Coast colloquailly known as Yankees; the Yankees concentrated in the towns and cities, while the others became wheat farmers


The success of the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Great Northern Railroad was based on the abundant crops and rapidly increasing settlement in the Red River Valley along the Minnesota border between 1871 and 1890 The initial role of the railroads in opening this area was to commercial agriculture, the relation of James B Power to "bonanza" farming, the tremendous immigration to this valley between 1878 and 1884, and the extensive efforts of Power and James J Hill to promote agricultural diversification constitute an important chapter in railroad colonization history3

The railroad was the engine of settlement for the state Major development occurred in the 1870s and 1880s The Northern Pacific Railroad was given land grants by the federal government so that it could borrow money to build its system4 The federal government kept every other section of land, and gave it away to homesteaders At first the railroad sold much of its holdings at low prices to land speculators in order to realize quick cash profits, and also to eliminate sizable annual tax bills By 1905 the railroad company land policies changes when it realized it had been a costly mistake to have sold much of the land at wholesale prices With better railroad service and improved methods of farming the Northern Pacific easily sold what had been heretofore "worthless" land directly to farmers at very good prices By 1910 the railroad's holdings in North Dakota had been greatly reduced5 Meanwhile, the Great Northern Railroad energetically promoted settlement along its lines in the northern part of the state6 The Great Northern bought its lands from the federal government—it received no land grants—and resold them to farmers one by one It operated agencies in Germany and Scandinavia that promoted its lands, and brought families over at low cost7 The battle between James J Hill's Great Northern Railway and Edward Pennington's 'Soo Line Railroad' to control access across northern North Dakota resulted in nearly 500 miles of new track and more than 50 new town sites in one year Many of the town sites were never settled, and were abandoned8

Germans from Russiaedit

Main article: Germans from Russia

Germans from Russia were the most traditional of German-speaking arrivals They were Germans who had lived for generations throughout the Russian Empire, but especially along the Volga River in Russia Their ancestors had been invited to Russia in the 1760s to introduce more advanced German agriculture methods to rural Russia They retained their religion, culture and language, but the Russian monarchy gradually eroded the relative autonomy they had been promised Many found it necessary to emigrate to avoid conscription and preserve their culture About 100,000 immigrated by 1900-1950, settling primarily in North and South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska The south-central part of North Dakota became known as "the German-Russian triangle"

These immigrants saw themselves a downtrodden ethnic group having an entirely different experience from the German Americans who had immigrated from Germany; they settled in tight-knit communities that retained their German language and culture They raised large families, built German-style churches, buried their dead in distinctive cemeteries using cast iron grave markers, and created choir groups that sang German church hymns Many farmers specialized in sugar beets — still a major crop in the upper Great Plains During World War I their identity was challenged by anti-German sentiment By the end of the World War II, the German language, which had always been used with English for public and official matters, was in serious decline Today their descendants speak English and German persists mainly in singing groups Despite the loss of their language, the ethnic group remains distinct and has left a lasting impression on the American West910

20th centuryedit

Many entrepreneurs built stores, shops, and offices along Main Street The most handsome ones used pre-formed, sheet iron facades, especially those manufactured by the Mesker Brothers of St Louis These neoclassical, stylized facades added sophistication to brick or wood-frame buildings throughout the state11

Retail storesedit

In the rural areas farmers and ranchers depended on small local general stores that had a limited stock and slow turnover; they could make enough profit to stay in operation only by selling at high prices Prices were not marked on each item; instead the customer negotiated a price Men did most of the shopping, since the main criteria was credit rather than quality of goods Indeed, most customers shopped on credit, paying off the bill when crops or cattle were later sold; the owner's ability to judge credit worthiness was vital to his success12

In the cities consumers had much more choice, and bought their dry goods and supplies at locally owned department stores They had a much wider selection of goods than in the country general stores, and provided tags that gave the actual selling price In an era before credit cards, the department stores provided limited credit to selected customers; everyone else paid cash They set up attractive displays and, after 1900, window displays as well Their clerks—usually men before the 1940s—were experienced salesmen whose knowledge of the products appealed to the better educated middle-class housewives who did most of the shopping The keys to success were a large variety of high-quality brand-name merchandise, high turnover, reasonable prices, and frequent special sales The larger stores sent their buyers to Denver, Minneapolis, and Chicago once or twice a year to evaluate the newest trends in merchandising and stock up on the latest fashions By the 1920s and 1930s, large mail-order houses such as Sears, Roebuck & Co and Montgomery Ward provided serious competition, so the department stores relied even more on salesmanship, and close integration with the community1314


From the late 19th century, North Dakota's politics was generally dominated by the Republican Party The Populist movement made little headway among the ethnic farmers A representative leader was John Miller 1853–1908 Born in New York of Scottish ancestry, he came to North Dakota during the bonanza farm period, 1878-89 A Republican, he entered politics and was elected as the state's first governor, serving two years, after which he devoted his time to farm management The greatest victory he won as governor was the defeat of a charter for a State lottery He returned to his bonanza farm business and organized the John Miller Land Company in 1896 Miller became president of the newly incorporated Chaffee-Miller Milling Company in 1906 He was interested in numerous projects for civic and social improvement until his death in 190815

Republican Senator Asle Gronna was reflected the attitudes of his region - progressive and isolationist He blamed munition makers for the preparedness movement and World War I and was part of the "little group of willful men," so labeled by President Woodrow Wilson In 1919 he was a staunch isolationist who opposed the League of Nations treaty because it further entangled the United States in foreign relationships and limited national decisionmaking Gronna failed to win reelection in 192016

Langer and the NPLedit

The Non-Partisan League NPL was a faction of the Republican Party which ran farmers as candidates in the Republican primaries Formed in 1915 with its roots in agrarian populism, it was strongest in the north-central and northwestern areas of the state, where Norwegian Americans predominated The NPL advocated state control to counter the power of the railroads, the banks and the cities Some of its programs remain in place to this day, notably a state-owned bank and state-owned mill and grain elevator Conservatives, based in the towns and cities, fought back, and Republican primaries were the scene of intense political battles1718

In 1916 Lynn Frazier led the Nonpartisan League in a right-wing populist movement that gained control of North Dakota's lower house and won 79% of the popular vote in North Dakota's gubernatorial election of 1916 Campaigning as Republicans against Democrats supported by intellectuals and liberal reformers espousing collectivist and corporate farming, the NPL gained a large share of the rural and agrarian vote It also elected John Miller Baer to the United States House of Representatives In the 1918 elections, the NPL won control of both houses of the legislature, and afterwards enacted a significant portion of its populist platform It established state-run enterprises such as a railroad, the North Dakota Mill and Elevator, and the Bank of North Dakota The NPL also set up a Home Building Association, to aid people in financing and building houses The legislature passed a graduated state income tax, distinguishing between earned and unearned income; authorized a state hail insurance fund, and established a workmen's compensation fund that assessed employers In addition, the device of popular recall of elected officials was enacted whereby the first governor in US history to be recalled was to be Frazier during his third term The populist movement embodied by it extended into Canada in the form of the Alberta Non-Partisan League1920

William Langer 1886–1959 in 1916 was elected state attorney general on the NPL ticket, one of the few urban men in the farm group Langer closed brothels in Minot, became a federal marshal to raid a Minnesota brewery, and enforced school attendance laws He turned the NPL into a political machine Elected governor at the nadir of the Great Depression in 1932, Langer declared a debt moratorium, stopped foreclosures, and raised the price of wheat paid by the state-owned grain elevator to the state's wheat farmers He also solicited 5% of each state employee's salary for an NPL newspaper, which led to federal conspiracy charges, an initial criminal conviction, and his removal from office in 1934 He was later acquitted and was reelected governor in 1936 Langer moved to the US Senate in 1940, where he served until 1959 Despite his overt political opportunism and rumors about his taking bribes, Langer's interventions during the depression overshadowed any charges of corruption in the minds of voters21

After 1945edit


In the 1940s and 1950s, the state's Congressional delegation comprised Senators William Langer and Milton R Young and Representatives William Lemke and Usher Lloyd Burdick In foreign policy they formed an isolationist bloc that opposed American involvement in the Cold War, and opposed the UN, the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Korean War, the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization, the Formosa Resolution, and the Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957 They reflected the isolationist spirit that dominated the German American element in the state, and was likewise strong among Scandinavian Americans22 Burdick's isolationism reflected his deep fears of communism and world government and, in turn, the threat they could pose to the sovereignty of the United States Many of his constituents saw global entanglements, particularly war, as obvious dangers to the state's agricultural economy and lifestyle His sharpest criticisms came in the wake of the outbreak of war in Korea Burdick is remembered best for his independent voting behavior, his advocacy for the downtrodden, and his leadership in building a rhetoric of opposition to the UN in the United States23

NPL merges with Democratic Partyedit

By the 1950s, the NPL had developed into just another part of the political establishment in North Dakota A group of young insurgents in 1956 merged the NPL into the Democratic party While the governorship of the state has been held approximately the same amount of time by both parties since the Democratic-NPL party was formed in 1956, the state legislature has been dominated by Republicans


North Dakota has long been the most agricultural state in the Union Farms have increased in acreage and decreased in number Tenancy is diminishing as technological advances are made, and more fertilizer is being used Cash grains are being replaced by feed grains and roughage, and because of the soilbank and wheat acreage allotments, over 30 percent of the crop land is not harvested The farm standard of living is high as the farm population decreases Schools and churches are reduced in number by consolidation and merger24

21st centuryedit

Since 2000, the state has experienced rapid growth, largely due to the oil boom in western North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken shale A 2013 census report listed North Dakota's population at an all-time high of 723,393 residents, making North Dakota the fastest growing state in the nation The population boom reverses nearly a century of flat population numbers25

The profile of the newcomers shows that compared to long-term residents, they generally are younger 60% were between 21 and 40 years old and better educated 45% were college graduates and another 35% reported some college or postsecondary vocational-technical school experience The migrants were motivated more by quality of life values than economic incentives; reasons for moving most often cited were desire for a safer place to live 58%, desire to be closer to relatives 54%, lower cost of living 48%, and quality of the natural environment 47% These residents represent a very productive cohort of people who were needed to augment population strata that were severely depleted by the out-migration of the 1980s26

In 2012, a constitutional error was fixed The constitutional error meant North Dakota did not qualify for statehood as it did not have a required oath for governor and other positions27

Themes in North Dakota Historyedit

In his History of North Dakota, historian Elwyn B Robinson identified themes in North Dakota history:28

  • Dependence
  • Radicalism
  • Economic disadvantage
  • The "too-much mistake"
  • Adjustment

Robinson's history is to date the only comprehensive history of the state, but his analysis has drawn fire His assertion of a "too-much mistake" in particular, is controversial By this Robinson meant that North Dakota had too many farms, railroad miles, roads, towns, banks, schools, government institutions, churches, and people for suitable living in a subhumid grassland Either the state will revert to a natural grassland, have a future similar to its past, or come to grips with the "too-much-mistake" and rationally control government and the advantages of new technology Some politicians, including Joe Satrom, blame the book for uninspiring a generation of leaders to lower their expectations for the state's future29

The land has been a central theme in North Dakota literature In fiction, poetry, autobiography, drama, history, travel publications and websites, the same themes appear over and over regarding the land: its beauty, unforgivingness, solace, starkness, sameness, and the hard work it requires to survive and thrive Many of the state's writers focus on the relationship of the people and the land The landscape has barely changed since first impressions were recorded, and the relationship between people and land has likewise changed little30

See alsoedit

  • History portal
  • North America portal
  • United States portal
  • North Dakota portal
Main article: Historical outline of North Dakota
  • Bibliography of North Dakota history
  • Founding dates of North Dakota incorporated cities
  • Germans from Russia, Many of whom lived in North Dakota
  • History of the Midwestern United States
  • Territorial evolution of North Dakota
  • Timeline of North Dakota31


  1. ^ Russell Reid, "Verendrye's Journey to North Dakota in 1738," North Dakota History, 1965, Vol 32 Issue 2, pp 117-129
  2. ^ Warren A Henke, "Imagery, Immigration and the Myth of North Dakota, 1890-1933," North Dakota History, 1971, Vol 38 Issue 4, pp 412-491
  3. ^ Stanley N Murray, "Railroads and the Agricultural Development of the Red River Valley of the North, 1870-1890," Agricultural History, Fall 1957, Vol 31 Issue 4, pp 57-66 in JSTOR
  4. ^ James B Hedges, "The Colonization Work of the Northern Pacific Railroad," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol 13, No 3 Dec, 1926, pp 311-342 in JSTOR
  5. ^ Ross R Controneo, "Northern Pacific Officials and the Disposition of the Railroad's Land Grant in North Dakota after 1888," North Dakota History, 1970, Vol 37 Issue 2, pp 77-103
  6. ^ Albro Martin, James J Hill and the Opening of the Northwest 1976
  7. ^ Robert F Zeidel, "Peopling the Empire: The Great Northern Railroad and the Recruitment of Immigrant Settlers to North Dakota," North Dakota History, 1993, Vol 60 Issue 2, pp 14-23
  8. ^ John C Hudson, "North Dakota's 1Railway War of 1905," North Dakota History, 1981, Vol 48 Issue 1, pp 4-19
  9. ^ Elwyn B Robinson, History of North Dakota 1966 pp 285-87, 557
  10. ^ Gordon L Iseminger, "Are We Germans, or Russians, or Americans The McIntosh County German-Russians During World War I", North Dakota History 1992 592: 2-16
  11. ^ Arthur A Hart, "Sheet Iron Elegance: Mail Order Architecture in Montana," Montana Dec 1990, Vol 40 Issue 4, pp 26-31
  12. ^ Lewis E Atherton, The Frontier Merchant in Mid-America University of Missouri Press, 1971
  13. ^ Henry C Klassen, "TC Power & Bro: The Rise of a Small Western Department Store, 1870-1902," Business History Review, Volume: 66 Issue: 4 1992 pp 671+ in JSTOR
  14. ^ William R Leach, "Transformations in a Culture of Consumption: Women and Department Stores, 1890-1925," Journal of American History 71 Sept 1984: 319-42 in JSTOR
  15. ^ William C Hunter, "John Miller, First Governor of North Dakota," North Dakota History, 1967, Vol 34 Issue 1, pp 31-45
  16. ^ Leonard Schlup, "North Dakota Senator Asle J Gronna and the Isolationists, 1915-1920," North Dakota History, 1993, Vol 60 Issue 4, pp 13-21
  17. ^ Kathleen Moum, "The Social Origins of the Nonpartisan League," North Dakota History, 1986, Vol 53 Issue 2, pp 18-22
  18. ^ Theodore Saloutos, "The Rise of the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota, 1915-1917" Agricultural History 20#1 1946: 43-61 in JSTOR
  19. ^ Robert Loren Morlan, Political Prairie Fire: The Nonpartisan League, 1915-1922 1955
  20. ^ Michael J Lansing, Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics University of Chicago Press, 2015
  21. ^ Glen H Smith, Langer of North Dakota: A Study in Isolationism, 1940-1959 1979
  22. ^ Bernard Lemelin, "The Isolationist Sentiment in North Dakota during the Truman-Eisenhower Years," Canadian Review of American Studies, 2003, Vol 33 Issue 1, pp 63-95
  23. ^ Bernard Lemelin, "Congressman Usher Burdick of North Dakota and the 'Ungodly Menace': Anti-United Nations Rhetoric, 1950-1958", Great Plains Quarterly, June 2002, Vol 22 Issue 3, pp 163-181
  24. ^ Fred R Taylor, "North Dakota Agriculture Since World War II," North Dakota History, 1967, Vol 34 Issue 1, pp 47-61
  25. ^ Jessica Holdman, "North Dakota population tops record 723,000," 'Bismarck Tribune,' Dec 30, 2013,
  26. ^ F Larry Leistritz, "Characteristics of In-Migrants to the Northern Great Plains: Survey Results from Nebraska and North Dakota," Great Plains Research, Sept 2001, Vol 11 Issue 2, pp 275-299
  27. ^ Rosenfield, Everett "Because of Constitution Error, North Dakota is Not a State and Never Has Been" Time Time Retrieved 21 June 2017 
  28. ^ Robinson's "The Themes of North Dakota History" speech
  29. ^ D Jerome Tweton, "The Future of North Dakota: An Overview," North Dakota History, 1989, Vol 56 Issue 1, pp 7-13
  30. ^ Kathie Ryckman Anderson, "A Journey into Literary North Dakota," North Dakota History, 1995, Vol 62 Issue 3, pp 6-11
  31. ^ Federal Writers' Project 1938, "Chronology", North Dakota: a Guide to the Northern Prairie State, American Guide Series, State Historical Society of North Dakota 


  • Anderson, Kathie Ryckman Dakota: The Literary Heritage of the Northern Prairie State 1990, quick look at 200 authors
  • Arends, Shirley Fischer The Central Dakota Germans: Their History, Language, and Culture 1989 289 pp; the state's largest ethnic group
  • Berg, Francie M, ed Ethnic Heritage in North Dakota 1983 174 pp
  • Blackorby, Edward C Prairie Rebel: The Public Life of William Lemke 1963, radical leader in 1930s online edition
  • Bochert, John R America's Northern Heartland 1987, regional geography
  • Collins, Michael L That Damned Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and the American West, 1883-1898 1989 Teddy was a rancher here in the 1880s
  • Cooper, Jerry and Smith, Glen Citizens as Soldiers: A History of the North Dakota National Guard 1986 447 pp
  • Crawford, Lewis F History of North Dakota 3 vol 1931, excellent history in vol 1; biographies in vol 2-3
  • Danbom, David B "Our Purpose Is to Serve": The First Century of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station 1990 237 pp
  • Danbom, David B "North Dakota: The Most Midwestern State," in Heartland: Comparative Histories of the Midwestern States, ed by James H Madison, 1988 pp 107–126
  • Drache, Hiram M The Day of the Bonanza: A History of Bonanza Farming in the Red River Valley of the North 1964, giant wheat farms with many employees
  • Eisenberg, C G History of the First Dakota-District of the Evangelical-Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States 1982 268 pp now part of ELCA
  • Ginsburg, Faye D Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community 1989 315 pp the issue in Fargo
  • Hampsten, Elizabeth Settlers' Children: Growing Up on the Great Plains 1991
  • Hampsten, Elizabeth "Writing Women's History in North Dakota," North Dakota History, 1996, Vol 63 Issue 2, pp 2–6
  • Hargreaves, Mary W M Dry Farming in the Northern Great Plains: Years of Readjustment, 1920-1990 1993 386 pp
  • Hedges, James B "The Colonization Work of the Northern Pacific Railroad," Mississippi Valley Historical Review Vol 13, No 3 Dec, 1926, pp 311–342 in JSTOR
  • Howard, Thomas W, ed The North Dakota Political Tradition 1981 220 pp; essays on Alexander McKenzie, Governor John Burke, Senator William Langer, Governor Fred G Aandahl, Elizabeth Preston Anderson, NPL and the Independent Voters' Association
  • Hudson, John C Plains Country Towns 1985 189 pp geographer studies small towns
  • Junker, Rozanne Enerson The Bank of North Dakota: An Experiment in State Ownership 1989 185 pp
  • Lamar, Howard R Dakota Territory, 1861-1889: A Study of Frontier Politics 1956
  • Lounsberry, Clement A Early history of North Dakota, 1919 anexcellent history by the editor of the Bismarck Tribune; 645pp online edition
  • Lysengen, Janet Daley and Rathke, Ann M, eds The Centennial Anthology of "North Dakota History: Journal of the Northern Plains" 1996 526 pp articles from state history journal covering all major topics in the state's history
  • Mills, David W Cold War in a Cold Land: Fighting Communism on the Northern Plains 2015 Col War era; excerpt
  • Morlan, Robert L Political Prairie Fire: The Nonpartisan League, 1915-1922 1955 414 pp radical-left NPL came to power briefly
  • Murray, Stanley Norman The Valley Comes of Age: A History of Agriculture in the Valley of the Red River of the North, 1812-1920 1967
  • Peirce, Neal R The Great Plains States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Nine Great Plains States 1973 excerpt and text ssearch, chapter on North Dakota
  • Robinson, Elwyn B "The Themes of North Dakota History," North Dakota History Winter 1959, online
  • Robinson, Elwyn B, D Jerome Tweton, and David B Danbom History of North Dakota 2nd ed 1995 standard history, by leading scholars; extensive bibliography
    • Robinson, Elwyn B History of North Dakota 1966 First edition online
  • Schneider, Mary Jane North Dakota Indians: An Introduction 1986 276 pp
  • Sherman, William C and Playford V Thorson, eds Plains Folk: North Dakota's Ethnic History 1988 419 pp
  • Sherman, William C Prairie Mosaic: An Ethnic Atlas of Rural North Dakota 1983 152 pp
  • Smith, Glen H Langer of North Dakota: A Study in Isolationism, 1940-1959 1979 238 pp biography of influential conservative Senator
  • Snortland, J Signe, ed A Traveler's Companion to North Dakota State Historic Sites 1996 155 pp
  • Stock, Catherine McNicol Main Street in Crisis: The Great Depression and the Old Middle Class on the Northern Plains 1992 305pp online edition
  • Stradley, Scot A The Broken Circle: An Economic History of North Dakota 1993
  • Tauxe, Caroline S Farms, Mines and Main Streets: Uneven Development in a Dakota County 1993 276 pp coal and grain in Mercer county
  • Tweton, D Jerome, and Daniel F Rylance The Years of Despair: North Dakota in the Depression 1973 politics of the 1920s
  • Tweton, D Jerome and Jelliff, Theodore B North Dakota: The Heritage of a People 1976 242 pp basic textbook
  • Wilkins, Robert P and Wilkins, Wynona Hutchette North Dakota: A Bicentennial History 1977 218 pp popular history
  • Wishart, David J Encyclopedia of the Great Plains 2004, many articles by scholars on many topics

Primary sourcesedit

  • Benson, Bjorn; Hampsten, Elizabeth; and Sweney, Kathryn, eds Day In, Day Out: Women's Lives in North Dakota 1988 326 pp
  • Johan Bojer, The Emigrants 1925 ISBN 0-8032-6051-2
  • Maximilian, Prince of Wied Travels in the Interior of North America in the rears 1832 to 1834 Vols XXII-XXIV of "Early Western Travels, 1748-1846," ed by Reuben Gold Thwaites; 1905–1906 Maximilian spent the winter of 1833-1834 at Fort Clark
  • Meek, Martha, and Jay Meek, eds Prairie Volcano: An Anthology of North Dakota Writing 1995, short works by 50 recent authors
  • Raaen, Aagot Grass of the Earth 1950 true, highly revealing story of one Norwegian family in the 1880s
  • University of North Dakota, Bureau of Governmental Affairs, ed, A Compilation of North Dakota Political Party Platforms, 1884-1978 1979 388 pp
  • Wishart, David J ed Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, University of Nebraska Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8032-4787-7 complete text online; 900 pages of scholarly articles
  • Woiwode, Larry Beyond the Bedroom Wall: A Family Album 1975 novel about growing up in ND
  • WPA North Dakota: A Guide to the Northern Prairie State 2nd ed 1950, the classic guide online edition
  • Young, Carrie Prairie Cooks: Glorified Rice, Three-Day Buns, and Other Reminiscences 1993 136 pp

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