Part 1: Early Settlement of North Dakota

Part 1: Vocabulary

Buchanan, James:

  • U.S. president who signed the bill that created Dakota Territory

Burke, John:

  • 10th governor of North Dakota
  • U.S. treasurer for eight years
  • Burke County named for him


  • City containing government headquarters


  • Building that houses government offices


  • Group traveling in a line


  • Two-week festival of entertainment and education held each summer at Fort Totten


  • U.S. legislature, or law-making body


  • Plan of government

Dakota Territory:

  • Originally made up of North Dakota, South Dakota, most of Montana, and most of Wyoming
  • Later reduced to North Dakota and South Dakota


  • Railroad station

“Empire Builder”:

  • Jim Hill’s nickname
  • Great Northern passenger train running between Chicago and the West Coast

Far West:

  • Steamboat that carried wounded soldiers and news of Custer’s defeat back to Bismarck
  • Piloted by Captain Grant Marsh

Great Northern Railway:

  • Northern railroad route across North Dakota
  • Transcontinental railroad

Harrison, Benjamin:

  • U.S. president who signed the bill granting statehood to North Dakota and South Dakota

Hill, James J.:

  • Built transcontinental Great Northern Railway
  • Nicknamed “Empire Builder” because he brought thousands of settlers to the frontier

Iron horse:

  • Train

Jayne, Dr. William:

  • First governor of Dakota Territory


  • Law-making body

Lincoln, Abraham:

  • U.S. president who appointed the first governor of Dakota Territory


  • Train engine

McKenzie, Alexander:

  • Northern Pacific Railroad political agent
  • Had so much political power he was nicknamed “Alexander the Great” and “Boss of North Dakota”


  • People who are part American Indian and part European

Minnie H:

  • Steamboat that operated on Devils Lake for 25 years

Morse code:

  • Special language used for telegraph messages
  • System of dots and dashes

Northern Pacific Railroad:

  • First railroad to cross North Dakota
  • Transcontinental railroad

Ordway, Nehemiah:

  • Governor of Dakota Territory from 1880 to 1884
  • A good friend of Alexander McKenzie

Paper town:

  • A town planned on paper but never built

Political power:

  • The power that groups have in controlling decisions about government


  • The method by which groups make decisions about government


  • Circular building with tracks on a turntable for turning train locomotives around

Soo Line:

  • Railroad that ran diagonally across North Dakota from southeast to northwest


  • People who lived on land they did not own


  • Communication system that uses electrical signals sent by wire
  • Communication system used by railroads


  • Across the continent

Upper Missouri:

  • Northern part of the Missouri River


  • First capital of Dakota Territory
  • Located in the southeast corner of South Dakota