Here’s what textbooks won’t tell you about the history of North & South Dakota: anything. Most people believe that’s because there’s absolutely nothing interesting about either of them, and most people are right. The Dakota Territory was the part of the Louisiana Purchase that Minnesota couldn’t be bothered with. The only people who said they wanted the land were the Sioux, but we thought they were kidding. “Let us take this land off your hands,” we instructed them after our musket smoke cleared. And now we are stuck with it.
Today there are two kinds of Dakotans: those with the grit and determination to stay, and those who can afford a bus ticket out. The very grittiest Dakotans have been there nigh on 10 generations, which is how far back you have to go before you find someone who uses the term “nigh on”. And that’s what your Nate Is The Weasel Investigative Team (NITWIT) did – we went back to the records of the 1880’s and unearthed the diaries of the McUlmer brothers. (more…)