Legends of North Dakota
From Custer to Roosevelt and Sakakawea to Sitting Bull, many legends shaped North Dakota's past.
George Armstrong CusterFort Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan. During the Civil War, he saw action at Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run and Chancellorsville and in 1866, he was named commander of the 7th Cavalry. Custer was stationed at Fort Abraham Lincoln in North Dakota from 1873 to 1876 and died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876.
Meriwether LewisFort Mandan near what is now Washburn, in October 1803. While there, Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea, who resided in nearby Knife River Indian Villages.
President Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora after his mother and wife died on the same day and served as President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. Roosevelt was quoted as saying "I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota."
SakakaweaKnife River Indian Villages near present-day Stanton, North Dakota. She played a key role in establishing relations with the Shoshone tribe in Idaho, from which the expedition was able to obtain horses and food to get across the Rocky Mountains. Sakakawea and her family remained in North Dakota on the return from the Pacific Ocean, while others in the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis. She was befriended by William Clark, who said of her prominence within the corps: "We find (that she) reconciles all the Indians, as to our friendly intentions - a woman with a party of men is a token of peace."
Sitting BullBurial Site and a museum/visitor center are located in Fort Yates along the Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway.
William ClarkClark and the corps spent five months at Fort Mandan, hunting, trading and learning about the route they would take from the tribes and French-Canadian trappers with knowledge of the river ahead. After the expedition, he became Indian agent for Louisiana Territory, and later became superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis.