Lewis and Clark were not the first explorers of North Dakota. Pierre La Verendrye and David Thompson both explored and mapped North Dakota before the United States had even thought about buying the Louisiana Purchase from France. La Verendrye and David Thompson set into motion mapping out the land and the start of the fur trade. These explorers were some of the first non-Indians to come in contact with the various Native American tribes who had lived in the region for centuries. Exploration and the fur trade were soon followed by settlement, driving the Native peoples from the land.
Finding Aids on Early Explorers in North Dakota:
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