Journalist and historian George W. Kingsbury arrived soon after Dakota became a territory. Years later he wrote from the stories he had heard of the joy that the signing of the Organic Act brought to the residents of the extreme southeast portion of the huge new territory. There was
". . . no telegraph . . . so the good tidings traveled slowly. But it reached Dakota and found the pioneers in a mood to receive it and give it a most generous welcome. It is said that the shouts of joy that went up made the welkin ring* and started a jack rabbit stampede for the distant bluffs that was a sight to behold. Laboring men (and all were of this honorable class) took a day off and went about congratulating one another in language vigorous; there were handshakes that would abash a pump handle in energetic motion, and laughter loud and long and hearty, and other smiles. Songs were sung and jigs were danced and eloquent speeches of excellent quality and generous quantity were a feature of the joyous occasion. There were no bonfires, but an abundance of hot air and fervid works. It was a never-to-be-forgotten occasion and the enactment of the law was rightly regarded as an important progressive step in Dakota's career."
* "made the welkin ring" is an old phrase to indicate a lot of noise
- from George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory vol 1 pt 1 (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915), 169.
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710