North Dakota was explored in 1738–1740 by French Canadians led by Sieur de la Verendrye. In 1803, the U.S. acquired most of North Dakota from France in the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark explored the region in 1804–1806, and the first settlements were made at Pembina in 1812 by Scottish and Irish families while this area was still in dispute between the U.S. and Great Britain.
North Dakota is bordered on the north by the Canadian Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, on the west by Montana, on the south by South Dakota, and on the east, across the Red River of the North, by Minnesota.
North Dakota's 1999 total gross state product was $17 billion, the smallest in the nation. Its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $25,068, placing it 38th in the nation. The state's agricultural outputs include wheat, cattle, barley, flax, milk, soybeans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Its small industrial output includes electric power, food processing, machinery, coal mining, and tourism.
Points of interest include the International Peace Garden near Dunseith, Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site near Williston, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in Stanton, the State Capitol at Bismarck, the Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.