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Bismarck is the seat of government for the State of North Dakota and Burleigh County, as well as the second most populated city after Fargo. The city was founded along the east bank of the Missouri River, across from Mandan. The North Dakota State Capitol building, the largest structure in the state, is in central Bismarck. Prior to the arrival of European-Americans, the area was inhabited by the Mandan tribe. The city was founded in 1872 at what was then known as Missouri Crossing, because that was where the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the river. Originally named Edwinton, for Edwin Ferry Johnson, an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad, the city was renamed Bismarck in 1873, for the German chancellor. The new town’s population grew when gold was discovered in the Black Hills nearby, but it also became a shipping center and was named capital of the Bismarck Territory in 1883, and the state capitol of North Dakota in 1889.

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