FORTY-NINTH DEGREE OF LATITUDE ESTABLISHED. 1823.
the settlement stood close upon that line, and on the 8th of August, the precise boundary line was found, and a flag was raised upon the staff at the point; when, after the firing of a salute, Major Long made proclamation that, "by virtue of the authority vested in him by the president of the United States, the country situated upon Red river, above that point, was declared to be within the territory of the United States."
The inhabitants, who had been all collected together for the purpose, heard the declaration with satisfaction. " While fixing the posts," says Mr. Keating, "the colonists requested that they might be shown how the line would run; when this was done, the first observation they made was, that all the buffalo would be on our side of the line; this remark shows the great interest they take in this animal, to which all their thoughts recur."
The people of Pembina have, however, improved greatly in enterprise and refinement; they have made improvements in the arts of agriculture, and have become traders to a very considerable extent.
Their chief article of trade is still buffalo robes and buffalo tongues. These they formerly brought to the States by a tedious route overland, but since 1849 and 1850, the cities of St, Paul's and St. Anthony having sprung into magnitude and importance, the Pembinaens chiefly carry their trade up the Red river, then by a short overland route to the St. Peter's river, and down that river to St. Paul's and St. Anthony, and so often do they make their appearance in these cities, that they may be reckoned among their regular traders.
By the census of 1849, there wrere in the settlement two hundred and ninety-five males, and three hundred and forty-two females, making a total of six hundred and thirty-seven persons. The population at this time (1856) is probably two thousand.
A writer in an old number of the "Dubuque Herald," gives the following account of the climate of Pembina :
" The cold is sometimes excessive in the settlement. Mercury freezes once or twice every year, and sometimes the spirit thermometer indicates a temperature as low as fifty-two degrees below zero. "When such a low temperature occurs, there is a pervading haze or smoky appearance in the atmosphere, resembling a general diffused yellow smoke, and the sun looks red as in a sultry evening. As the sun rises, so does the thermometer, and when the mercury thaws out and stands at ten or fifteen below, a breeze sets in, and pleasant weather follows that is, as pleasant as can be, while the mercury keeps below zero.