Jean Baptiste Point du Sable

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Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Andreas 1884.jpg
There are no known portraits of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable made during his lifetime. [1] This depiction is taken from A. T. Andreas' book History of Chicago (1884). [2]
Bornbefore 1750
Died(1818-08-28)August 28, 1818 (age 68+)
Nationalityunknown; traditionally stated to be Haitian, from the French colony of Saint-Domingue
Other namesPoint de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable
Known for"Founder of Chicago"

Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (also spelled Point de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable [n 1] ; before 1750 [n 2] – August 28, 1818) is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what later became Chicago, Illinois, and is recognized as the "Founder of Chicago". [7] A school, museum, harbor, park, and bridge have been named in his honor. The site where he settled near the mouth of the Chicago River around the 1780s is identified as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

DuSable High School Chicago public high school divided into 3 high schools in 2005

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable High School is a public 4–year high school campus located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. DuSable is owned by the Chicago Public Schools district. The school was named after Chicago's first permanent non-native settler, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. Constructed between 1931–34, DuSable opened in February 1935. Since 2005, The school campus serves as home to two smaller schools; the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute and the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine. Both of the schools use the DuSable name in an athletics context. The DuSable Leadership Academy was housed at the location until it closed after the 2015–16 school year. The school building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 1, 2013.

DuSable Museum of African American History

The DuSable Museum of African American History is dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art. It was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, Eugene Feldman, Marian M. Hadley, and others. Taylor-Burroughs and other founders established the museum to celebrate black culture, at the time overlooked by most museums and academic establishments. The museum is located at 740 E. 56th Place at the corner of Cottage Grove Avenue in Washington Park, on the South Side of Chicago. The museum has an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.


Point du Sable was of African descent but little else is known of his life prior to the 1770s. During his career, the areas where he settled and traded around the Great Lakes and in the Illinois Country changed hands several times among France, Britain, Spain and the new United States. Described as handsome and well educated, Point du Sable married a Native American woman, Kitiwaha, and they had two children. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, he was arrested by the British military on suspicion of being an American sympathizer. In the early 1780s he worked for the British lieutenant-governor of Michilimackinac on an estate at what is now the city of St. Clair, Michigan.

Great Lakes lakes in North America

The Great Lakes, also called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes primarily in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Superior, Erie, Ontario, and Michigan-Huron. The connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway.

Illinois Country Historical region in North America

The Illinois Country — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States. While these names generally referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, French colonial settlement was concentrated along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in what is now the U.S. states of Illinois and Missouri, with outposts in Indiana. Explored in 1673 from Green Bay to the Arkansas River by the Canadien expedition of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, the area was claimed by France. It was settled primarily from the Pays d'en Haut in the context of the fur trade. Over time, the fur trade took some French to the far reaches of the Rocky Mountains, especially along the branches of the broad Missouri River valley. The French name, Pays des Illinois, means "Land of the Illinois [plural]" and is a reference to the Illinois Confederation, a group of related Algonquian native peoples.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Point du Sable is first recorded as living at the mouth of the Chicago River in a trader's journal of early 1790. He established an extensive and prosperous trading settlement in what later became the city of Chicago. He sold his Chicago River property in 1800 and moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri, where he was licensed to run a Missouri River ferry. Point du Sable's successful role in developing the Chicago River settlement was little recognized until the mid-20th century.

St. Charles, Missouri Place in Missouri, United States

Saint Charles is a city in, and the county seat of, St. Charles County, Missouri, United States. The population was 65,794 at the 2010 census, making St. Charles the ninth-largest city in Missouri. Situated on the Missouri River, it is a northwestern suburb of St. Louis.

Missouri River major river in the central United States, tributary of the Mississippi

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.


Map of eastern North America in the late 18th century, just prior to the American Revolutionary War. Point du Sable lived near Lake Michigan and the Illinois Country (center left). British colonies 1763-76 shepherd1923.PNG
Map of eastern North America in the late 18th century, just prior to the American Revolutionary War. Point du Sable lived near Lake Michigan and the Illinois Country (center left).

There are no records of Point du Sable's life prior to the 1770s. Though it is known from sources during his life that he was of African descent, [7] his birth year, place of birth, and parents are unknown. [8] Juliette Kinzie, another early pioneer of Chicago, never met Point du Sable but stated in her 1856 memoir that he was "a native of St. Domingo" (the island of Hispaniola). [9] This became generally accepted as his place of birth. [10] Historian Milo Milton Quaife regarded Kinzie's account of Point du Sable as "largely fictitious and wholly unauthenticated", [11] later putting forward a theory that he was of African and French-Canadian origin. [12] A historical novel published in 1953 helped to popularize the commonly recited claim that he was born in 1745 in Saint-Marc in Saint-Domingue (Haiti). [13] If he was born outside continental North America, there are further competing accounts that he entered as a trader from the north through French Canada, or from the south through French Louisiana. [14]

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie American historian, novelist, pioneer

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie was an American historian, writer and pioneer of the American Midwest.

Hispaniola island in the Caribbean

Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean island group known as the Greater Antilles. It is the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba, and the most populous island in the Caribbean; it is also the eleventh most populous island in the world.

Saint-Marc Commune in Artibonite, Haiti

Saint-Marc is a commune in western Haiti in Artibonite. Its geographic coordinates are 19°7′N72°42′W. At the 2003 Census the commune had 160,181 inhabitants. It is one of the biggest cities, second to Gonaïve, between Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien.

Point du Sable married a Potawatomi woman named Kitihawa (Christianized to Catherine) on October 27, 1788, in a Catholic ceremony in Cahokia, an old French Illinois Country town on the Mississippi River, [15] though it is likely they were married in the Native American tradition in the 1770s. They had a son named Jean and a daughter named Susanne. [16] Point du Sable supported his family as a frontier trader and settler during a period when Great Britain, and later the newly formed United States, were seeking to assert control in the former southern dependencies of French Canada and in the Illinois Country. [14]

Potawatomi Native American peoples

The Pottawatomi, also spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi, are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, and western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. The Potawatomi called themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of the word Anishinaabe. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Cahokia, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Cahokia is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is located east of the Mississippi River in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, 15,241 people lived in the village, a decline from 16,391 in 2000.

In a footnote to a poem titled Speech to the Western Indians, Arent DePeyster, British commandant from 1774 to 1779 at Fort Michilimackinac (a former French fort in what was then the British Quebec territory), noted that "Baptist Point de Saible" was "a handsome negro", "well educated", and "settled in Eschecagou". [17] When he published this poem in 1813, DePeyster presented it as a speech that he had made at the village of Abercroche (now Harbor Springs, Michigan) on July 4, 1779. [18] This footnote has led many scholars to assume that Point du Sable had settled in Chicago by 1779; [19] but letters written by traders in the late 1770s suggest that Point du Sable was at this time settled at the mouth of Trail Creek (Rivière du Chemin) at what is now Michigan City, Indiana. [20] In August 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, Point du Sable was arrested as a suspected partisan at Trail Creek by British troops and imprisoned briefly at Fort Michilimackinac. An officer's report following his arrest noted that Point du Sable had many friends who vouched for his good character. [21] [22] The following year, he was ordered transported to the Pinery. From the summer of 1780 [23] until May 1784, Point du Sable managed the Pinery, a tract of woodlands claimed by a British officer, Lt.  Patrick Sinclair, on the St. Clair River in eastern Michigan. [24] Point du Sable and his family lived in a cabin at the mouth of the Pine River in what is now the city of St. Clair. [25]

Arent Schuyler DePeyster was a British military officer best known for his term as commandant of the British controlled Fort Michilimackinac and Fort Detroit during the American Revolution. Following the capture of Lieutenant-Governor General Henry Hamilton, DePeyster is often credited as being the military leader of British and Indian forces in the Western American and Canadian frontiers.

Fort Michilimackinac

Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British, fort and trading post at the Straits of Mackinac; it was built on the northern tip of the lower peninsula of the present-day state of Michigan in the United States. Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the Straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan of the Great Lakes of North America. Present-day Mackinaw City developed around the site of the fort, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is preserved as an open-air historical museum, with several reconstructed wooden buildings and palisade.

Harbor Springs, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Harbor Springs is a city and resort community in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,194 at the 2010 census.

Drawing of the former home of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Chicago as it appeared in the early 1800s Kinzie House.png
Drawing of the former home of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Chicago as it appeared in the early 1800s

Point du Sable settled on the north bank of the Chicago River close to its mouth at some time in the 1780s. [24] [n 3] The earliest known record of Point du Sable living in Chicago is an entry that Hugh Heward made in his journal on May 10, 1790, during a journey from Detroit across Michigan and through Illinois. [27] Heward's party stopped at Point du Sable's house en route to the Chicago portage; they swapped their canoe for a pirogue that belonged to Point du Sable, and they bought bread, flour, and pork from him. [28] Perrish Grignon, who visited Chicago in about 1794, described Point du Sable as a large man and wealthy trader. [29] Point du Sable's granddaughter, Eulalie Pelletier, was born at his Chicago River settlement in 1796. [30] In 1800 Point du Sable sold his farm to John Kinzie's frontman, Jean La Lime, for 6,000 livres. The bill of sale, which was rediscovered in 1913 in an archive in Detroit, outlined all of the property Point du Sable owned as well as many of his personal effects. [31] This included a house, two barns, a horse drawn mill, a bakehouse, a poultry house, a dairy, and a smokehouse. The house was a 22-by-40-foot (6.7 m × 12.2 m) log cabin filled with fine furniture and paintings. [31]

After Point du Sable sold his property in Chicago, he moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri but at that time in Spanish Louisiana, [13] [32] where he was commissioned by the colonial governor to operate a ferry across the Missouri River. [15] In St. Charles, he may have lived for a time with his son, and later with his granddaughter's family, and late in life, he may have sought public or charitable assistance. [14] He died in 1818 and was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. His entry in the parish burial register does not mention his origins, parents, or relatives; it simply describes him as negre (French for negro). [33]

The St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery was moved twice in the 19th century, and oral tradition and records of the Archdiocese of St. Louis suggested that Point du Sable's remains were also moved. On October 12, 1968, the Illinois Sesquicentennial Commission erected a granite marker at the site believed to be Point du Sable's grave in the third St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. [34] [35] In 2002 an archaeological investigation of the grave site was initiated by the African Scientific Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. [7] Researchers using a combination of ground-penetrating radar, surveys, and excavation of a 9-by-9-foot (2.7 m × 2.7 m) area did not find any evidence of any burials at the supposed grave site, leading the archaeologists to conclude that Point du Sable's remains may not have been moved from one of the two previous cemeteries. [36]

Theories and legends

Early life

Though there is little historical evidence regarding Point du Sable's life before the 1770s, there are several theories and legends that give accounts of his early life. Writing in 1933, Quaife identified a French immigrant to Canada, Pierre Dandonneau, who acquired the title "Sieur de Sable" and whose descendants were known by both the names Dandonneau and Du Sable. [37] Quaife was unable to find a direct link to Point du Sable, but he identified descendants of Pierre Dandonneau living around the Great Lakes region in Detroit, Mackinac, and St. Joseph, leading him to speculate that Point du Sable's father was a member of this family, while his mother was a slave. [38] In 1951 Joseph Jeremie, a native of Haiti, published a pamphlet in which he said he was the great grandson of Point du Sable. [39] Based on family recollections and tombstone inscriptions he claimed that Point du Sable was born in Saint-Marc in Haiti, studied in France, and returned to Haiti to deal in coffee before traveling to French Louisiana. Historian and Point du Sable biographer [40] [41] John F. Swenson has called these claims "elaborate, undocumented assertions ... in a fanciful biography". [4] In 1953 Shirley Graham built on the work of Quaife and Jeremie in a historical novel about Point du Sable that she described as "not accurate history nor pure fiction", but rather "an imaginative interpretation of all the known facts". [42] This book presented Point du Sable as the son of the mate on a pirate ship, the Black Sea Gull, and a freed slave called Suzanne. [43] Despite lack of evidence and the continued debate about Point du Sable's early life, parentage, and birthplace, this popular story is widely presented as being definitive. [44] [45]


In 1815 a land claim that had been submitted by Nicholas Jarrot to the land commissioners at Kaskaskia, Illinois Territory, was approved. In the claim Jarrot asserted that a "Jean Baptiste Poinstable" had been "head of a family at Peoria in the year 1783, and before and after that year", and that he "had a house built and cultivated land between the Old Fort and the new settlement in the year 1780". [46] This document has been taken by Quaife and other historians as evidence that Point du Sable lived at Peoria on the Illinois River prior to going upriver to Chicago. [47] Other records demonstrate that Point du Sable was living and working under the British at the Pinery in Michigan in the early 1780s. [25] The Kaskaskia land commissioners identified many fraudulent land claims, [48] including two previously submitted in the name of Point du Sable. [49] [50] Nicholas Jarrot, the claimant, was involved in many false claims, [51] and Swenson suggests that this one was also fraudulent, made without the knowledge of Point du Sable. [4] Although perhaps in conflict with some of the above information, some historical records suggest that Point du Sable bought land in Peoria from J. B. Maillet on March 13, 1773, and sold it to Isaac Darneille in 1783 before he became the first "permanent" resident of Chicago. [52]

Departure from Chicago

Point du Sable left Chicago in 1800. He sold his property to Jean La Lime, a trader from Quebec, and moved to the Missouri River valley, at that time part of Spanish Louisiana. The reason for his departure is unknown. [47] By 1804, John Kinzie, who also settled in Chicago, had bought the former du Sable house. In her 1852 memoir, Juliette Kinzie, Kinzie's daughter-in-law, suggested that "perhaps he was disgusted at not being elected to a similar dignity [great chief] by the Pottowattamies". [53] In 1874 Nehemiah Matson elaborated on this story, claiming that Point du Sable was a slave from Virginia who had moved with his master to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1790. According to Matson, Point du Sable became a zealous Catholic to convince a Jesuit missionary to declare him chief of the local Native Americans, and left Chicago when the natives refused to accept him as their chief. [54] Quaife dismisses both of these stories as being fictional. [11]

In her 1953 novel Graham suggests that Point du Sable left Chicago because he was angered with the United States government, which wanted him to buy the land on which he had lived and called his own for the previous two decades. [55] The 1795 Treaty of Greenville, which ended the Northwest Indian War, and the subsequent westward migration of Native Americans away from the Chicago area might also have influenced his decision. [32] [n 4]

Legacy and honors

Founder of Chicago

The French came to the North American mid-continent region in the 17th century. Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, during their 1673 Mississippi Valley expedition, though probably not the first Europeans to visit the area, are the first in the written record to have crossed the Chicago Portage and traveled along the Chicago River. [57] [n 5] Over the following years visits continued, and occasional intermittent posts were established, including those by René LaSalle, Henri Tonti, Pierre Liette [60] [61] and the four-year Mission of the Guardian Angel. [62] Point du Sable 1780s establishment is recognized as the first settlement that continued on and ultimately grew to become the city of Chicago. [63] He is therefore widely regarded as the first permanent resident of Chicago [24] [64] and has been given the appellation "Founder of Chicago". [7] [65]


[Point du Sable] is not yet honored in his own house (which Chicagoans call the "Kinzie House") or on his own land. No street bears his name and, save for the high school, he has no monument. Cadillac is honored in Detroit, Pitt in Pittsburgh, Cleveland in Cleveland—but the father of Chicago has no street or statue of stone to call his own.

Ebony , December 1963. [66]

By the 1850s, historians of Chicago recognized Point du Sable as the city's earliest non-native permanent settler. [67] For a long time the city did not honor him in the same manner as other pioneers. [66] Point du Sable was generally forgotten in the 19th century and instead the Scots-Irish trader John Kinzie, who had bought his property, was often credited for the settlement. [14] A plaque was erected by the city in 1913 at the corner of Kinzie and Pine Streets to commemorate the Kinzie homestead. [68] In the planning stages of the 1933–1934 Century of Progress International Exposition, several African-American groups campaigned for Point du Sable to be honored at the fair. [69] At the time, few Chicagoans had even heard of Point du Sable, [70] and the fair's organizers presented the 1803 construction of Fort Dearborn as the city's historical beginning. [71] The campaign was successful, and a replica of Point du Sable's cabin was presented as part of the "background of the history of Chicago". [71]

In 1965 a plaza called Pioneer Court was built on the site of Point du Sable's homestead as part of the construction of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America building. [72] The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976, [73] as a site deemed to have "exceptional value to the nation". [74] Pioneer Court is located at what is now 401 N.  Michigan Avenue in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. At this site in 2009 the City of Chicago and a private donor erected a large bronze bust of Point du Sable by Chicago-born sculptor Erik Blome. [75] In October 2010 the Michigan Avenue Bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Point du Sable. [44] Previously, a small street named De Saible Street had been named after him. [45]

The DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park The DuSable Museum.jpg
The DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park

Several Chicago institutions have been named in honor of Point du Sable. [13] DuSable High School opened in Bronzeville in 1934. [n 6] The DuSable campus today houses the Daniel Hale Williams Prep School of Medicine, and the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute. Dr.  Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, a prominent African-American artist and writer, taught at the school for twenty-three years. She and her husband co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History, located on Chicago's South Side, which was renamed in honor of Point du Sable in 1968. [76] DuSable Harbor is located in the heart of downtown Chicago at the foot of Randolph Street, and DuSable Park is a 3.24-acre (1.31 ha) urban park in Chicago currently awaiting redevelopment. The project was originally announced in 1987 by Mayor Harold Washington. The US Postal Service has also honored Point du Sable with the issue of a Black Heritage Series 22-cent postage stamp on February 20, 1987. [77] [78]

See also

Notes and references


  1. French pronunciation:  [ʒɑ̃ ba.tist pwɛ̃ dy sɑbl] . Pointe de Sable is French for sand point. [3] Point du Sable biographer John F. Swenson notes that during Point du Sable's lifetime the surname was Point de Sable (or a variant spelling thereof); [4] the rendering as Du Sable appeared long after his death. [5]
  2. Milo Milton Quaife suggests, "It may reasonably be assumed that Susanne Point Sable [Point du Sable's daughter] was not less than sixteen years old when she became a bride [in 1790]. With this starting-point, we may conclude that Point Sable himself was born not later than the year 1750." [6]
  3. According to an 1892 description of the location of the house, it "stood as nearly as may be at the foot of Pine Street [now Michigan Avenue], partly upon the ground now occupied by Kirk's factory, and partly in what is now known as North Water Street, properly an extension of Kinzie Street." This location was confirmed by the recollections of John Noble, the last occupant of the house, who died in 1888. [26]
  4. The Treaty of Greenville, among other claims, ceded treaty Native-American rights to the United States, including "[o]ne piece of land six miles square, at the mouth of Chikago river". [56]
  5. Joliet and Marquette did not report any Native Americans living near the Chicago River area at this time, [58] though archaeologists have since discovered numerous village sites elsewhere in the Chicago area. [59]
  6. The 1936 renaming of New Wendell Phillips High School to DuSable High School established the common rendering of Point Du Sable's surname as DuSable. [5]

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Petit Fort was a structure located in northwestern Indiana, in or near the Indiana Dunes, near the mouth of Fort Creek, now known as Dunes Creek. It may have been a French military outpost, but was more likely a private residence, trading post, or at most a support station for larger forts in the area. The National Park Service refers to it as a "fur depot."

Pioneer Court

Pioneer Court is a plaza located near the junction of the Chicago River and Upper Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It is believed to be the site of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable's original residence and trading post. In 1965, the plaza was built on the former site of his homestead as part of the construction of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America building. The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976. John Kinzie, a prominent early settler, bought and expanded Point du Sable's post in 1800. The Plaza is bounded on the north by the Tribune Tower, on the east by 401 N. Michigan Avenue, on the south by the Chicago River, and on the west by Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Bridge. In 2017, a newly designed Apple Inc. store was opened on the south side of the court, which created new levels linking down to the river.

Fort Chécagou fort

Fort Chécagou, or Fort Chicago, was a purported seventeenth-century fort that may have been located in what is now northeastern Illinois. The name has become associated with a myth that the French continuously maintained a military garrison at a fort near the mouth of the Chicago River, and the future site of the city of Chicago on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Some sources mention that the fort was built in 1685, and that Henri de Tonti sent his aide, Pierre-Charles de Liette, as commander of the fort through 1702. Although this fort was marked on a number of eighteenth century maps of the area, there is no evidence that it ever existed at the described location, but may have instead actually been located at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan.

Michigan–Wacker Historic District

The Michigan–Wacker Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places District that includes parts of the Chicago Loop and Near North Side community areas in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The district is known for the Chicago River, two bridges that cross it, and eleven high rise and skyscraper buildings erected in the 1920s. Among the contributing properties are the following Chicago Landmark structures:

Equitable Building (Chicago) building in Illinois, United States

401 North Michigan is a 35-story skyscraper in the Streeterville area of Chicago, built in 1965 at 401 North Michigan Avenue, along the north bank of the Chicago River. Along with the Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building, it forms the southern gateway to Chicago's famous Magnificent Mile. The building was built atop the site of a cabin belonging to Chicago's first permanent resident, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable. In reference to du Sable, the large plaza adjacent to the building has been named Pioneer Court.

Antoine Ouilmette was a fur trader and early resident of what is now Chicago, Illinois. He was of French Canadian and possibly Native American ancestry. The village of Wilmette, Illinois is named in his honor.

Mission of the Guardian Angel

The Mission of the Guardian Angel was a 17th-century Jesuit mission in the vicinity of what is now Chicago, Illinois. It was established in 1696 by Father François Pinet, a French Jesuit priest. The mission was abandoned by 1700; its exact location remains unknown.

Jean Baptiste Beaubien, a multi-lingual fur-trader born in Detroit, Michigan, became an early resident of what became Chicago, Illinois, as well as an early civic and militia leader in Cook County, Illinois during the Black Hawk War, before moving to Du Page County, Illinois in his final years.

Alexander Robinson (chief)

Alexander Robinson, was a British-Ottawa chief born on Mackinac Island who became a fur trader and ultimately settled near what later became Chicago. Multilingual in Odawa, Potawatomi, Ojibwa, English and French, Robinson also helped evacuate survivors of the Fort Dearborn Massacre in 1812. In 1816, Robinson was a translator for native peoples during the Treaty of St. Louis. He became a Potawatomi chief in 1829 and in that year and in 1833, he and fellow Metis Billy Caldwell negotiated treaties on behalf of the United Nations of Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi with the United States. Although Robinson helped lead native Americans across the Mississippi River in 1835, unlike Caldwell, Robinson returned to the Chicago area by 1840 and lived as a respected citizen in western Cook County until his death decades later.


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