Du Sable, Jean Baptiste Point, Homesite - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Special.Ed
N 41° 53.361 W 087° 37.404
16T E 448282 N 4637678
Quick Description: Site of the first home/settlement in in Chicago. Only a plaque remains at the site which is now the Equitable Building Plaza.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 4/22/2006 8:58:01 AM
Waymark Code: WMB0N
Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable:Founder of Chicago
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable was born in Haiti (then St Domingue) around 1745. His father was a French sea captain. Du Sables mother was an ex-slave. His father took Du Sable to France to be educated. Du Sable later worked as a seaman on one of his fathers ships. When Du Sable was twenty, he headed toward New Orleans in one of his fathers boats. While sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, his boat sank and he was injured. New Orleans at this time belonged to France but was under Spanish control. Du Sable had lost his identification papers and was almost enslaved. French priest protected him and he made his way up the Mississippi River to St Louis. Du Sable later settled in an area near Peoria, Illinois.
In the early 1770s Du Sable built a log cabin and owned over 800 acres of land. The potawatomi indians gave him an indian as bride. He named her Catherine and they later had a son and a daughter. Years later, Du Sable left the Area and made his way north until he reached the Great Lakes area. The Indians called this land Eschikagou (Chicago), the place of bad smells due to the odor of the swampland. By 1779, Du Sable built the first permanent home on the north bank of the Chicago River. He also built a trading post. Trappers were well paid for their fur pelts and Du Sable sold them supplies and tools. A mill, smoke house, dairy, horse stable, poultry house and barn were some of the buildings on Du Sables trading post. Within a short time, this trading post became the main supply station for trappers, traders and Indians and was the key route for merchant trading in Detroit and Canada. Among the many things he supplied were furs, meats, wheat, and bread. However, on May 7 1800, the Father of Chicago sold his land and property for a mere $1200 and left the area. He moved to St Charles, Missouri and died almost penniless on August 28, 1818.