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The Urban American Indian Collective- FIND YOUR TRIBE!

The Black(Aboriginal) Indigenous Founding Fathers of the City Chicago

Although Chicago was not chartered as a city until 1837, its founding took place many years before when Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable born to an African-born Haitian mother opened his trading post beside the Chicago River. Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in San Marc, Haiti, in 1745. Not very much is known about Du Sable's early life. It is known, however, that Du Sable's mother was probably killed by the Spanish when he was ten. After moving to New Orleans with a good friend they met their future trading partner Choctaw an aboriginal(Native) American. After establishing a few trading post, Du Sable, his Haitian friend Jacques Clemorgan and his indigenous Choctaw friend moved to Illinois where they learned the ways of aboriginal(Native)Americans. Choctaw taught them things of value for their entire life. They learned how to set traps and where to find martens, small animals trapped for their fur.

Portrait of a Choctow Indian man by Alfred L. Boisseau (C.1850)

While trapping one spring day with Choctaw, Du Sable met Chief Pontiac, an important aboriginal(Native) American leader. Little did they know that they would gain the respect of all the Indians of the Midwest in the weeks to come. Pontiac asked Du Sable and Clemorgan to arrange a peace treaty between the Ottawa, Miami, and Illinois tribes. Du Sable eagerly arranged the meeting in order to restore peace between the tribes.

Potawatomi Chief Kack Kack (1925)

Du Sable and Choctaw stayed a little longer than expected, but Du Sable was thankful, for it was during the stay that he met Catherine, a Potawatomi(Aboriginal American). Du Sable and Catherine were later married and he joined her tribe. They had two children and lived in a cabin built by Du Sable and Choctaw. This cabin was built on a waterway that is now called the Chicago River. But Du Sable called it Checagou(Eschicagou), the name given to it by the aboriginal Americans(Indians).

Article Sources:

100 Amazing Facts About The Negro by J.A. Rogers

Photo Sources:

Du Sable:

Chocotw man:

Potawatomi Chief:


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