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Rosette Rochon 
  Harold Doley
  Andre Cailloux
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  Francis E. Dumas
  Jean Baptiste Du Sable
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  Ernest Morial
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  John Willis Menard
  Homer Plessy
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AP Tureaud
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  Alexander Dumas

Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable

Marie-Joseph Angélique

The windy City
The Largest African American parade in the Country
The Chicago museum of science and industry

Jean Baptiste Du Sable

Founder of Chicago Illlinois

of Creole Heritage





Founder of

Chicago, Illinois



The story of a fur traper named Du Sable leaves no doubt that this handsome frenchman/ creole marrried into and remained a good friend of the Illinois Indians.

He also maneuvered with the skill of an experienced diplomat as Illinois slipped from French to British to U.S. control. His personal charm and diplomacy kept him from being jailed as and enemy agent and won him powerful white and Indian allies.

There are gaps in his early life.
Du Sable was born somewhere in the Caribbean in 1745 to a French sailor father and an African slave women. Sent to Paris for an education, he ended up in the Illinois Territory in 1779. With him came twenty-three French art treasures and a desire to become a fur trapper.

As a Frenchman in a land recently taken by the British, Du Sable fell under suspicion. On July 4, 1779, a British officer complained he "was much in the interest of the French" and Du Sable was arrested for "treasonable intercourse with the enemy." He managed to escape only to be arrested again. This time he so impressed British Governer Patrick Sinclair that Du Sable was released and for five years placed in charge of a settlement on the St. Charles River.

Du Sable had no difficulty in persuading local Indians he was a friend. It took much longer for white Chicagoans to recognize that Du Sable was their city's founder.

Sable entered the fur trading business and married a Potawatomi women named Catherine . Their friends included a host of people, among them Chief Pontiac and Daniel Boone.

One can only wonder what rough frontiersmen and Indians thought when they first entered the Du Sable home and saw its dislay of French works of art. the couple also purchased and developed some eight hundred acresof land in Peoria, but Chicagowas their great love and they lived there for sixteen years.


Their trading post became prosperous and the Du Sables soon had son and a daughter. Centrally located, their store and home attracted many trappers and swelled to include a forty by twenty-foot log cabin, a bakehouse, a diary, a smoke house, a poultry housel; a workshop, a barn, and a mill. Du Sable made a living as a trader, but was also a miller, a cooper, and a farmer.

The Du Sables became devout Catholics and in 1798 were formally married in a church ceremony.
They were delighted when, two years later, their daughter married another Frenchman in a Catholic ceremony.


Jean and Catherine , although doing well, sold off twenty one of his French paintings, perhaps to finance his next career move. He announced his candidacy for chief of a local Indian Nation at Mackinac, but he lost the election.

As the couple grew older they decided to sell their Chicago home and move in with their daughter's new family in St. Charles, Missouri. For the property and houses alone, they received $1200, and they also sold thirty head of cattle, thirty-eight pigs, two mules, and many chickens.

When Catherine died in 1800, the founder of Chicago began to worry about his future. He did not want to die penniless or to be buried in any but a Catholic cemetary.

Though, in 1814 he did have to file bankruptcy papers, he was laid to rest four years later in St. Charles Borromero Roman Catholic Cemetary.

Picture and text taken from:
Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage
by William Loren Katz



During the first part of the 20th Centuary many Creoles left Louisiana seeking a better life that Louisiana FAILED to provide..

Many more left escaping Racial oppression, Economic deprevation and, moreover, a Better quality of Life the South did not offer...Many settled in the big Cities of the North and Westward to California ..


More on the Life of Du Sable


Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in San Marc, Haiti, in 1745. His father was a French sea captian. He was sent to France for school. Later, he returned to Haiti to work on his father's ships. At the age of twenty, he went on a voyage to New Orleans with his friend Jacques Clemorgan.

They eventually travelled up the Mississippi River and settled in Peoria. Du Sable and Clemorgan met Choctaw, a Native American from the Great Lakes. They learned how to trap animals for their fur. Du Sable met Catherine, a Potawatomi woman. Du Sable and Catherine got married. They had two children. They lived in a small cabin which he enlarged it to a trading post. It turned into a small community with a church, school, and store. His trading post came very successful.

In 1778, British Soldiers were beginnig to build forts on Du Sable's land. Du Sable and the Indians fought the British for years over their land. In 1800, His son and wife died and Du Sable moved with his daughter, Suzanne, to St. Louis. He gave the farm to his grandchildren under the condition they would care for him and agreed to bury him in a Catholic cemetery.

On August 29, 1818, he died at the age of seventy-three. It was not till 1837 that Chicago became chartered as a city. However, it was founded many years before when Du Sable began his trading post beside the Chicago River.

In 1968, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was recogniszed as being the "Father of Chicago, Illinois."


a. Birth Year--San Marc, Haiti, in 1745.

b. Death Year--On August 29, 1818, died in his sleep.

c. Around 1776, he set up a trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River called Fort Dearborn. The name Fort Dearborn was changed to Chicago in 1830.

d. Age at the year of their accomplishment--Approximately 31 years old when he started trading post.


Jean Batiste Point has influenced my life. First, I am able to go to Chicago and visit this great city he helped start. I love the baseball games, hockey tournaments, and field trips I have gone to in this city

Next, I learned from him that something can start out small and become bigger if you believe in it. Jean Baiste Point went from living on this land, to building a cabin, creating a trading post, and finally establishing a home for his children. Who would have thought it would also become a great city!




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