Welcome

Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

WARNING

If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chicago from A to Z... D is for Du Sable

Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable
It's D Day for the big A to Z and I'm introducing you all to a Chicago first. Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, a Haitian born Frenchman is Chicago's very first non Native American resident. Moving from Indiana territory in 1784, Du Sable settled on land at the mouth of the Chicago River on what is today known as Pioneer Court. He left his home in Indiana because he had been imprisoned by British troops there, accused of being an American rebel sympathizer during the Revolution. I'd have moved, too.

Not much is known about DuSable's early life. There are many stories out there, including one that has him being the son of a pirate and a freed slave. Others have him traveling here from Louisiana, some from further east. The only thing agreed upon is that he was of African descent.

There is documented proof that he operated a trading post here and was a successful businessman. Surviving documents such as explorers' journals, bills of lading, etc. all reference dealings with DuSable. He was considered invaluable when dealing with the Pottowattamies here. When he sold his property in 1800 to a man named Jean La Lime, the deed included a house, two barns, a mill, a poultry house, a dairy and smokehouse. He then moved to St. Charles, Missouri where he died in 1818.

For a long time, Chicago's leaders refused to acknowledge DuSable as the first resident, instead preferring to honor white men only like John Kinzie and considered the 1803 Fort Dearborn as the first permanent residency in the city. However, during the 1933-34 Century of Progress World's Fair, a replica of DuSable's homestead was created and acknowledged as "one of the first residents." That same year (1934) DuSable High School opened in the Bronzeville neighborhood. In 1965 Pioneer Court opened on the site of DuSable's homestead and became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. A bronze bust of DuSable was installed in 2009 and the Michigan Avenue Bridge has been renamed the DuSable Bridge. He also has a museum that bears his name as the DuSable Museum of African American History opened in 1968.

What do you think of ol Jean Baptiste? Interesting the number of people in history not often acknowledged because they didn't fit a certain mold or idea.

Happy A To Z and thanks for visiting. Please visit my incredible fellow challengers by clicking the image at the top right or here.

19 comments:

  1. Glad they now acknowledge him. Now he has his own school, bridge, and museum! Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, Sweetie!

    I'm in the BAHAMAS... Talk about a HORRIBLE travel Day.... everything went wrong. Delayed at the airport for three hours, Flight was good though, arrived here the shuttle never showed, Had to wait for over an hour and the finally we hopped in a cab. Then got to the hotel and only one room was reserved ... My client was beside herself... it all got taken care of and all is fine now... GORGEOUS HERE!!! Eighty degrees and STUNNING..

    INTERESTING story... Thanks for sharing Baptiste with us ... such a fascinating character in history!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi sweetheart! I'm so happy everything is working out now. How awful for you and your friend. I'm jealous because it is gloomy as all get \out here, but at least the temps in the forties.

      Glad you liked hearing about DuSable, he was an interesting guy for sure.

      Delete
  3. What a fascinating look into the history of the city even though it's not always pretty. At least later generations are putting things right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Susan, history certainly isn't always pretty. I'm glad DuSable is getting his due. Without him, things could have been very different around here.

      Delete
  4. It's amazing how many unsung, unconventional heroes of the past have been forgotten. I'm glad he's getting his due.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too, Maurice. DuSable certainly was one of our more interesting historical figure here in Chicago. So adventurous.

      Delete
  5. Well he seems to be pretty well acknowledged now, even if it's a bit late in the day! Different world then, OK we still have a lot of prejudices but they seem to have been ingrained through the whole of society in those days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That he is, Nick. It was a different world and I am very happy that we have finally acknowledged Dusable's contributions.

      Delete
  6. And a happy A to Z Challenge to you as well! Thank you for the interesting post about Du Sable, whom I hadn't known about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bob! So happy you visited. I'm glad you enjoyed my post about DuSable, what an intriguing man he was.

      Delete
  7. Better late than never! What a pioneer spirit! Thanks for shining the spotlight on him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy you liked hearing about DuSable. He was a pretty amazing guy, managing to keep a profitable trading post in this area before it was really established.

      Delete
  8. So many intriguing people we never hear about it! I like him-he sounds like he fought hard and paved his way~ Cool letter D post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ella! He was a great character and inspiring person.

      Delete
  9. Well, it is safe to say that it isn't just misbehaving women who made history. Men fit that mold as well.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I will have to follow your blog...will be going to IL this summer na dplan to spend a week in Chicago.
    Happy A-Z April!

    ReplyDelete

I love, love comments, so please leave your thoughts. I may not always be able to answer directly, but please know that what you say is very important to me.