Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chicago in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable

Fur traders and farmers

 

—Chicago Tribute —

 
Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 12, 2016
1. Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker
Inscription. Considered the founders of Chicago, Catherine (1756 - 1809) and Jean Baptiste (1745 - 1818) Point du Sable established a fur trading post on this site in the 1770s or early 1780s, approximately a half century before Chicago was incorporated. This commercial enterprise helped shape the American government's vision of the potential of this area and therefore its decision to build the first Fort Dearborn in 1803 across the river, at what is now the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

Much about the du Sables' lives is unknown. Scholars say Jean Baptiste probably was born in Saint Dominique (now Haiti) in the West Indies. At least one of his parents was a slave; he is best described as Afro-French. Catherine was Potawatomi; her Native American name is unknown. Native women who married fur traders and converted to Catholicism, as she did, constructed female kin networks that linked fur settlements throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River valley, and Catherine's connections were essential to her husband's commercial success. By the time the du Sable family left Chicago in 1800, their prosperous farm included a large house, a bake house, smokehouse, poultry house, stable, barn, 2 mules, 30 cattle, 38 hogs, and 44 hens. Du Sable's post, with its diverse clientele of Indian, French and American traders, established
Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 12, 2016
2. Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker
a tradition of commerce that would provide the foundation of Chicago's economy for decades to come.

Chicago Tribute (on reverse of marker)

Chicago history rings with the names of men and women who have moved our city and nation forward — farmers, explorers, pioneers, traders; athletes, architects, workers, labor organizers, industrial giants, lawyers, teachers, inventors, writers, musicians, and artists. Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction commemorate notable individuals who have lived in Chicago by marking the significant places where they lived or worked.

Walking through the streets of Chicago, one can hear echoes of the past in Lawndale where Benny Goodman began playing clarinet before becoming the “King of Swing”, on the Near Westside, where immigrants were welcomed and assisted by the Women of Hull House, in pioneering architecture that rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871.

Chicago Tribute Markers articulate the connection between the city of today and the historic individuals and events that continue to shape our world.
 
Location. 41° 53.403′ N, 87° 37.437′ W. Marker is in Chicago, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is on North Michigan Avenue when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near
Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 12, 2016
3. Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Marker
this postal address: 419 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jack Brickhouse (a few steps from this marker); Tribune Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); The Discoverers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable (about 300 feet away); The Pioneers (about 300 feet away); Louis Jolliet & Père Jacques Marquette (about 300 feet away); Green Bay Road (about 300 feet away); Regeneration (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chicago.
 
Categories. African AmericansNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 12, 2016
4. Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable
The only “portrait” of du Sable is a 19th century artist's conception of what he might have looked like. The same artist drew du Sable's cabin at the Mouth of the Chicago River as it might have looked in the 18th Century.
Close-up of image on marker
Du Sable's cabin at the Mouth of the Chicago River image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 12, 2016
5. Du Sable's cabin at the Mouth of the Chicago River
as it might have looked in the 18th Century.
Close-up of image on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 19, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 180 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 19, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement