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In 1774, Jean Baptiste DuSable, a black frontierman born in Haiti, founded the City of Chicago, Illinois.
In case you didn't know, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable was born in St. Marc, Haiti around 1745.
His father was french and his mother was a Haitian Slave. He was educated in France and later worked on one of his father's ships as a seaman.
Du Sable was very well educated and spoke French, Spanish and English fluently. He collected fine art and owned several European rare art pieces.
Du Sable was injured on one of his voyages and he put ashore in New Orleans to heal. After his recovery, he made his way up the Mississippi River to Illinois where he settled in Peoria. He eventually owned over 800 acres in the area.
Jean Baptiste Du Sable married a Potawatomi Indian named Kittihawa.
They had a son named Jean and a daughter named Susanne.
In 1779 he left Peoria and explored north to an area called Eschikagou, (Chicago) by the Indians. DuSable, recognizing its future potential, decided to settle in the area and built the first permanent home on the banks of the Chicago River.
He established a trading post which became the main point of supply for traders and trappers heading west. Du Sable's trading post did very well and he became quite wealthy. A granddaughter was born in 1796 becoming the first child born in Chicago.
In 1800 Du Sable sold his entire holdings and moved to Missouri. He died on August 29, 1818 in St. Charles, Missouri.
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