Did You Know a Black Man Was the Founding Father of Chicago?

Written by Jae Jones

Most people who think of Chicago, think of people such as Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Al Capone, the Wrigley Field, and the Obamas. But, did you know that Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the United States and it was founded by a man, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a Black man around 1883.

[brid video=”14114″ player=”3329″ title=”Did You Know Chicago’ First Resident Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable”]

Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, arrived in the 1770s, and founded the area’s first trading post. The Town of Chicago was later organized in 1833 with a population of 350 people. It is believed Jean Baptise Pointe du Sable arrived on the western shores of Lake Michigan around 1779. He was born in Saint-Marc, in a country called Saint-Domingue which today is Haiti. Du Sable was of African and French decent, and born to a slave woman named Suzanna, and a Frence pirate mate named Pointe du Sable. His father sent him to study at a Catholic school in France.

Du Sable and a friend, Jacques Clamorgan, later traveled to Louisiana, a French colony then, where he married an aboriginal woman named Kittahawa (fleet-of-foot). Jean Baptiste became a member of her tribe in order to marry her. He was called by the tribe “Black Chief.”

“Du Sable became well known for trading goods throughout the Midwest. He expanded his cabin to a trading post, which later became a small community with a church, school, and store. By 1776 Du Sable had commercial buildings, docks, a mansion house with fruit orchards, and livestock. Pleased with his partner’s accomplishments, Clemorgan went to St. Louis, Missouri, to close his own trading post for fear of damage during the war between Spain and Britain.” Read more.



Du Sable’s trading post was very successful. People came to Du Sable’s post from Quebec because of difficulties with the English. The English had enforced strict rules regarding travel and free trade and heavily taxed them. Many wanted to buy land from Du Sable, but he refused to sell the land. However, he did just give some land.

Jean Baptiste Pointe was not given credit for being the founding Father of Chicago until 1968. For centuries people refused to believe that a Black man could actually have found the city.


Video Found At YouAndMeThisMorning via youtube

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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