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Chicago was founded by a black man

21 October 2008 at 22:46 | 10940 views

Culled from Afri-Can Magazine(

When we think of Chicago, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Al Capone, the famous Wrigley Field and The Chicago Blues come to mind. It is also the city to elect the first ever black female US senator : Carol Mosley-Braun. It is also where Barack Obama’s makes his home.

There’s a part of Chicago most don’t know: The 3rd largest city in the USA was founded by a Black man. (Last) August 12 marked the 175th anniversary of the founding of Chicago!

The first European settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, arrived in the 1770s, married a (native indian) Potawatomi woman, and founded the area’s first trading post. By August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of 350.

Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable(photo) first arrived on the western shores of Lake Michigan around 1779. Born in Saint-Marc, in a country called Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), he built the first permanent settlement at the mouth of the river just east of the present Michigan Avenue Bridge on the north bank.

Of African and French descent, he was born to a slave named Suzanna (who may have origins in Vaudreuil, Québec) and a French pirate mate named Pointe du Sable who served on the Black Sea Gull. After his father sent him to study at a Catholic school in France, du Sable and a friend, Jacques Clamorgan, traveled to Louisiana (then a French colony) and then to Michigan, where he married a aboriginal woman named Kittahawa (fleet-of-foot). To marry her, the twenty-five-year-old Jean Baptiste had to become a member of her tribe. He took an eagle as his tribal symbol. The Potawatomi tribe called him "Black Chief," and he became a high-ranking member of the tribe. Du Sable’s granddaughter, Eulalia, was the first non-aboriginal born in Chicago.

Du Sable made several trips to Canada to buy fur, and it is written that he had strong relationships with the French of New-France.

Americans, for centuries, refused to acknowledge that a Black man could have founded the third largest city of the USA. It is only in 1968 that Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable was finally official recognized as the founding Father of Chicago.

Source: Afro Caribe Canada | 80 Wellington Street | Ottawa | Ontario | K1A 0A2 | Canada