Who is Jean Baptiste Point DuSable? Council votes to rename LSD to Pioneer – NBC Chicago

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Chicago City Council on Friday passed an ordinance to change the name of Outer Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Drive.

DuSable, a prominent fur trader, is the namesake of an African American history museum in Washington Park, a bridge over the Chicago River, and a high school in Bronzeville, but for what accomplishments is he known ?

The pioneer, the black founder of Chicago, established the first permanent settlement at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1779, according to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Born in 1745 in Haiti, DuSable was a “tall, handsome, intelligent and highly regarded trader” whose mother was a slave, according to the Friends of the Chicago Portage, which promotes Chicago’s Portage National Historic Site.

Independent contractor DuSable “laid the groundwork for Chicago’s future development” and made what was once a swamp an “unpromising place in the wilderness, a border mall,” an inventory form from the National Register of Historic Places.

Land records show that as early as 1773 DuSable moved to Peoria and Old Peoria, Ill., Where he cultivated land, built a house, and maintained two farms for about a decade, while managing positions of deals elsewhere.

At some point in the late 1700s he moved north and began working for fur trader William Burnett at his post near present-day Michigan, City, Indiana. However, shortly after arriving, DuSable was arrested by the British who suspected him of aiding the Americans, the Friends of the Chicago Portage said.

He was held prisoner on Mackinaw Island until the Commanding Officer put him to work managing his logging farm near Detroit. DuSable was freed in 1779 and moved to Chicago where he established a trading post that brought together a small community, according to research.

The seasoned fur trader eventually expanded his business to include a bakery, smokehouse and even a horse mill, a Lake Forest College research website said. In 1800, DuSable sold the trading post, which at that time consisted of numerous buildings, more than a hundred cattle, and elaborate furnishings, documents explained.

The iconic settler purchased land in St. Charles County, Missouri, in 1805. In 1813, when DuSable was believed to be ill, he ceded land and a house in the city, along with his other property, to a neighbor, Eulalia Barada. , according to the National Park Service.

DuSable died on August 28, 1818 and was buried at St. Charles Borromeo Church in St. Charles.

In late May, amid the debate over whether to rename Lake Shore Drive after DuSable, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office unveiled a massive new plan to honor her legacy in various ways.

According to Lightfoot’s office, the plan involves three sites that will be developed into new projects, and will also involve the creation of an annual DuSable festival, which would take place every August and highlight the importance of its legacy, as well as the Potawatomi nation. , who lived in the Chicago area before DuSable arrived.


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