How He Lived
There are numerous theories about the life of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. However, it is widely believed that between 1745 and 1750 he was born in Saint Marc in Saint Dominique (now Haiti). The more popular theory is that DuSable was a Haitian-born resident believed to be the offspring of a career pirate who served on a ship called the Black Sea Gull. It is also believed his mother was a freed slave called Suzanne. DuSable spent his formative years studying in France. It is believed that he returned to Haiti to grow and trade coffee for a short period of time under the guidance of his father.
He then traveled to Louisiana in his early 20s seeking his fortune. From there it is believed he traveled up the Mississippi River to the northern Illinois/Great Lakes territory, before moving to settle at the mouth of the Chicago River. He sold his property in Chicago in 1800 and moved to St. Charles, Missouri, where he died on August 28, 1818. He has become known as the "Founder of Chicago" and the place where he settled at the mouth of the Chicago River is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, located in Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.DuSable In Detail
That same spring, DuSable built his family home to raise a family. Thus, the first permanent structure at Eschikagou was the DuSable House.
It consisted of peeled logs set upright in Indian fashion. DuSable built a huge gray stone fireplace in the principal room with its chimney situated on the outside wall.
Building A Home
Jean built one room as a kitchen with a smaller fireplace for cooking and laid out two sleeping rooms.
The dimensions of his actual house—or what the local settlers called his “mansion”—are often described as being 24 x 40 feet, ranging in depth to four or five rooms.
What He Built
After he completed the main house, DuSable began construction of several other structures to complete his vision of Eschikagou!
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