JEAN BAPTISTE POINT DU SABLE Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (1745(?) - August 28, 1818), popularly known as "The   
Father of Chicago", [1] was the first known settler in the area which is now         
Chicago, Illinois. Du Sable was recognized by the State of Illinois and the City     
of Chicago as the Founder of Chicago on October 26, 1968. [2]                       
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable first arrived on the western shores of Lake           
Michigan around 1779. Born in Saint-Marc, 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. [3]                               
Of African and French descent, he may have been born as early as the 1730s and       
no later than 1745, to a slave named Suzanna and a French pirate mate named         
Pointe du Sable who served on the Black Sea Gull. [1] Suzanna may have been         
killed in a Spanish raid on Haiti. Perhaps Jean Baptiste escaped by swimming out     
to his father's ship. After his father sent him to study at a Catholic school in     
France, du Sable and a friend, Jacques Clamorgan, traveled to Louisiana and then     
to Michigan, where he married a Potawatomi woman name 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. [4] The Potawatomi called him     
"Black Chief," and he became a high-ranking member of the tribe. They had a son     
and daughter, Jean and Susanne. Du Sable's granddaughter, Eulalia, was the first     
non-Indian born in Chicago.