Jean Baptiste Point DuSable
1745 – August 2, 1818
A frontier trader, trapper and farmer, generally regarded as the first resident of what is now Chicago, Illinois
It is unknown the year Jean Baptiste Point DuSable was born, but according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, he was born in St. Marc, Sainte-Domingue [now Haiti]. He was believed to have been born a free man of a French father and African woman. DuSable traveled to North America as a trader, eventually settling at the mouth of the Chicago River in the early 1770’s, in which he established an important link in the fur and grain trade.
DuSable married a Potawatomie Indian woman, Kitihawa, also known as Catherine, and had two children: Susanne and Jean. It is believed that DuSable’s grandchild was the first child to be born in the, more than 800 acres of land DuSable claimed. In May of 1800, DuSable sold his trading post for $1200 and moved to St. Charles, Missouri where he died.
Chicago honors its “first citizen” with a museum, high school, harbor, bridge and park named after him. The area DuSable established is recognized as a National Historical Landmark.