Pointe Du Sable was born in St. Marc, Haiti around 1745. He was the
son of a French Sea Captain and a slave mother. He was educated in
France and later worked on one of his father's ships as a seaman.
Du Sable was
very well educated and spoke French, Spanish and English fluently. He
collected fine art and owned several European rare art pieces.
Du Sable was
injured on one of his voyages and he put ashore in New Orleans to
heal. After his recovery, he made his way up the Mississippi River to
Illinois where he settled in Peoria. He eventually owned over 800
acres in the area.
Jean married a
Potawatomi Indian named Kittihawa. They had a son named Jean and a
daughter named Susanne. In 1779 he departed Peoria and explored north
to an area called Eschikagou, (Chicago) by the Indians. DuSable,
recognizing it's future potential, decided to settle in the area and
built the first permanent home on the banks of the Chicago River.
He established a
trading post which became the main point of supply for traders and
trappers heading west. Du Sable's trading post did very well and he
became quite wealthy. A granddaughter was born in 1796 becoming the
first child born in Chicago.
In 1800 Du Sable
sold his entire holdings and moved to Missouri. He died on August 29,
1818 in St. Charles, Missouri.