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He constructed a solid frame house measuring 40 by 22 feet and was soon able to send for his wife and children. Later accounts enumerated 44 large hens, baking and smokehouses, 30 head of cattle, and other outbuildings among his possessions, and he raised and was apparently able to export wheat, hay, and other agricultural commodities. His trading post on the riverbank, located on the site of the present-day Chicago Tribune newspaper offices and commemorated by a nearby plaque , served explorers, trappers, Native Americans, and military troops of several nationalities.

Visitors to du Sable's home, impressed by furnishings that included several paintings and an imported French coffee grinder, believed that he was a government official of some sort. Undoubtedly du Sable owed the success of his endeavors partly to the help of his adopted Potawatomi tribe, and the cultural coexistence he practiced stood in sharp contrast to what was to come in northern Illinois.

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  7. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable?

But that was not enough to keep him out of trouble when the tide turned against the British during the Revolutionary War— Americans of French background were presumed, correctly in most cases, to be anti-British. After du Sable refused to allow de Peyster to construct a fort in Chicago he had likewise refused an American colonel , du Sable was arrested in August of and taken to a British prison in Port Huron or, according to one source, to Fort Michilimackinac.

Some sources also implicate the Wisconsin-based French nobleman Charles-Michel Mouet de Langlade, who resented du Sable's success, in the mulatto's downfall; du Sable may have fled to Michigan City, Indiana, and been arrested there after fighting flared between American and British troops. Du Sable remained technically a British prisoner until the end of the war, but he impressed Michigan's British governor, Patrick Sinclair, and he was apparently held under a kind of house arrest. He was even given a commission to manage a British trading post, the Pinery, and he may have served as an unofficial monitor of the military activities of Native American tribes in the region.

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After the British were expelled from America, du Sable returned to Chicago. Fresh sources attested to the vigor of his trading post in , when a Detroit-based agent reported that he was doing a brisk business in pork, bread, and flour. His daughter married that year, and he became a grandfather in Du Sable maintained his connections with Native American culture, and around he apparently tried to obtain a minor chieftancy among some Michigan clans but was unsuccessful.

In , du Sable decided to leave Chicago. Among the items the family put up for sale in the growing town were two mirrors, two paintings, 20 large wooden plates, and the coffee grinder; they were reported to have had as many as 23 paintings at one time, and they no doubt kept many possessions for themselves.

The reason du Sable left Chicago has not been definitively established, but Reed has argued that it would have been connected with increasing American influence, bringing a deterioration in the region's racial attitudes. It is significant that du Sable moved southward, into regions where the French, more tolerant in racial matters, retained greater influence. The family settled once again in Peoria. After the death of Kittihawa in the early years of the nineteenth century, du Sable moved south once again, to St.

Charles, Missouri. In the last decade of his life, du Sable turned over most of his possessions to his offspring. He transferred ownership of his home in St. Charles to his granddaughter, Eulalie, in exchange for her commitment to care for him in his old age and arrange a Catholic burial after his death.

Jean Baptiste Point du Sable

Whether Eulalie fulfilled those duties is unclear. Du Sable was briefly arrested and imprisoned on charges of nonpayment of debts in , and he lived out the rest of his life in poverty. He died in St. Charles on August 28 or 29, Du Sable's contributions to Chicago's growth were expunged throughout much of the nineteenth century, but black Chicagoans, especially, worked to recover his memory in the twentieth.

Du Sable High School opened in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the city's South Side in the s, and a downtown harbor was later given his name. Du Sable was honored with a stamp in the U. Postal Service's Black Heritage series in Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. October 6, Blake Griffin No. Haitians have also found recent success in professional boxing.

Haitian History: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (Chicago Chapter part I)

Adonis Stevenson , who was born in Haiti and raised in Canada, is the reigning World Boxing Council light-heavyweight champion. Altogether, these athletes represent a collective triumph of more than years of political turmoil and economic hardship. When most Americans think of Haiti, they probably think of the massive earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation on the afternoon of Jan.

As many as , people perished and nearly a million survivors were left homeless by the quake, which measured 7. But why is there the sudden explosion in world-class athletes originating from such an impoverished nation, especially one without much of an athletic infrastructure? Christopher Columbus landed in what is now Haiti in December The explorer quickly began enslaving the native Arawaks.

Within a decade, the Spanish conquistadors had decimated the Arawaks of Hispaniola through disease and overwork. Overall, about 1. Most of the Africans originated from Dahomey current-day Benin and what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola.

Independence from France was declared in , but Haiti was ostracized politically, economically and culturally — a black, French- and Creole-speaking anomaly in a largely white and brown, Spanish-speaking hemisphere in a world then dominated by the United States and the European colonial powers.

This was partly because Haitian governments had supported independence movements in the region and also because of fears it would send the wrong message to white plantation owners facing chronic slave rebellions. By the turn of the 20th century, tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants had settled in several major North American cities, such as New York, Boston, Montreal and Chicago which, incidentally, was founded by John Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, a Haitian fur trader.

Haitians are embedded in American life. In , President Jimmy Carter stipulated that Haitian refugees were economic, not political refugees, denying them asylum and ordering the Coast Guard to return them to their troubled homeland. They were coming north mostly to pursue economic opportunities. Before, everyone had some level of education and either lived or worked in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Currently, nearly about a third of the rosters of Major League Baseball are Latinos, either those born in the United States or in a host of other traditional baseball hotbeds, such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela and elsewhere.

Jean-Baptiste-Point DuSable ()

Another, Touki Toussaint, a top pick in the Major League amateur draft, is a minor league pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. However, by the late s, when the influx of Haitians coincided with the emergence of New York-New Jersey and South Florida as prep athletic powerhouses, Haitian-American athletes became forces to be reckoned with. One of the first Haitian-Americans to make it to the big time was Mario Elie. A star at American International Academy in Massachusetts, Elie was drafted in the seventh round of the college draft by Milwaukee.

He played overseas for four years before finally making it into the NBA. Elie, who played for 11 years, starred as a 3-point shooter for the Houston Rockets NBA championship teams in and and won a third title with the San Antonio Spurs four years later. He has been an assistant coach with several NBA teams. Elie credits his parents for teaching him a strong work ethic that he said has served him well. He said his parents always stressed their Haitian roots.

Although sports are popular, affording them is considered a luxury. His foundation provides training for 2, Haitian youngsters annually in soccer, basketball, table tennis, karate, track, basketball and boxing. If you give us a chance, we can succeed. There are more and more athletes who are picking up other sports. In Haiti, there is no such thing as a basketball court or a football field on every corner. There is a lot of poverty, so we have to improvise. We have to improve our sports infrastructure. Even though many of the current Haitian-American professional athletes grew up with first-rate sporting facilities in the States, most say their Haitian-born parents taught them a strong work ethic.