NATIVE AMERICANS - First Chicagoans

Paleo Indians - Just after Ice Age - Illinois River




Native Americans

Confederation of tribes  Kaskaskia, the Cahokia, the Peoria, the TamaroaMoingwenaMichigamea

The Illini were an Algonquian-speaking nation.


Marquette & Joliet 1673

Ca. 1681 map of Marquette
and Jolliet's 1673 expedition
Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first Europeans to explore and map much of the Mississippi River in 1673. 

When a Peoria warrior murdered the Ottawa war chief Pontiac in 1769

There are many stories about the final defeat of the Illini. One story has it that they fought from near Chicago, fleeing the Iroqouis and their allies down Hickory Creek, the Desplaines River through Joliet and down to Starved Rock.


  1. Robert E. Warren Historical Research and Narrative

    Illinois Indians Visiting New Orleans, 1735 Detail of colored pen-and-ink drawing by Alexandre de Batz. 


    George Rogers Clark 1779

    Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark and his 
    frontiersmen captured Fort Sackville and British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton on February 25, 1779. The heroic march of Clark's men fromKaskaskia on the Mississippi River in mid-winter and the subsequent victory over the British remains one of the great feats of the American Revolution.

    Clark was hailed as the "Conqueror of the West", and much of the midwest was ceded by Great Britain to the new United States in the Treaty of Paris


    Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (1745?-1818) was the first non Native American Chicagoan settler and city's first black settler.

    In 1788 du Sable was a fur trader and owned a farm in Chicago

    "Wobble Wobble Wobble, Were from DuSable.


    Potawatomi 1766-1836

    those who keep/tend the hearth-fire

    Took over from Illini

    Fort Dearborn Massacre 1812
    Potawatomi inhabited the area 

    Led by the chiefs Blackbird and Nuscotomeg (Mad Sturgeon), a force of about 500 warriors attacked the evacuation column leaving Fort Dearborn; they killed a majority of the civilians and 54 of Captain Nathan Heald's force, and wounded many others.