Monday, November 18, 2019

The Chronology of the Kinzie House, Chicago.

In the spring of 1782, possibly earlier, Jean Baptiste Point de Sable (the "du" of Point du Sable is a misnomer. It is an American corruption of "de" as pronounced in French. "Jean Baptiste Point du Sable" first appears long after his death) settled at Chicago to farm and trade with the Indians, building a rude log cabin on the north bank of the river where it turned 'S' to meet the lake.
Point du Sable 1780s establishment is recognized as the first settlement that continued on and ultimately grew to become the city of Chicago.
By the time he sold the property in 1800 for $1,200 ($17,900 today), he had developed the property into a commodious, well-furnished French-style house with numerous outbuildings. 

Successive owners and occupants include:
  • Point de Sable: 1779, trader.
  • Jean B. La Lime & William Burnett: 1800-1803, owner {{a careful reading of the Point de Sable-La Lime sales contract indicates that William Burnett was not just signing as a witness, but also financing the transaction, therefore controlling ownership}}.
  • Dr. William C. Smith with Jean B. La Lime: 1803.
  • John Kinzie's Family: 1804-1828 (except during 1812-1816).
  • Widow Leigh & Mr. Des Pins: 1812-1816.
  • Anson Taylor: 1829-1831 (residence and store).
  • Dr. E.D. Harmon: 1831 (residence & medical practice).
  • Jonathan N. Bailey: 1831 (residence/post office).
  • Mark Noble, Sr.: 1831-1832.
  • Judge Richard Young: 1832 (circuit court sessions).
  • Unoccupied and decaying beginning in 1832.
  • Nonexistent by 1835.

John Kinzie Mansion and Fort Dearborn.

Additional Reading: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the first black, non-native settler of Chécagou.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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