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Fort Dearborn Established: 1803


For thousands of years, Native tribes settled the region of present-day Chicago. Chegago is a Potawatomi word that described the area’s smell, commonly thought to be wild onions. The land was secured in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, with the goal of controlling the strategic portage of Lake Michigan to the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.  Built by Captain Joh Whistler in 1803 and named in honor of Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, Fort Dearborn was the most western American post in the Great Lakes Region.  In 1812, it was the sight of the Battle of Fort Dearborn, a violent conflict that propelled the War of 1812.

Citations

Andreas, A.T. 1884. History of Chicago: From the earliest period to the present time

Danckers, Ulrich. 1999. A Compendium of the Early History of Chicago: To the Year 1835 When the Indians Left

Keating, Ann Durkin. 2012. Rising Up from Indian Country: The Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Birth of Chicago

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