The John H. Kinzie House
The paper used for this unsigned drawing of the John H. Kinzie house and Fort Dearborn suggests a mid- to late-nineteenth-century date. Kinzie’s father, born in Quebec City, settled with his family in Chicago in 1804. Until 1834 he owned the house and lands near the mouth of the Chicago River that had originally belonged to Haitian-born Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable and his Potawatomi wife, Kittihawa. John H. Kinzie ran to become the first mayor of Chicago in 1837, but lost to William Butler Ogden.
Mississippi Valley Map
This map was the last in a series of Nouvelle France maps made by Nicolas de Fer, royal geographer of Belgium. De Fer prepared it for the Compagnie d’Occident, which sold shares in colonizing efforts in the Mississippi Valley. It depicts the entire western portion of French North America, including the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi Valley, and the Gulf Coast. Strikingly, De Fer has placed a detailed inset of the Louisiana coast at the top of the map.
Les Checagou appears at the southern end of the Lac des Illinois, while Michigan is still offered as an alternative to the name of another lake, Huron. Just northwest of Les Checagou is the Nation du Feu (Nation of the Fire), which is a French derivative of the Potawatomi name for themselves, “People of the place of fire” or “Keepers of the sacred fire.” This name, as well as others on the map, shows a tradition of linguistic engagement between French-speaking and Algonquian-speaking peoples.