Chicago History

Well first off, there seems to be some confusion as to when the city was officially founded or incorporated. I don’t have a clue if those two things are the same or if they have different meanings. I’ve seen both used. I’ve seen founded in 1830 and 1833. I found sources that say incorporated in 1837 and 1834. let’s just say somewhere in the 1830’s Chicago became Chicago.

Chicago, the word, is a Miami Indian word. It is a word for wild leeks. They grew on the banks of the Chicago river. I wonder if they still do? Miami, Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes live in the are for centuries. The first non-Indian to settle there was a fellow by the name of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. He apparently arrived around 1780. I always say apparently because how do we REALLY know for sure.

After he arrived, the US Army decided that they were going to build a fort, Fort Dearborn on the Chicago River and so begins the battle with the Native Indians of the area to take away their land. The Indians destroyed the fort and they, of course, rebuilt it four years later.

In 1832, there was a war called the Black Hawk war and it seems this was last time that the natives resisted.  They lost the war. This particular source says that Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833 and as a city in  1837. Maybe that’s where I’m confused by there being different dates. One date was them becoming a town and the other date was when they became a city, I guess to be classified as a city there must be 4000 people or more. I never knew that before. I’m learning so much, love it! In 1848, Chicago got its first telegraph and railroad. By 1854, the city was the world’s largest grain port and it had more than 30,000 residents. Many of these people were immigrants from Europe.