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Georges E. Fouron

freedman who became a pioneer and fur trader and who is now hailed as the founder of the city of Chicago, was probably born in 1745 in the town of St. Marc in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (today, Haiti). Du Sable (sometimes rendered as du Sable or DuSable) was the son of a black captive from the Congo named Suzanne, and a French mariner and swashbuckler from Marseille, making him a mulatto in Haitian racial nomenclature. It is believed his father’s name was originally Point Dessaible and he later changed it to Du Sable. As was the practice during that period, to elevate their social status in the French colony, many French expatriates would place a “de” or “du” before their name to connote their high-class lineage.

Another much contested version by the historian Milo Milton Quaife claims that his father s name was Pierre He was born in ...


Anthony Stevens

first name spelled “Jan” in Dutch documents, was a black or mulatto man from the island colony of Santo Domingo who arrived at the mouth or estuary of what is now New York’s Hudson River in 1613 onboard a Dutch merchant ship The vessel apparently came from the Caribbean in what seems to have been an exploratory expedition seeking to engage in fur trading with the Native Americans of the area By then the Dutch like their French Portuguese and British counterparts had a decade long history of intense involvement in smuggling or illegal trading with the inhabitants of the island of Santo Domingo also called La Española or The Spanish One and known in English as Hispaniola The Dutch had been taking advantage of Spain s limited military governmental and commercial presence there as a result of the greater attention it paid to its mainland possessions in Mexico ...