1-7 of 7 results  for:

  • African American Studies x
  • 1400–1774: The Age of Exploration and the Colonial Era x
Clear all

Article

Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable's biography combines conjecture and lore with a few established facts. He was probably born in St. Marc, Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti) around 1750 to a French mariner and an African-born slave. He may have been educated in Paris and employed as a sailor during his young adult life. Du Sable entered North America through either Louisiana or French Canada, and first appeared in historical documents in 1779, when a British officer in the Great Lakes region reported that the local trader “Baptist Point de Sable” was “much in the interest of the French.”

The British detained Du Sable for suspected “intercourse with the enemy,” but he soon impressed his captors as a well-educated and highly capable frontiersman. British governor Patrick Sinclair sent Du Sable to the Saint Clair River region to manage trade and serve as a liaison between Native Americans and ...

Article

Richard C. Lindberg

explorer and merchant, was born in San Marc, Haiti, the son of a slave woman (name unknown) and Dandonneau (first name unknown), scion of a prominent French Canadian family active in the North American fur trade. Surviving historical journals record the name of Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (Pointe au Sable by some accounts), a Haitian of mixed-race ancestry, as the first permanent settler of Chicago. In her 1856 memoir of frontier life in the emerging Northwest Territory, Juliette Kinzie, the wife of the fur trader John Kinzie makes note of the fact that the first white man who settled here was a Negro Several of the voyageurs and commercial men who regularly traversed the shores of southern Lake Michigan in the last decade of the eighteenth century kept accurate records of their encounters in journals and ledger books One such entry describes du Sable as a ...

Article

Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable is reputed to be the founder of Chicago because he was the first non–Native American to build a home on the future site of the city. As an enterprising free black man on the Revolutionary frontier, Du Sable has become a symbolic figure of great importance to the modern-day African American community, especially in Chicago. The lack of much concrete evidence about his life seems only to enhance his mythic importance as a pioneering black settler and prominent frontiersman. Documents composed by English speakers spell his name variously as “Au Sable,” “Point Sable,” “Sabre,” and “Pointe de Saible.”

Du Sable s birth date is not known It is thought that he was born in the town of Saint Marc on the island of Saint Domingue in what later became the first free black republic in the Americas Haiti At the time of his birth Saint ...

Article

Esteban  

Penny Anne Welbourne

Also known as Estevan, Estevanico, Stephen the Black, and the Black Moor, Esteban was born in Azamor (or Azemmour), Morocco, between 1500 and 1503. By 1527 he had been taken from Africa, most likely by Spanish or Portuguese slave traders, and brought to Spain, where he became the “personal servant” (that is, slave) of Andrés Dorantes de Carranza.

In 1527 Dorantes volunteered himself and Esteban for a Spanish expedition to the New World, commanded by Don Pánfilo de Narváez. The purpose of the journey was to conquer and claim land from the Isle of Florida (discovered and named fifteen years earlier by Juan Ponce de León) to northeastern Mexico. At its start the exploration included approximately six hundred men aboard five vessels; of those men only four were still alive when they reached what is today Galveston Island, Texas: Esteban, his master, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca ...

Article

Steven J. Niven

one of the first slaves to enter the Kansas Territory, was born in Madison County, Kentucky. In her narrative dictated to the Scottish American abolitionist James Redpath in 1858, Noll does not name her parents but notes that she, like her mother, a cook, was owned by William Campbell, a prominent landowner, while her father was owned by a man named Barrett, who lived three miles away. Among the other slaves owned by Campbell were Lewis Garrard Clarke and John Milton Clarke, who both later escaped slavery and became prominent abolitionists in Boston in the 1850s. As of 1858 Noll incorrectly believed that Lewis Clarke, upon whom Harriet Beecher Stowe modeled the character George Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851), had been caught and returned to slavery in Kentucky.

When Noll was fourteen her master moved to Clay County Missouri bringing with him ...

Article

Graham Russell Hodges

Rodrigues was the first-known nonindigenous resident of Manhattan Island. His arrival in 1613 stemmed from the proprietary practices of early explorers of the New World. In June 1613Captain Thijs Volchertz Mossell, an experienced Dutch explorer, and the crew of his vessel, the Jonge Tobias began a journey from the West Indies along the eastern coastline of North America Mossell and his crew ventured up the Hudson River charted only four years before and sailed along the island of Montanges Manhattan After a brief sojourn on the island Mossell sailed away with all his crew but one Jan Rodrigues a Creole pilot Rodrigues may have stayed behind because of a wage dispute but it is just as likely that Mossell s leaving the pilot on the island was an example of a practice common among explorers as a means of claiming ownership of a coveted spot Rodrigues was ...

Article

York  

James J. Holmberg

explorer, slave, and the first African American to cross the North American continent from coast to coast north of Mexico, is believed to have been born in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of an enslaved African American also named York (later called Old York), owned by John Clark, a member of the Virginia gentry and father of the famous George Rogers Clark and William Clark. York's mother is unidentified; it is likely that she, too, was a Clark family slave. A slave named Rose is sometimes listed as York s mother but sources best identify her as his stepmother York is believed to have been assigned while a child to William Clark as his servant and companion Since such relationships were generally between children of about the same age with the slave sometimes a few years younger York may have been about two or ...