J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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obviously for their ultimate welfare."

23 Wisconsin Hist. Coll. Vol. VII, p. 222.

24 Wis. Hist. Soc'y Proceedings, 1899, p. 124.
25 Wis. Hist. Coll. Vol. VII, p 281.

26 Hurlbut, "Chicago Antiquities," p. 201.

27 Story's "Laws of the United States" (Boston, 1827), p. 1844.


While "resentment" probably played no part in the failure of the "Factory
System," yet, what was equally effective, neglect and indifference did; and. when
Congress at last discontinued the system, in disgust, the dreams of many benevolent
well-wishers of the savages were shattered.


There was a period in the legislation preliminary to the admission of the State
of Illinois into the Union in 1818, when the boundaries of the proposed state were
fixed so that its northern extension went no farther than an east and west line
touching the southern end of Lake Michigan. 28 This line had not been surveyed,
but it was afterwards described as forty-one degrees and thirty-nine minutes of
north latitude. 29 This description was used in the first draft of the Enabling Act
when the bill was introduced into Congress, April 7, 1818. While under consider-
ation in the committee of the whole, the congressional delegate from -Illinois Ter-
ritory, Nathaniel Pope, moved an amendment to the bill by striking out that part
which defined the boundaries of the new state, and inserted instead the following:

"Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash River; thence up the same, and with
the line of Indiana to the northwest corner of said state; thence east with the line
of the same state to the middle of Lake Michigan ; thence north along the middle of
said lake to north latitude forty-two degrees, thirty minutes; thence west to the
middle of the Mississippi River; and thence down along the middle of that river to
its confluence with the Ohio river; and thence up the latter river along its north-
western shore to the beginning." 80


By the Ordinance of 1787 there were to be not less than three nor more than
five states formed from the Northwest Territory created under that Ordinance. In
case there should be only three states formed, the Ordinance specified that the west-
ern, middle and eastern states, as they were described, should have certain bound-
aries, with this proviso:

"It is further understood and declared, that the boundaries of these three states
shall be subject so far to be altered, that if Congress shall hereafter find it ex-
pedient, they shall have authority to form one or two states in that part of the said
territorj' which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly
bend or extreme of Lake Michigan." Before the formation of States, however,
there were territorial divisions. When the Territory of Illinois came to be formed
in 1809, the boundaries were established on the same lines as those of the present
State of Illinois, except that the territory extended northwards to 'the line between
Canada and the United States. 31


The effect of Pope's amendment was to include within the limits of the pro-
posed new state of Illinois, a strip of country sixty-one miles in width, extending

28 Ordinance of 1787, Article V.

29 Moses: "Illinois," p. 276, Vol. I.

30 Annals of Congress, 1818, p. 1677.

31 Illinois Territorial Organization Act, 1809, section i.


from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river, containing an area of eight thou-
sand, five hundred square miles of fertile country diversified with forests and rivers,
within the limits of which at the present time are located fourteen counties with
many populous and prosperous cities. Among these may be mentioned the cities
of Chicago, Evanston, Waukegan, Elgin, Aurora, Rockford, Freeport, Oregon, Ster-
ling, Dixon, Fulton and Galena. 32

In presenting this amendment, Mr. Pope explained its object, and urged its
adoption for the following reasons, which are admirably summarized by Moses in
his history of Illinois, as follows : "That the proposed new state by reason of her
geographical position even more than on account of the fertility of her soil, was
destined to become populous and influential; that if her northern boundary was
fixed by a line arbitrarily established, rather than naturally determined, and hel
commerce was to be confined to that great artery of communication, the Mississippi,
which washed her entire western border, and to its chief tributary on the south,
the Ohio, there was a possibility that her commercial relations with the south might
become so closely connected that in the event of an attempted dismemberment of
the Union, Illinois would cast her lot with the southern states. On the other hand
to fix the northern boundary of Illinois upon such a parallel of latitude as would
give to the state territorial jurisdiction over the southwestern shores of Lake Michi-
gan, would be to unite the incipient commonwealth to the states of Indiana, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and New York in a bond of common interest well-nigh indissoluble'
By the adoption of such a line, Illinois might become at some future time the
keystone to the perpetuity of the Union.

"The feasibility of opening a canal between Lake Michigan and the Illinois river
was admitted by every one who had inspected the location and given the subject
consideration. If the port of Chicago were included within the boundaries of the
proposed state, the attention of the inhabitants of the latter would naturally be di-
rected to the opening up of a water-way between the river named and the great
fresh-water sea, and the early improvement of the entire region. The successful
prosecution of such an enterprise would not only open up new channels of trade, but
would tend to bind together the East and West by a chain whose links would be
welded together 'not only by friendship but by a community of interest. And thus
with common ties, and interests reaching out to the East as well as the South, an
equilibrium of sentiment would be established, which would forever oppose the for-
mation of separate and independent confederacies on the north, south, east or west."

The arguments of Mr. Pope carried conviction with them and the amendment
was adopted, without a division, on April 18, 1818, and thus the northern boundary
of the state was established where it is today. Moses, in speaking of Pope's action,
says : "The securing of the adoption of the above important amendment, fraught
with such material results, was of his own motion, and on his own responsibility,
without the instruction or advice of his constituents."


When we reflect that the region affected by Pope's amendment was as yet an al-
most unbroken wilderness, that the advantageous position of Chicago and its con-

12 Thwaites' Essays, "Division of the Northwest," p. 105.

Courtesy of Illinois State Historical Society


By his activity as delegate to Congress in 1818,
when Illinois was admitted as a state into the
Union. Pope amended the hill for admission so that
the state of Illinois should include a strip of land
sixty -one miles wide .along its northern boundary,
this sixty-one mile strip being additional to the
territory already included in the state by the pro-
visions of the bill.


tiguous territory was only a matter of speculation, we must recognize in Pope's
action in proposing and urging the adoption of his amendment the work of a keen
and far-sighted statesman. "No man," says Moses, "ever rendered the state a more
important service in Congress than did Nathaniel Pope." That the fixing of the
northern boundary of the state where it is today had momentous consequences can
he seen in the subsequent history of the state. Had the northern tier of counties
included within the sixty-one mile strip become attached to Wisconsin, as it inevit-
ably would have been, the state of Illinois would have lacked, when issues of tre-
mendous moment were at stake, an important element in her legislature at the time
of the breaking out of the Civil War, an element that Wisconsin did not require, as
the Union sentiment in that state was at all times very strong. Whether or not
the splendid support given to the Union cause by the state of Illinois was of such
importance as to justify Pope's declaration, when arguing for his amendment, that
the state might become "the keystone to the perpetuity of the Union," may be re-
garded differently by historians. But the commanding position occupied by Illinois
during the Civil War "with one of its citizens in the Presidential chair and another
leading its two hundred and fifty thousand citizen soldiery and the armies of the
Union." went far to make good the claim made by Pope in his declaration. The
part taken by Pope in the boundary matter well illustrates what has been called his
"almost superhuman sagacity."


When the great Sanitary Canal was opened with considerable pomp and cere-
mony on the 2d of January, 1900, Hon. James R. Doolittle, formerly United States
Senator from Wisconsin, made one of the speeches. In the course of his remarks
he said: "I rejoice to be here, and I pray God that I may live, though I am past
seventy years of age, to see this work completed and this great waterway established
between the lakes and rivers. I say it with just as much earnestness as if all my
interests were identified with Chicago. I still live in Wisconsin. I live in the state
to which Chicago belongs according to the Ordinance of 1787. (Laughter and ap-
plause.) I sometimes give an excuse to those gentlemen who ask me, 'why is it you
practice law in Chicago, and yet live in Wisconsin?' I tell them that by the Ordi-
nance of 1787 Chicago belongs to Wisconsin, and I have a right to be there."


The northern boundary line established by Pope's amendment was one of the
most important events in the annals of Illinois. It is named by Miss Lottie Jones,
in her "Decisive Dates of Illinois History," as one of the five events which were
decisive in their character ; and, as this event affected the region which in later years
became the site of the great city of Chicago, it may be especially considered a de-
cisive date in Chicago history.


Nathaniel Pope was born in 1784 at Louisville, Kentucky, and was educated at
Transylvania University, at Lexington, graduating with high honors. In 1809 he
was appointed the first secretary of Illinois Territory. He was elected a delegate


to Congress in 1816. After the admission of Illinois as a state, he was made United
States Judge of the District, which then embraced the entire state. He was the
father of Major-General John Pope, one of the generals of the Civil War. Pope
County in this state was named in his honor. He died at St. Louis, Missouri, at
the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lucretia Yeatman, in 1850. His character is summed
up by Moses, as follows: "He was a profound lawyer, an able legislator, a dig-
nified and upright, yet a courteous judge, and wore the ermine for over thirty years
without a stain."








HIS may be a good place to stop a moment and review the settlement of
Chicago as it was at different periods of its growth until 1828 or there-
abouts. At the beginning of the century we saw on the north bank of
the river four small dwellings, one owned and occupied by Le Mai, an-
other by Antoine Ouilmette, and a third by one Pettell. Le Mai sold his
house to John Kinzie, who came in 1804, soon after Captain Whistler had arrived to
build and occupy the fort. On the South Branch Charles Lee settled not long af-
terward at the place that was known as Hardscrabble. In 1812 came the massacre,
and from that time until the rebuilding of the fort in 1816, the place was deserted
by all save Ouilmette and his family, M. Du Pin, a French trader who was there for
a short time, and Alexander Robinson, who settled at Chicago in 1814 and with
Ouilmette planted the garden of the former fort with Indian corn. The officers who
came to rebuild the fort in 1816 found these last two living there, besides John
Dean, an army contractor who came in 1815, and possibly Judge Jouett, who, as
stated by his daughter many years later, had come as Indian agent a short time be-
fore the fort was reoccupied. With the new garrison came settlers to this spot now
protected by United States troops, and Chicago began to have the appearance of
an active frontier village. When the inhabitants were few, each one was a person
of prominence, and we can pick them out and call them by name. The Beaubiens,
as we have seen, were early comers; another was John Kinzie Clark, arriving in
1816; a few years later came his stepbrother, Archibald Clybourn, followed soon
afterward by his parents; and in 1826 James Galloway brought his family to
Chicago. Here is the community, then, in its second beginnings. The natural re-
sult was the arrival of visitors and traders, among them Major Stephen H. Long,
passing through Chicago after an expedition west of the Mississippi; Judge Stor-
row whose visit is described in the previous chapter; Ebenezer Childs, a trader from
Green Bay; Schoolcraft and Trowbridge, coming in Governor Cass* expedition in
1820; John H. Fonda, a rover through this new West. Seeing much of the inhabi-
tants, it is quite natural that we find out, little by little, the story of each one.




Among the notable residents of early Chicago there were three Indians, of great
influence among their own people, and firm in their friendship to the Americans, bv
whom their services were highly appreciated. These three "good Indians" were
Alexander Robinson, Billy Caldwell, called the Sauganash, and Shabbona, each one
with a history closely connected with that of former days in Chicago.

Alexander Robinson was a chief of the P Ottawa ttomies, his mother being an In-
dian and his father a British officer at Mackinac. He was in Chicago now and then
as early as 1809 for trading purposes, and in 1812 he was one of the chiefs friendly
to the whites, who, just before the massacre, tried to dissuade the young braves from
their intention to kill the occupants of Fort Dearborn. After the evacu-ition and
massacre, he took the Kinzie family to St. Joseph in a boat 1 and, that done, he es-
corted Captain and Mrs. Heald in a canoe on to Mackinac, where the captain sur-
rendered to the commandant.- Later he afforded a home to the Kinzie family, who
took refuge with him at St. Joseph after their escape from Chicago.

In 1814, it is told, he returned to Chicago, finding here but one white man, An-
toine Ouilmette. "The year following (1815), it is stated that these two were the
only white men here, and the grounds of the late fort, both that year and in 1816,
were planted by them with Indian corn. When Major Bradley arrived, in 1816, to
construct the new fort, he paid Messrs. Ouilmette and Robinson for their field of
corn. At that time it is stated that Alec and his Indian wife lived on the north
side of the river, near the intersection of the present Dearborn and Kinzie Streets." 3
In the assessment roll of the assessor of Peoria County, for 1825, the property of
Robinson was valued at $200. 4 He then owned a cabin at Hardscrabble on the
South Branch, which he offered as a residence to Mr. Galloway, when the latter
brought his family to Chicago. "He served in 1823 and 1826 as Indian interpreter
under Dr. Wolcott, at a salary of $365, during the latter year. He is recorded as
a voter in 1825, 1826 and 1830, and on June 8 of the latter year was licensed to
keep tavern in Chicago. He had owned prior to this time a cabin or trading-post
at Hardscrabble, but vacated it before 1826. On September 28, 1826, he was mar-
ried by John Kinzie, J. P., to Catherine Chevalier, daughter of Francois and Mary
Ann Chevalier. Francois Chevalier was chief of a united band of Pottawattomies,
Ottawas and Chippewas, with his village at the Calumet. At his death Robinson
became chief of the band. At the treaty of Prairie du Chien, July, 1829, he was
granted two sections of land on the Desplaines ; by the treaty of Camp Tippecanoe,
October 20, 1832, a life annuity of $200, and by the Chicago treaty of September.
1833, an additional annuity of $300. His exertions, with those of Billy Caldwell,
prevented the tribe from joining the Sauks in the Winnebago War of 1827, and
Black Hawk in 1832. During the latter part of his residence in Chicago, he lived
at Wolf Point, where he had a store or trading-house. After the Indians were re-
moved beyond the Mississippi, he settled with his family on his reservation on the
Desplaines, where he lived until his death, which occurred April 22, 1872. His

1 Andreas: I, p. 97.

2 "Wisconsin Historical Collections," VII, p. 328.

3 Hurlbut's "Chicago Antiquities," p. 452.

4 Fergus' Historical Series, VII, p. 16.


wife died August 7, 1860. They were both, with two sons and a daughter-in-law,
buried on the bank of the river near the old home." u


A second member of this group of Indians was one whose education, judgment,
liberality and public spirit gave him an honored place among those who knew him.
This was Billy Caldwell. 6 He was born in Canada, about the year 1780. "His
father was an Irish officer in the British military service, and his mother a Potta-
wattomie. . . . Caldwell, in his youth, received from the Jesuit fathers at Detroit
a good education. He spoke with fluency, and wrote with facility, both the Eng-
lish and French languages, and was also master of several Indian dialects. Na-
ture was also lavish in her gifts to him, not only in mental capacity, but in a fine
physique, a strong, sinewy frame, straight as an arrow; in early manhood his ap-
pearance was so commanding when engaged in strife with his foes, that his fellow
Indian braves gave him the title of the 'Straight Tree.' The Indian name, how-
ever, by which he was generally known was 'The Sauganash,' or 'The Britisher,'
but this name of 'Sauganash' was generally given to all Englishmen by the Indian
tribes formerly resident of this section, when speaking of them individually."

For several years Caldwell was closely connected with Tecumseh until the
death of the latter at the Battle of Thames in 1813. He acted as his interpreter
when in council with the whites, as well as his supporter in plans for consolidating
the Indian tribes of the West and Southwest, and for mitigating the horrors of sav-
age warfare. Even while nominally an enemy to the Americans and an ally, with
Tecumseh, of the British, we have seen how his friendship to certain ones, and his
humanity, saved those still about Fort Dearborn after the massacre. Just when he
became an avowed friend of the American cause is not known, but in about 1820
he fixed his residence at Chicago. His name appears in the voting lists of 1826 and
1830, and he is recorded as Justice of the Peace in 1826, and as clerk of elections
at various times. In 1827 he worked hard with his tribe, the Pottawattomies, to
prevent them from joining with the Winnebagoes against the white people, and again
in 1832 prevented their joining Black Hawk in his war against the Americans. For
his valuable services as mediator and interpreter the government made him grants
of land and money, and in 1828 built for him probably the first frame house in the
Northwest, which was destroyed in the Great Fire. Formerly it stood on Indiana
Street, whither it had been moved from the corner of North State Street and Chi-
cago Avenue. He was always anxious for the improvement of his people, hoping
that they would adopt the dress and customs of the white people. At one time dur-
ing his residence in Chicago, he offered to pay the tuition and buy books and clothes
for any Indian children who would go to school and adopt the American way of
dressing. There were none, however, who accepted the condition.

When the gpvernment, in 1835, decreed the removal of the Indians occupying
this region to lands assigned them near Council Bluffs, it was Caldwell's influence,
and his agreement to accompany them to their new home, that persuaded them to
leave their old dwellings and hunting grounds. Owing to his management the re-

5 Andreas: I, 108.

6 Fergus' Historical Series, 10, 31.


moval was a peaceable one, and under Captain J. B. F. Russell, the Government
agent, and Caldwell, 2500 Indians made the journey to Council Bluffs, the caval-
cade gathering along the way, as it went, other bands with the same destiny before

At Council Bluffs Billy Caldwell lived with the Indians until his death in 1841,
joining in their councils and directing them in ways of peace with their neighbors
on adjoining reservations. He was always interested in the public affairs of the
country, and at the time of Gen. William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign
in 1840, when party bitterness led to personal libel, Caldwell and his friend Shab-
bona wrote from the western reservation, as follows:

Council Bluffs, March 23d, 1840.
To Gen. Harrison's Friends:

The other day, several newspapers were brought to us; and, peeping over them,
to our astonishment, we found that the hero of the late war was called a coward.
This would have surprised the tall braves, Tecumseh of the Shawnees, and Round
Head and Walk-in-the-Water of the Wyandotts. If the departed could rise again,
they would say to the white man that Gen. Harrison was the terror of the late toma-
hawkers. The first time we got acquainted with General Harrison, it was at the
council-fire of the. late Old Tempest, Gen. Wayne, on the headquarters of the Wa-
bash, at Greensville, 1796. From that time until 1811, we had many friendly smokes
with him; but from 1812 we changed our tobacco smoke into powder smoke. Then
we found Gen. Harrison was a brave warrior and humane to his prisoners, as re-
ported to us by two of Tecumseh's young men, who were taken in the fleet with
Capt. Barclay on the 10th of September, 1813, and on the Thames, where he routed
both the red men and the British, and where he showed his courage and his hu-
manity to his prisoners, both white and red. See report of Adam Brown and fam-
ily, taken on the morning of the battle October 5th, 1813. We are the only two
surviving of that day in this country. We hope the good white men will protect
the name of Gen. Harrison. We remain your friends forever.

CHAMBLEE [Shabbona], Aid to Tecumseh.
B. CALDWELL [Sauganash], Captain. 7

Billy Caldwell had in Chicago a memorial of himself in the hotel which Mark
Beaubien built and called the Sauganash, in honor of a "great man." The Saugan-
ash stood at the present crossing of Lake and Market Streets, the gathering place
for many years of town merrymakers and visitors to the city. There the proprie-
tor of the early day, Mark Beaubien himself, frequently entertained his guests by
playing on his fiddle, the guests dancing and singing; and there the first theatre
in Chicago was opened in 1837. The hotel stood until 1851, when it was destroyed
by fire. 8


A picturesque figure who for many years was frequently seen at Chicago was
Shabbona, 9 who came from his home near Ottawa to attend councils, visit his friends,

7 Fergus: 16, 61.

8 Andreas: History of Chicago, I, 474.
" Fergus : 10, 34.

By permission of Chicago Historical Socttty


An Indian who was friendly to the Americans, and
who was often seen about Chicago in the early days.


and finally, in his old age, to be good-naturedly railed at and made much of by
those among whom he was well known. Shabbona was the son of an Ottawa Indian
who had fought with Pontiac in all his wars. He was born in Ohio about 1775.
When a very young man he married a Pottawattomie girl, and lived with her family
on the Illinois river M few miles above the present town of Ottawa. Afterwards he

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.1) → online text (page 18 of 59)