Finding the Founder of Chicago

DuSable

©Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

Walking through Pioneer Court recently on a rainy day,¬† a new statue bust near a stairwell caught my eye. Sure enough, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable has finally gotten his due. Known as “The Father of Chicago”, du Sable was a Haitian colonist in North America of mixed French and African ancestry and was the first known permanent nonindigenous settler of our city. That a statue of him at Pioneer Court, the site of his settlement, did not exist was irritating to many – especially to Jesse Jackson, who would attend shareholder meetings of the Tribune company to make the point. At 230 years later, it’s not the biggest statue in the court, but at least there is one. No one really knows what du Sable looked like, so the sculptor had to take some creative license. As I was photographing the bust, I noticed the sculptor was a high school friend, Erik Blome. Great job Erik!

Alex Garcia

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