View of the main branch of the Chicago River with a military structure on the left and a residence on the right. In the foreground is Lake Michigan with two small boats or canoes on the right -- one with a figure seated in it, one with a figure standing nearby on shore. In the background are trees and a cluster of buildings.
Unframed Height: 35.9 cm (14 in); Unframed Width: (22 ); Frame Height: 45.1 cm (17.75 in); Frame Width: 64.8 cm (25.5 in)
Painted by an unknown artist around 1900, this oil painting shows the Kinzie home and Fort Dearborn in the early days of Chicago. It was donated by the Guild of the Chicago Historical Society.
This painting depicts the Kinzie mansion and the first Fort Dearborn, two of the earliest buildings in Chicago. These two important buildings, along with the small cluster of others shown in the background, portray the city in its infancy.
This painting depicts Fort Dearborn and the home of John Kinzie, an early settler, and portrays an image of early Chicago. Kinzie's home was built by Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, around 1785. Eventually, it was sold to Jean Lalime, a French Canadian fur trapper who in turn sold it to Kinzie in 1803. That same year, the United States government ordered the construction of a fort at Chicago. Named for President Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn, the garrison stood on the southern bank of the Chicago River, overlooking Lake Michigan. Fort Dearborn remained a quiet outpost until August 15, 1812, when approximately 500 Native Americans, allied with Great Britain, attacked a party of residents evacuating the fort, killing 88 and burning the fort to the ground. Rebuilt in 1816, Fort Dearborn continued to protect settlers, but also served as a U.S. government trading post. When the fur trade declined in the late 1820s, the military abandoned Fort Dearborn, but reactivated it during the Black Hawk War in 1832, although no fighting took place in Chicago. Fort Dearborn closed permanently in 1836.