cover of book

Fort Dearborn: A Novel
by Jerry Crimmins
foreword by Gerald A. Danzer
Northwestern University Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-8101-2296-3 | Paper: 978-0-8101-2522-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6201-3
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.R55F67 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 813/.6

Before the city of Chicago, there was Fort Dearborn; and before Fort Dearborn, there were the Potawatomi. In a story that brings to life the founding of one of the world's great cities, Fort Dearborn takes us back to Chicago's early struggle of fire and blood. Through the eyes of two young boys and their fathers--one father a sergeant with the United States First Infantry, the other a Potawatomi warrior--we see the events that lead up to the Fort Dearborn Massacre. At the start of the War of 1812, more than sixty soldiers and civilians were killed when the Potawatomi and allied tribes attacked them as Fort Dearborn was evacuated. Some fifteen Indians were also killed in the battle.

Told from both the Indian and white perspectives, using scores of letters, historical documents and maps, and long-forgotten Indian speeches, Jerry Crimmins breathes life into the little known drama that took place in the vicinity of the fort that once occupied what is now downtown Chicago. Early in the nineteenth century, the Potawatomi attempted to co-exist with the settlers at the newly built Fort Dearborn, and even competed with soldiers in sports contests. But eventually, in an effort to preserve Indian lands and ways, there is a desperate turn to violence and fatal consequences. A suspenseful narrative, Fort Dearborn is also a remarkable historical account, minutely observed and meticulously documented, preserving a key moment in American history.
Jerry Crimmins has been a reporter and editor in the Chicago newspaper business for more than thirty years at the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press, the City News Bureau of Chicago, and now at the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
    Chapter 1. Future Site of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, Chicago
    Chapter 2. Quarrel on the Prairie
    Chapter 3. Indians
    Chapter 4. Boys and Trouble
    Chapter 5. At Fort Dearborn
    Chapter 6. The Fort
    Chapter 7. Spotted Trout's Dream
    Chapter 8. Sergeant and Son
    Chapter 9. Main Poc
    Chapter 10. Leigh Farm
    Chapter 11. The Challenge
    Chapter 12. To the Finish
    Chapter 13. The Changing of the Guard
    Chapter 14. Black Partridge
    Chapter 15. The MIddle Ground Unravels
    Chapter 16. Hen Splashes
    Chapter 17. Signs and Wonders
    Chapter 18. Jimmy and Johnny
    Chapter 19. Russell and Leigh Farm
    Chapter 20. Feud Again
    Chapter 21. Patrol
    Chapter 22. Express Rider
    Chapter 23. Lalime and Kinzie
    Chapter 24. Eleanor Kinzie
    Chapter 25. The Choice
    Chapter 26. An Order Arrives
    Chapter 27. "War Array"
    Chapter 28. William Wells
    Chapter 29. Options
    Chapter 30. Indian Country
    Chapter 31. The Debate
    Chapter 32. Night and Morning
    Chapter 33. The Battle Begins
    Chapter 34. The Indians
    Chapter 35. Strong Pike
    Chapter 36. Aftermath
    Author's Note
    Notes Bibliography

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