Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (also spelled Point de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable[n 1]; before 1750[n 2] – August 28, 1818) is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what later became Chicago, Illinois, and is recognized as the "Founder of Chicago". A school, museum, harbor, park, and bridge have been named in his honor. The site where he settled near the mouth of the Chicago River around the 1780s is identified as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.
Point du Sable was of African descent but little else is known of his life prior to the 1770s. During his career, the areas where he settled and traded around the Great Lakes and in the Illinois Country changed hands several times among France, Britain, Spain and the new United States. Described as handsome and well educated, Point du Sable married a Native American woman, Kitiwaha, and they had two children. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, he was arrested by the British military on suspicion of being an American sympathizer. In the early 1780s he worked for the British lieutenant-governor of Michilimackinac on an estate at what is now the city of St. Clair, Michigan.
Point du Sable is first recorded as living at the mouth of the Chicago River in a trader's journal of early 1790. He established an extensive and prosperous trading settlement in what later became the city of Chicago. He sold his Chicago River property in 1800 and moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri, where he was licensed to run a Missouri River ferry. Point du Sable's successful role in developing the Chicago River settlement was little recognized until the mid-20th century.
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
|Died||August 28, 1818 (age 68+)|
|Nationality||unknown; traditionally stated to be Haitian, from the French colony of Saint-Domingue|
|Other names||Point de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable|
|Known for||"Founder of Chicago"|
There are no records of Point du Sable's life prior to the 1770s. Though it is known from sources during his life that he was of African descent, his birth year, place of birth, and parents are unknown. Juliette Kinzie, another early pioneer of Chicago, never met Point du Sable but stated in her 1856 memoir that he was "a native of St. Domingo" (the island of Hispaniola). This became generally accepted as his place of birth. Historian Milo Milton Quaife regarded Kinzie's account of Point du Sable as "largely fictitious and wholly unauthenticated", later putting forward a theory that he was of African and French-Canadian origin. A historical novel published in 1953 helped to popularize the commonly recited claim that he was born in 1745 in Saint-Marc in Saint-Domingue (Haiti). If he was born outside continental North America, there are further competing accounts that he entered as a trader from the north through French Canada, or from the south through French Louisiana.
Point du Sable married a Potawatomi woman named Kitihawa (Christianized to Catherine) on October 27, 1788, in a Catholic ceremony in Cahokia, an old French Illinois Country town on the Mississippi River, though it is likely they were married in the Native American tradition in the 1770s. They had a son named Jean and a daughter named Susanne. Point du Sable supported his family as a frontier trader and settler during a period when Great Britain, and later the newly formed United States, were seeking to assert control in the former southern dependencies of French Canada and in the Illinois Country.
In a footnote to a poem titled Speech to the Western Indians, Arent DePeyster, British commandant from 1774 to 1779 at Fort Michilimackinac (a former French fort in what was then the British Quebec territory), noted that "Baptist Point de Saible" was "a handsome negro", "well educated", and "settled in Eschecagou". When he published this poem in 1813, DePeyster presented it as a speech that he had made at the village of Abercroche (now Harbor Springs, Michigan) on July 4, 1779. This footnote has led many scholars to assume that Point du Sable had settled in Chicago by 1779; but letters written by traders in the late 1770s suggest that Point du Sable was at this time settled at the mouth of Trail Creek (Rivière du Chemin) at what is now Michigan City, Indiana. In August 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, Point du Sable was arrested as a suspected partisan at Trail Creek by British troops and imprisoned briefly at Fort Michilimackinac. An officer's report following his arrest noted that Point du Sable had many friends who vouched for his good character. The following year, he was ordered transported to the Pinery. From the summer of 1780 until May 1784, Point du Sable managed the Pinery, a tract of woodlands claimed by a British officer, Lt. Patrick Sinclair, on the St. Clair River in eastern Michigan. Point du Sable and his family lived in a cabin at the mouth of the Pine River in what is now the city of St. Clair.
Point du Sable settled on the north bank of the Chicago River close to its mouth at some time in the 1780s.[n 3] The earliest known record of Point du Sable living in Chicago is an entry that Hugh Heward made in his journal on May 10, 1790, during a journey from Detroit across Michigan and through Illinois. Heward's party stopped at Point du Sable's house en route to the Chicago portage; they swapped their canoe for a pirogue that belonged to Point du Sable, and they bought bread, flour, and pork from him. Perrish Grignon, who visited Chicago in about 1794, described Point du Sable as a large man and wealthy trader. Point du Sable's granddaughter, Eulalie Pelletier, was born at his Chicago River settlement in 1796. In 1800 Point du Sable sold his farm to John Kinzie's frontman, Jean La Lime, for 6,000 livres. The bill of sale, which was rediscovered in 1913 in an archive in Detroit, outlined all of the property Point du Sable owned as well as many of his personal effects. This included a house, two barns, a horse drawn mill, a bakehouse, a poultry house, a dairy, and a smokehouse. The house was a 22-by-40-foot (6.7 m × 12.2 m) log cabin filled with fine furniture and paintings.
After Point du Sable sold his property in Chicago, he moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri but at that time in Spanish Louisiana, where he was commissioned by the colonial governor to operate a ferry across the Missouri River. In St. Charles, he may have lived for a time with his son, and later with his granddaughter's family, and late in life, he may have sought public or charitable assistance. He died in 1818 and was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. His entry in the parish burial register does not mention his origins, parents, or relatives; it simply describes him as negre (French for negro).
The St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery was moved twice in the 19th century, and oral tradition and records of the Archdiocese of St. Louis suggested that Point du Sable's remains were also moved. On October 12, 1968, the Illinois Sesquicentennial Commission erected a granite marker at the site believed to be Point du Sable's grave in the third St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. In 2002 an archaeological investigation of the grave site was initiated by the African Scientific Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Researchers using a combination of ground-penetrating radar, surveys, and excavation of a 9-by-9-foot (2.7 m × 2.7 m) area did not find any evidence of any burials at the supposed grave site, leading the archaeologists to conclude that Point du Sable's remains may not have been moved from one of the two previous cemeteries.
Though there is little historical evidence regarding Point du Sable's life before the 1770s, there are several theories and legends that give accounts of his early life. Writing in 1933, Quaife identified a French immigrant to Canada, Pierre Dandonneau, who acquired the title "Sieur de Sable" and whose descendants were known by both the names Dandonneau and Du Sable. Quaife was unable to find a direct link to Point du Sable, but he identified descendants of Pierre Dandonneau living around the Great Lakes region in Detroit, Mackinac, and St. Joseph, leading him to speculate that Point du Sable's father was a member of this family, while his mother was a slave. In 1951 Joseph Jeremie, a native of Haiti, published a pamphlet in which he said he was the great grandson of Point du Sable. Based on family recollections and tombstone inscriptions he claimed that Point du Sable was born in Saint-Marc in Haiti, studied in France, and returned to Haiti to deal in coffee before traveling to French Louisiana. Historian and Point du Sable biographer John F. Swenson has called these claims "elaborate, undocumented assertions ... in a fanciful biography". In 1953 Shirley Graham built on the work of Quaife and Jeremie in a historical novel about Point du Sable that she described as "not accurate history nor pure fiction", but rather "an imaginative interpretation of all the known facts". This book presented Point du Sable as the son of the mate on a pirate ship, the Black Sea Gull, and a freed slave called Suzanne. Despite lack of evidence and the continued debate about Point du Sable's early life, parentage, and birthplace, this popular story is widely presented as being definitive.
In 1815 a land claim that had been submitted by Nicholas Jarrot to the land commissioners at Kaskaskia, Illinois Territory, was approved. In the claim Jarrot asserted that a "Jean Baptiste Poinstable" had been "head of a family at Peoria in the year 1783, and before and after that year", and that he "had a house built and cultivated land between the Old Fort and the new settlement in the year 1780". This document has been taken by Quaife and other historians as evidence that Point du Sable lived at Peoria on the Illinois River prior to going upriver to Chicago. Other records demonstrate that Point du Sable was living and working under the British at the Pinery in Michigan in the early 1780s. The Kaskaskia land commissioners identified many fraudulent land claims, including two previously submitted in the name of Point du Sable. Nicholas Jarrot, the claimant, was involved in many false claims, and Swenson suggests that this one was also fraudulent, made without the knowledge of Point du Sable. Although perhaps in conflict with some of the above information, some historical records suggest that Point du Sable bought land in Peoria from J. B. Maillet on March 13, 1773, and sold it to Isaac Darneille in 1783 before he became the first "permanent" resident of Chicago.
Point du Sable left Chicago in 1800. He sold his property to Jean La Lime, a trader from Quebec, and moved to the Missouri River valley, at that time part of Spanish Louisiana. The reason for his departure is unknown. By 1804, John Kinzie, who also settled in Chicago, had bought the former du Sable house. In her 1852 memoir, Juliette Kinzie, Kinzie's daughter-in-law, suggested that "perhaps he was disgusted at not being elected to a similar dignity [great chief] by the Pottowattamies". In 1874 Nehemiah Matson elaborated on this story, claiming that Point du Sable was a slave from Virginia who had moved with his master to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1790. According to Matson, Point du Sable became a zealous Catholic to convince a Jesuit missionary to declare him chief of the local Native Americans, and left Chicago when the natives refused to accept him as their chief. Quaife dismisses both of these stories as being fictional.
In her 1953 novel Graham suggests that Point du Sable left Chicago because he was angered with the United States government, which wanted him to buy the land on which he had lived and called his own for the previous two decades. The 1795 Treaty of Greenville, which ended the Northwest Indian War, and the subsequent westward migration of Native Americans away from the Chicago area might also have influenced his decision.[n 4]
The French came to the North American mid-continent region in the 17th century. Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, during their 1673 Mississippi Valley expedition, though probably not the first Europeans to visit the area, are the first in the written record to have crossed the Chicago Portage and traveled along the Chicago River.[n 5] Over the following years visits continued, and occasional intermittent posts were established, including those by René LaSalle, Henri Tonti, Pierre Liette and the four-year Mission of the Guardian Angel. Point du Sable 1780s establishment is recognized as the first settlement that continued on and ultimately grew to become the city of Chicago. He is therefore widely regarded as the first permanent resident of Chicago and has been given the appellation "Founder of Chicago".
By the 1850s, historians of Chicago recognized Point du Sable as the city's earliest non-native permanent settler. For a long time the city did not honor him in the same manner as other pioneers. Point du Sable was generally forgotten in the 19th century and instead the Scots-Irish trader John Kinzie, who had bought his property, was often credited for the settlement. A plaque was erected by the city in 1913 at the corner of Kinzie and Pine Streets to commemorate the Kinzie homestead. In the planning stages of the 1933–1934 Century of Progress International Exposition, several African-American groups campaigned for Point du Sable to be honored at the fair. At the time, few Chicagoans had even heard of Point du Sable, and the fair's organizers presented the 1803 construction of Fort Dearborn as the city's historical beginning. The campaign was successful, and a replica of Point du Sable's cabin was presented as part of the "background of the history of Chicago".
In 1965 a plaza called Pioneer Court was built on the site of Point du Sable's homestead as part of the construction of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America building. The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976, as a site deemed to have "exceptional value to the nation". Pioneer Court is located at what is now 401 N. Michigan Avenue in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. At this site in 2009 the City of Chicago and a private donor erected a large bronze bust of Point du Sable by Chicago-born sculptor Erik Blome. In October 2010 the Michigan Avenue Bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Point du Sable. Previously, a small street named De Saible Street had been named after him.
Several Chicago institutions have been named in honor of Point du Sable. DuSable High School opened in Bronzeville in 1934.[n 6] The DuSable campus today houses the Daniel Hale Williams Prep School of Medicine, and the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute. Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, a prominent African-American artist and writer, taught at the school for twenty-three years. She and her husband co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History, located on Chicago's South Side, which was renamed in honor of Point du Sable in 1968. DuSable Harbor is located in the heart of downtown Chicago at the foot of Randolph Street, and DuSable Park is a 3.24-acre (1.31 ha) urban park in Chicago currently awaiting redevelopment. The project was originally announced in 1987 by Mayor Harold Washington. The US Postal Service has also honored Point du Sable with the issue of a Black Heritage Series 22-cent postage stamp on February 20, 1987.
Antoine Ouilmette (c. 1760–1841) was a fur trader and early resident of what is now Chicago, Illinois. He was of French Canadian and possibly Native American ancestry. The village of Wilmette, Illinois (phonetic spelling of Ouilmette) is named in his honor.Chicago River
The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles (251 km) that runs through the city of Chicago, including its center (the Chicago Loop). Though not especially long, the river is notable because it is one of the reasons for Chicago's geographic importance: the related Chicago Portage is a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.
The River is also noteworthy for its natural and human-engineered history. In 1887, the Illinois General Assembly decided to reverse the flow of the Chicago River through civil engineering by taking water from Lake Michigan and discharging it into the Mississippi River watershed, partly in response to concerns created by an extreme weather event in 1885 that threatened the city's water supply. In 1889, the Illinois General Assembly created the Chicago Sanitary District (now The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) to replace the Illinois and Michigan Canal with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a much larger waterway, because the former had become inadequate to serve the city's increasing sewage and commercial navigation needs. Completed by 1900, the project reversed the flow of the Main Stem and South Branch of the Chicago River by using a series of canal locks and increasing the flow from Lake Michigan into the river, causing the river to empty into the new Canal instead. In 1999, the system was named a 'Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium' by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).The river is represented on the Municipal Flag of Chicago by two horizontal blue stripes. Its three branches serve as the inspiration for the Municipal Device, a three-branched, Y-shaped symbol that is found on many buildings and other structures throughout Chicago.DuSable High School
Jean Baptiste Point DuSable High School is a public 4–year high school campus located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. DuSable is owned by the Chicago Public Schools district. The school was named after Chicago's first permanent non-native settler, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. Constructed between 1931–34, DuSable opened in February 1935. Since 2005, The school campus serves as home to two smaller schools; the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute and the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine. Both of the schools use the DuSable name in an athletics context. The DuSable Leadership Academy was housed at the location until it closed after the 2015–16 school year. The school building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 1, 2013.DuSable Park (Chicago)
DuSable Park is a former commercial and industrial site, at the mouth of the Chicago River that has been the subject of environmental remediation and is awaiting redevelopment into a park. The project, first announced in 1987 by Mayor Harold Washington, is named in honor Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who settled nearby in the 1780s and is known as the "Founder of Chicago".Fort Dearborn
Fort Dearborn was a United States fort built in 1803 beside the Chicago River, in what is now Chicago, Illinois. It was constructed by troops under Captain John Whistler and named in honor of Henry Dearborn, then United States Secretary of War. The original fort was destroyed following the Battle of Fort Dearborn during the War of 1812, and a second fort was reconstructed on the same site in 1816. By 1837, the fort had been de-commissioned. Parts of the fort were lost to both the widening of the Chicago River in 1855, and a fire in 1857. The last vestiges of Fort Dearborn were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The site of the fort is now a Chicago Landmark, located in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District.Free Negro
In United States history, a free Negro or free black was the legal status, in the geographic area of the United States, of blacks who were not slaves.
This term was in use before the independence of the Thirteen Colonies and elsewhere in British North America, until the abolition of slavery in the United States in December 1865, which rendered the term unnecessary.Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite
The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite is the location where, around the 1780s, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable located his home and trading post. This home is generally considered to be the first permanent, non-native, residence in Chicago, Illinois. The site of Point du Sable's home is now partially occupied by and commemorated in Pioneer Court at 401 N. Michigan Avenue in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois.Jean La Lime
Jean La Lime (died June 17, 1812) was a trader from Quebec, Canada who worked in what became the Northwest Territory of the United States. He worked as an agent for William Burnett, also of Canada, to sell to the Native Americans and take furs in exchange. He was among the first European permanent settlers in Chicago. He was killed there in 1812, in what was called the "first murder in Chicago", by John Kinzie, a trading partner of Burnett who was another early settler from Canada.John Kinzie
John Kinzie (December 23, 1763 – June 6, 1828) was a fur trader from Quebec who first operated in Detroit and what became the Northwest Territory of the United States. A partner of William Burnett from Canada, about 1802-1803 Kinzie moved with his wife and child to Chicago, where they were among the first permanent European settlers. Kinzie Street (400N) in Chicago is named for him. Their daughter Ellen Marion Kinzie, born in 1805, was believed to be the first child of European descent born in the settlement.
In 1812 Kinzie killed Jean La Lime, who worked as an interpreter at Fort Dearborn in Chicago. This was known as "the first murder in Chicago".During the War of 1812, when living in Detroit, Kinzie was accused of treason by the British and imprisoned on a ship for transport to Great Britain. After escaping, he returned to American territory, settling again in Chicago by 1816. He lived there the rest of his years.List of people on the postage stamps of Haiti
This is a list of people who have been featured on Haitian postage stamps. The following entries list the name of the person, the year they were first featured on a stamp, and a short description of their notability. The list is complete through 1960.
Boisrond-Tonnerre (1954) - Author of the final version of the Haitian Act of Independence
Louis Bornó (1924) - President of Haiti
François Capois (1946) - Military leader during the Haitian Revolution Also known as Capois la Mort
Sylvio Cator (1958) - Olympic silver medalist in the long jump
Henri Christophe (1954) - President and later King of Haiti
Pierre de Coubertin (1960) - Founder of the modern Olympic Games
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (1959) - First non-native settler in the area which is now Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1904) - Leader of the Haitian Revolution and later Emperor of Haiti
Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (1935) - General in the French Revolution
Alexandre Dumas, père (1935) - French author
Alexandre Dumas, fils (1935) - French author and playwright
François Duvalier (1958) - President of Haiti
Claudinette Fouchard (1960) - Beauty queen
Occide Jeanty (1960) - Composer and pianist
Immanuel Kant (1956) - German philosopher
Hammerton Killick (1943) - Navy admiral
Lamartiniere (1954) - Military leader during the Haitian Revolution
Cincinnatus Leconte (1912) - President of Haiti
Abraham Lincoln (1959) - President of the United States
Paul Eugène Magloire (1953) - President of Haiti
Yolette Magloire (1954) - First Lady known for her charity work
Pierre Nord Alexis (1904) - President of Haiti
Toussaint L'Ouverture (1904) - Leader of the Haitian Revolution
Alexandre Pétion (1904) - President of the southern Republic of Haiti
Pope Pius XII (1959) - Head of the Roman Catholic Church
Lysius Salomon (1887) - President of Haiti
Antoine Simon (1910) - President of Haiti
Tirésias Simon Sam (1898) - President of Haiti
Sténio Vincent (1931) - President of Haiti
George Washington (1949) - First President of United States
Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1949) - Leader of the Haitian Revolution and later Emperor of Haiti
Simón Bolívar (1949) - Venezuelan military and political leader who led many Latin American nations to freedomMichigan Avenue Bridge
The Michigan Avenue Bridge (officially DuSable Bridge) is a bascule bridge that carries Michigan Avenue across the main stem of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States. The bridge was proposed in the early 20th century as part of a plan to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and decorative work was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, which is also known as a "Chicago style bascule bridge". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark.
The location is significant in the early history of Chicago. Events from the city's past are commemorated with sculptures and plaques on the bridge, and exhibits in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum—housed in one of the bridge tender houses—detail the history of the Chicago River.Michigan–Wacker Historic District
The Michigan–Wacker Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places District that includes parts of the Chicago Loop and Near North Side community areas in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The district is known for the Chicago River, two bridges that cross it, and eleven high rise and skyscraper buildings erected in the 1920s. Among the contributing properties are the following Chicago Landmark structures:
333 North Michigan
London Guarantee Building (360 North Michigan)
Carbide & Carbon Building (230 North Michigan)
Michigan Avenue Bridge
35 East Wacker
Mather Tower (75 East Wacker)
Tribune Tower (435 North Michigan)
Other notable sites include Pioneer Court the Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite (401 North Michigan), which as the site of Chicago's first permanent residence is a National Historic Landmark, and the Wrigley Building (410 North Michigan). Across the Michigan Avenue Bridge is the former site of Fort Dearborn, the US Army post established in 1803. To the west is the Heald Square Monument, a statue of George Washington and the financiers of the American Revolution.
The district includes contributing properties with addresses on North Michigan Avenue, East Wacker Drive, North Wabash Avenue and East South Water Street. Other streets in the district are Rush Street, Hubbard, Illinois and Kinzie. The majority of these properties are on Michigan, with addresses ranging from 230 North Michigan to 505 North Michigan. The district also includes parts of Michigan, Wacker and East South Water, which are all among the many multilevel streets in Chicago. Most of its contributing high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are of either Gothic or Baroque architecture, in addition to Art Deco. The district is north of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.
It was listed as on the National Register of Historic Places on November 15, 1978.Near North Side, Chicago
The Near North Side is one of 77 defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is the northernmost of the three areas that constitute central Chicago, the others being the Loop and the Near South Side. The community area is located north and east of the Chicago River. To its east is Lake Michigan, and its northern boundary is the early 19th-century city limit of Chicago, North Avenue. Of the downtown community areas, the Near North Side has the second largest total area after the Near West Side, the highest number of skyscrapers, and the largest population. With the exception of Goose Island and the remnants of Cabrini–Green, to the west, the Near North Side is known for its extreme affluence, typified by the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Navy Pier, and its world-famous skyscrapers.
The Near North Side is the oldest part of Chicago. In the 1780s, in what is now the Near North Side, on the northern banks of the Chicago River near today's Michigan Avenue Bridge, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable built the first known permanent settlement in "Eschecagou." Today this is marked by Pioneer Court.
Especially in the vicinity of Rush and Erie streets, the Near North Side was once known as McCormickville; so named because it is here where many branches of the famous McCormick family of mechanical reaper fame built their mansions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Patrick Sinclair
Lieutenant-General Patrick Sinclair (1736 – 31 January 1820) was a British Army officer and governor in North America. He is best remembered for overseeing the construction of Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island in what was to become the U.S. state of Michigan.Pioneer Court
Pioneer Court is a plaza located near the junction of the Chicago River and Upper Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It is believed to be the site of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable's original residence and trading post. In 1965, the plaza was built on the former site of his homestead as part of the construction of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America building. The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976. John Kinzie, a prominent early settler, bought and expanded Point du Sable's post in 1800. The Plaza is bounded on the north by the Tribune Tower, on the east by 401 N. Michigan Avenue, on the south by the Chicago River, and on the west by Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Bridge. In 2017, a newly designed Apple Inc. store was opened on the south side of the court, which created new levels linking down to the river.
From 2011–2012 the plaza was the display site for the Seward Johnson statue Forever Marilyn. The statue was later moved to Palm Springs, California. The plaza was used as a location in the film Divergent in 2013. A new statue was installed on November 1, 2016 in Pioneer Court. Also created by Seward Johnson, the statue, titled Return Visit, is 25 feet tall and depicts Abraham Lincoln standing next to a modern common man dressed in beige corduroy pants, sneakers and a cream color cable-knit sweater. The modern man is holding a copy of the Gettysburg Address.Thomas Blackshear
Thomas Richman Blackshear II (born November 14, 1955) is an African-American artist, many of whose paintings adorn Evangelical churches. He is also a sculptor and a designer of ornaments, often of African American themes.