Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie (September 11, 1806 – September 15, 1870) was an American historian, writer and pioneer of the American Midwest.[1]

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie
Juliette Augusta Magill

September 11, 1806
DiedSeptember 15, 1870 (aged 64)
Spouse(s)John H. Kinzie


Juliette Magill was born in Middletown, Connecticut, to Frances Wolcott Magill and her second husband, Arthur William Magill. Her mother's ancestors, some of whom helped found Windsor, Connecticut, in 1636, included Roger Wolcott, a colonial governor and judge, and Alexander Wolcott, leader of Connecticut's Republican party. Well educated, Juliette was tutored in Latin and other languages by her mother and young uncle, Alexander Wolcott, and briefly attended a boarding school in New Haven, Connecticut, and Emma Willard's school in Troy, New York.

Wolcott, who had moved to Chicago in 1810, probably introduced Juliette to John H. Kinzie, son of fur trader John Kinzie.[2] They married in 1830 and moved to Detroit and then Fort Winnebago, a new trading post at the crucial portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. Her husband was an Indian sub-agent to the Ho-Chunk nation (Winnebago people), assigned to this area that connected the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence and Mississippi watersheds.[3]

After the treaty ending the Sauk War of 1832 forced the Winnebago to move west of the Mississippi River, the Kinzies left the area that would later become Wisconsin and in July 1833 moved to Chicago in the relatively new state of Illinois to join Kinzie's widowed mother and siblings. The Kinzie family was involved in Chicago's civic and social development throughout the 19th century. Active in the Episcopal church, Juliette Kinzie helped found St. James Church, now the oldest Episcopal congregation in the city, and since 1955 the cathedral for the Diocese of Chicago.[4] The Kinzies also helped found St. Luke's Hospital and the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum).

Kinzie died while vacationing in Amagansett, New York, Long Island, in 1870, after a druggist accidentally substituted morphine for the quinine she ordered.[5]

Literary works

Members of the Kinzie family, particularly her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, told Juliette about the Battle of Fort Dearborn at Chicago. Being Canadians, they were not attacked (it was during the War of 1812), and evacuated to Detroit. In 1844 Kinzie published Narrative of the Massacre at Chicago, August 15, 1812, and of Some Preceding Events, anonymously, but acknowledged authorship soon after publication.

Her second book Wau-Bun: The "Early Day" in the North West,[6] extended her first book. It recounted her experiences at Fort Winnebago in the early 1830s, as well as those of her mother-in-law and other relatives during the Black Hawk War. The title reflects the local word for daybreak. Kinzie described her journeys back and forth to the early settlement of Chicago, and complex cultural encounters with a diverse frontier society. Unusual for its day, the book also described sympathetically and in detail the lives of Native Americans, who were being displaced by her extended family and other white settlers. An appendix included excerpts from the journals of relative Thomas Forsyth, who blamed the United States (rather than the Sauk) for starting the war.[7] Published by Derby and Jackson in 1856, it was reprinted 19 times by the end of that century, and four more times in the 20th century.[8][9] At least one 20th century historian found it unduly romantic, and criticized it for exaggerating the importance of her relatives, particularly her father-in-law.[10]

In 1869 her novel Walter Ogilby was published. Her Narrative... was reworked and released as Mark Logan, the Bourgeois in 1871 following her death.

Family and legacy

Juliette and John Kinzie had seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood. John Kinzie served as U.S. Army paymaster for Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois troops in the Civil War and died of a heart attack on his way to a vacation shortly after President Lincoln's assassination. One son died fighting for the Union in the Civil War, two others were taken prisoner by Confederate forces but survived.

Their daughter Eleanor (Nellie) married William Washington Gordon II, son of William Washington Gordon of Savannah, Georgia. In 1860, they named their second child after grandmother Juliette, and Juliette Gordon Low later founded Girl Scouting in America in 1912.[11] Nellie also followed her mother's example by expressing outrage over the treatment of Native American heritage sites and monuments, and caused the Colonial Dames of America to erect a new monument to Tomochichi (who had donated the land on which Savannah began) after the Central of Georgia Railway erected a monument to her father-in-law displacing a previous Tomochichi monument.

The house in which the Kinzie family lived in what is now Portage, Wisconsin, as discussed in Wau-bun, is now known as the Old Indian Agency House. The Colonial Dames of America, who own the house, restored and refurbished it in 1932 as their centennial project. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.[12][13]


  1. ^ http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary/index.asp?action=view&term_id=274&keyword=kinzie
  2. ^ http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/emeritus/baym/essays/waubun.htm
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2013-07-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2014-03-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/4690/Kinzie-Juliette-Augusta-Magill-1806-1870.html
  6. ^ Wau-bun, the early day in the Northwest. by Mrs. John H. Kinzie
  7. ^ http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/emeritus/baym/essays/waubun.htm
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2009-04-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/4690/Kinzie-Juliette-Augusta-Magill-1806-1870.html
  10. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/410079.html
  11. ^ http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h2893
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2012-02-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-07-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  • Castagna, J. E. Kinzie, Juliette Augusta Magill. American National Biography Online, Feb. 2000.(subscription required)

External links

Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters

The Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters is a historic site in Portage, Wisconsin. Located between the Fox River and the Wisconsin River, the site contains two historic buildings: the "surgeon's quarters" and Garrison School. The "surgeon's quarters", built circa 1819 by portage Francs LeRoi and sold to the US Army in 1828 and used as a sutler store and then as a home for the Fort surgeon. Garrison School was built circa 1850 on the former Fort property. Both properties are owned, operated, and maintained by the Wisconsin Society Daughters of the American Revolution, which operates it as a historic house museum with 19th century period furnishings and fort artifacts.

John H. Kinzie

John Harris Kinzie (July 7, 1803 – June 19, 1865) was a prominent figure in Chicago politics during the 19th century. He served as president of Chicago when it was still a town and thrice unsuccessfully ran for Chicago's mayoralty once it was incorporated as a city.

Juliette (given name)

Juliette is a French personal name. It is a diminutive of Julie, and ultimately comes from the Latin nomen (or clan name) Julius, or "son of Jove". Also derives from Juliet, the name of the heroine of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low (October 31, 1860 – January 17, 1927) was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. Inspired by the work of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, Juliette Low joined the Girl Guide movement in England, forming a group of Girl Guides in Great Britain in 1911.

In 1912 she returned to the United States, and established the first U.S. Girl Guide troop in Savannah, Georgia, that year. In 1915, the United States' Girl Guides became known as the Girl Scouts, and Juliette Gordon Low was the first president. She stayed active until the time of her death.

Her birthday, October 31, is commemorated by the Girl Scouts as "Founder's Day".


Kinzie may refer to:

George Kinzie Fitzsimons (born 1928), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church

John H. Kinzie (1803–1865), the eldest son of John Kinzie, one of Chicago's first permanent settlers

John Kinzie (1763–1828), one of Chicago's first permanent European settlers

John Kinzie Clark (1792–1865), trader and trapper who was a prominent early settler in the Chicago area

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie (1806–1870), American, historian, writer and pioneer of the American midwest

Mary Kinzie (born 1944), United States poet

Walt Kinzie (1858–1909), American professional baseball player

Magill (surname)

Magill is an Irish surname. Notable people with the name include:

Alan Magill (1953–2015), Director of Malaria Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Alfred Magill Randolph (1836–1918), U.S. Episcopal bishop

Andrew Finn Magill (born 1987), U.S. musician and composer

Anne Magill, British artist and illustrator

Archibald Magill Fauntleroy (1837–1886), U.S. physician

Charles Magill Conrad (1804–1878), U.S. politician

Charles Magill (1816–1898), member of the first Canadian Parliament and mayor of Hamilton

Charles Magill (Virginia) (1759-1827), U.S. lawyer, politician, and judge

Dan Magill (1921–2014), sports director at the University of Georgia, U.S.

Eddie Magill (born 1939), Northern Irish footballer

Elizabeth Magill (born 1959), Irish painter

Frank Magill (footballer) (1896–1969), Australian rules footballer

Frank J. Magill (1927–2013), U.S. judge

Helen Magill White (1853–1944), first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D.

Ivan Magill (1888–1986), Irish-born anaesthetist

Jimmy Magill (boxer) (1894–1942), Northern Irish amateur boxer

Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie (1806–1870), U.S. historian, writer and pioneer

Juliette Magill Kinzie Low (1860–1927), U.S. founder of Girl Scouts of the USA

Louis J. Magill (1871–1921), U.S. Marines officer during the Spanish–American War

Luke Magill (born 1987), English footballer

Margaret Magill (1888–1962), New Zealand educator

Matt Magill (born 1989), U.S. professional baseball player

Mike Magill (1920–2006), U.S. racecar driver

Ron Magill (born 1960), U.S. photographer and wildlife expert

Ronald Magill (1920–2007), English actor

Ronan Magill (born 1954), British concert pianist and composer

Roswell Magill (1895–1963), U.S. tax lawyer and official of the Department of Treasury

Sam Magill (born 1945), Australian rules footballer

Samuel Magill, mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, from 1823 to 1824

Santiago Magill (born 1977), Peruvian actor

Shawn Magill, member of the Canadian band Grade

Simone Magill (born 1994), Northern Irish football player

Theodosia Hawkins-Magill (1743–1817), Irish heiress and landowner

Old Indian Agency House

The Historic Indian Agency House is located in Portage, Wisconsin. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The house is located near the Portage Canal.

Philetus S. Church House

The Philetus S. Church House is a private house located on North Shore Road, 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of Payment Settlement on Sugar Island, Michigan. The building is the last structure from Church's Landing, a mid-19th century trading post and steamboat stop. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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