Indians of the Chicago Region

Strong, William Duncan. Indians of the Chicago Region, With Special Reference to the Illinois and the Potawatomi, published in Fieldiana, Popular Series, Anthropology, no. 24. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History. 1938.

The Illinois

When the French explorers and missionaries first came into the region about the southern end of Lake Michigan, it was occupied by a tribe, or confederation of tribes, who called themselves Iliniwek (“men”), which seems, and was apparently meant to be, derogatory to their neighbors. The French early changed this name to Illinois, the name …

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Indians of The Chicago Region

The region around the southern end of Lake Michigan where the city of Chicago now stands has been the home of many peoples and the scene of much conflict in historic and probably in prehistoric times. It is the purpose of this essay to give in a brief outline the sequence of those peoples in so far as they are known, and to depict the background from which emerges the great commercial city of today. The history of the region as it pertains to the white man is well known, but before his advent and during the stirring conflicts of colonial tunes the various Indian tribes of the Great Lakes played a large part, and it is with the Indians that this article is mainly concerned.

Illinois before the Beginnings of History

Like all the neighboring states, Illinois has long been noted for the various mounds and earthworks within her borders, and the nature of these aroused the curiosity of even the first settlers in the territory. For many years theories of all sorts were current, attributing the mounds to a race of “mound-builders” who, according to …

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