Fort Dearborn

Trade Paper – $29.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2522-3

Trade Cloth – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2296-3
Page Count
448 pages
Trim Size
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN
0-8101-2296-0

Fort Dearborn

A Novel
Jerry Crimmins
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Told from both the Indian and white perspectives, using scores of letters, historical documents and maps, and long-forgotten Indian speeches, Jerry Crimmins breathes life into the little known drama that took place in the vicinity of the fort that once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.

About the Author
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.
Reviews

"This book reminds me of another great novel about 19th Century Chicago, The Devil in the White City. So read both books but without doubt read Crimmins' epic first. Read it for the great pleasure of experiencing a well told story." --Arny Reichler, Director of External Studies and Instructor of Chicago History, Roosevelt University
"The brief, turbulent and fascinating period of the first Fort Dearborn's existence (1803-1812) was an important milestone in Chicago's history. Its people and events serve as inspiration and stage for Jerry Crimmins' novel Fort Dearborn, which provides an excellent example of how historic fiction can achieve the entwined goals of education and entertainment."
--Ulrich Danckers and Jane Meredith, co-authors of Early Chicago
"This is a book that speaks softly but carries a big stick. Read it and then pause. Be prepared to reflect on what it tells us about the Chicago experience, and finally, what it suggests about human nature and the striving for a just and fulfilling society that we call civilization."
--Gerald A. Danzer, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago