Fort established in 1808
at the mouth of the Chicago River
, thirteen years after cession
of the surrounding territory
to the United States
by local native Americans
During the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain, local Pottawatomie and Ottawa bands (Native Americans), seized on the chance to displace the USA from the area. In August of that year, the fort was sneak attacked and burned to the ground by Chief Blackbird. No effective resistance was mounted; over 50 US Army soldiers and civilians were massacred. The fort's commander and his wife became British prisoners of war, while Blackbird was awarded a medal by the crown for this feat.
Re-built after the war, the fort saw military use twice more: in the Winnebago war (circa 1828) and the Black Hawk war (circa 1832). The buildings were finally destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Fort Dearborn is commemorated by the first star of the flag of Chicago and by the historical marker located near the Michigan Avenue bridge.
Source: Chicago Historical Society