A well-educated sailor from Haiti who lived in France, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable (~1745-1818) had not planned to settle in the United States, but he went ashore in New Orleans after an injury he quickly moved up river to avoid being put into slavery. After establishing his reputation as a trader and entrepreneur on the Mississippi River settlement of Peoria he set off north to start a new trading post linking settlements in Wisconsin to Detroit. He was the first settler and built the first permanent home in an area called Eschikagou, later renamed Chicago.
His thriving trading post was the site of the first marriage (between him and a Pottawatomie Indian named Kittihawa), the first election, the first court proceedings, and the first child born on the banks of the Chicago River.
This stamp is part of the Black Heritage Stamp Series. Initiated in 1978, the USPS continues to issue a stamp featuring a notable Black American every February in conjunction with Black History Month and at other times during the year. This stamp was issued in the year of the 150th birthday of Chicago, Illinois.