Fullersburg Chronicles by the Fullersburg Historic Foundation (Valerie Spale, Don Fuller, and Audrey Muschler) is an informative booklet that summarizes the unique history of Fullersburg, which was originally named Brush Hill. The chapters within this work include a concise timeline of the area's human and natural history, which began over 10,000 years ago. A summary of an archeological surface survey of the Village of Oak Brook conducted in1974 contains descriptions of prehistoric sites that were partially excavated. These exploratory projects produced artifacts dating from 2,500 to 8,000 B.C. A list of ancient tools and weapons identifies the precise objects found along with their discovery site within Oak Brook. The chapter entitled "Fullersburg Today" describes the various structures within the Historic District of Fullersburg, including the farmhouse built by Fullersburg founder Ben Fuller, the Graue Mill and the Graue Mill Dam, York Tavern, Faith Fellowship Church, the Frederick Graue House, and Fullersburg Historic Cemetery. The interesting historical content of the booklet contains vignettes, maps, old and new photographs, and a reprinted sesquicentennial article from 1968. See "For You" section or click to access.
Village on the County Line by Hugh Dugan (privately printed, 1949) is a beautifully written general history of Fullersburg and Hinsdale that focuses on the nineteenth century settlement era. Dugan presents facts and primary source information about the historic transition that occurred with the westward expansion of pioneers as land became available through treaties and government purchases. He quotes many primary sources, which lends to his credibility as a historian. He includes a riveting description of the meeting between rival Indian chiefs Blackhawk and Shabbona where the two leaders disagreed about war against the white settlers amidst the "'beating of tom-toms and the singing of their war songs.'" Dugan was an aviator in World War 1; he later assisted local historical organizations with maps and content. The front end sheet of his book displays a map of former Indian trails and villages in the area, including chipping stations, camps, signal stations, and mounds. This book can be found on line at https://archive.org/details/villageoncountyl00dug.
Wau-Bun, "The Early Day" in the North-west is Juliette Kinzie's highly descriptive autobiography detailing her unique experiences as a pioneer in nineteenth century Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. She referred to journals and letters to reconstruct her incredible stories and adventures. Kinzie's writing shows her keen insight into the relationships between the white settlers (including the French speaking traders) and the native Americans, to whom she was sympathetic. She was well educated and knew the customs of the various tribes. She was very observant, writing about Mackinac Island,
"It was no unusual things, at this period, to see a hundred or more canoes of Indians at once approaching the island, laden with their articles of traffic... ." This book was originally published in 1856 and then reprinted 19 times; it is available on line at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12183.
Memories of Shaubena: Incidents Relating to the Early Settlement of the West by N. Matson (Cooke & Co., 1878) is a collection of stories about the Potawatomi chief Shabbona (Shaubena) and his interactions with the pioneers and other native Americans during the settlement era in northern Illinois. In 1836, the author spent considerable time interviewing the chief and learning of his background and beliefs. Matson writes very affectionately and respectfully about the great chief, noting his influence in preventing a large scale war between various tribes and the early Illinois settlers, so "people are now living whose lives were saved by this tawny philanthropist." The author allows readers to understand the complex relationships that existed between the native Americans and the settlers. This book is on line at https://archive.org/details/memoriesshauben00matsgoog.
The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire by R. David Edmunds, Ph. D. (University of Oklahoma Press, 1978) is a well-researched, comprehensive historical study of this Native American tribe and its complex relationships with the American settlers, the British government, and French traders during the colonization of America and its subsequent settlement years. Edmunds gives a fact-filled account of the ever-changing allegiances and movement of the Potawatomis as they adjusted to events and conditions. The author finds that "the close Potawatomi-French relationship continued well after the official French withdrawal from the Midwest, playing a major role in tribal acculturation patterns in the nineteenth century." He also emphasizes the power and wealth of the mixed-blood translators and traders who emerged as leaders and profited from mediating disputes between Native Americans and white settlers. Although this book does not focus on the Fullerburg area, it provides a great deal of background information that is helpful in understanding the cultural changes that occurred in Illinois during the settlement era. A current eBook is not available, but a print version can be purchased.
A History the County of DuPage, Illinois by C.W. Richmond and H.F. Vallette was published in 1857 in Illinois, and it includes accounts of early settlement years as well as a history of several villages in the county. Captain Joseph Naper, Baley Hobson, Israel Blodgett, Lyman Butterfield, and other notable citizens whose names are memorialized in the county are referenced in this primary source of local history. The sudden evacuation of the Naper Settlement in 1832 is told with great detail at the onset of the Black Hawk uprising. The tone of this historical narrative is sympathetic to the white settlers and contains rhetoric that is critical of the Native Americans; the authors tell how Mrs. Hobson had to use her shoe as a cup to give her children water to drink on their wagon ride to safety at Fort Dearborn in Chicago, passing through Fullersburg. There is a description of the massacre and the surprise attack by a party of braves on the settlement at Indian Creek. An example of the language used by the authors is their description of the behavior of native braves, who upon killing a steer, celebrated; "Nothing could exceed the vainglorious vaporing of these rude sons of the forest, as they strutted about and exulted in the heroism of the adventure." The book also includes historical descriptions of Lisle, Naperville, Downers Grove, and York, which includes the Fullersburg/Hinsdale area. Unfortunately, the authors admit that their knowledge of the Fullersburg area is limited; the school fund was the largest of any town in DuPage County, however, and that the early settlers, including Benjamin Fuller, were "made of the right stuff." This book is available online through the Internet Archives at
Indian Creek Massacre Captivity of the Hall Girls by Charles Scanlan (1915) is a detailed account of the surprise attack by a band of Sauk and Potawatomi braves on the Davis settlement near Ottawa Il. in 1832 and the ordeal of two sisters living there, Sylvia and Rachel Hall. Sylvia was nineteen years old and Rachel was seventeen when they were kidnapped and ransomed by the braves after the girls witnessed the violent slaying of sixteen settlers, including their parents and eight year old sister. Scanlan's book was published around 80 years after these events; he references numerous historical sources as well as his personal interviews of the Hall sisters' children and grandchildren. The author's style is dramatic and intended to keep the reader's attention. After speculating about whether or not the sisters prayed, Scanlan concludes that "they prayed with an intense feeling from the bottom of their hearts and with all the power of their souls. Were their prayers answered? Were they? Read on, read on!" The author's description of a ceremony in which the girls' faces were painted right before the warriors danced around them with spears that held the scalps of family members and neighbors illustrates the potential dangers facing Illinois pioneers during the Settlement Era. Potawatomi chief Shabbona knew about the threat to the Davis settlement and warned the residents to flee before the attack occurred, but William Davis resisted this advice, which led to the deaths of most members of his settlement. The sisters were ransomed after being held captive for several weeks and returned to Illinois, where they both married and had children and eventually grandchildren. Scanlan provides insight into the resilience of Illinois settlers as well as the cultural differences that existed between the Native Americans and white settlers. His book is filled with details, many of which are entertaining but not historically relevant; it can be found online at https:.
Autobiography of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk (by Black Hawk, 1767-1838) is the Sauk Chief's told story written by an interpreter about his life and his version of events in the 1832 uprising called the "Black Hawk War." He discusses why he was led to believe that the British would provide support for the Sauk as well as Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawatomies, who he hoped would join together in taking back land in Illinois (and other areas) from white settlers. In the Sauks' case, land had been sold to the government by members of the tribe who were not authorized to do so. Black Hawk explains how the subsequent relocation of his people to Iowa from Illinois led to food shortages and other problems. When he and his followers crossed back across the Mississippi River, their actions were viewed as hostile. Black Hawk assumes a defensive position in this work, and although readers are enlightened about certain aspects of the Sauks' difficult situation, other historical primary source accounts of the chief's actions during the uprising portray a more fearsome and intense person than is revealed by his autobiography. Black Hawk was captured and taken on a tour of the East as a prisoner; he subsequently became a legendary figure and drew sympathy from many Americans. This work was written in 1833, and it can be found online .
Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation
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