Suggested Reading Sources

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 The interesting historical content of the booklet contains vignettes, maps, old and new photographs, and a reprinted sesquicentennial article from 1968.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 on this site or click on link, right.

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 carefully researched information about the historic transition that occurred with the westward expansion of pioneers as land became available through treaties and government purchases. The author 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 (Sauk) and Shabbona (Potawatomi) when the two leaders disagreed about war against the white settlers while they were surrounded by 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 research.  The front end sheet of his book displays a map of former Indian trails and villages in the DuPage County area; Fullersburg's large indigenous village included chipping stations, camps, signal stations, and mounds. This book is found online and through library lending systems.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullerburg Historic Foundation

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; however, she also displays a lack of sensitivity in some cases toward servants. 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... ."  She was courageous as a pioneer woman, describing crossing rivers on horseback in frigid conditions and times of hunger. This book was originally published in 1856 and reprinted nineteen times; it is available on line through gutenberg.org.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Memories of Shaubena: Incidents Relating to the Early Settlement of the West by Nehemiah

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.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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. This book is available through libraries or purchase.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

A History of 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 at https://archive.org/details/historyofcountyoOOrich.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Fifteen Years of a Dancer's Life by Loie Fuller (1862-1928) is a memoir written by Loie about her experiences as a dancer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Loie was born during the Civil War outside of Chicago; her parents, Delilah and Reuben Fuller, brought her to the Chicago Progressive Lyceum every Sunday, where she began reciting poetry on stage at the age of two and a half. Loie writes of her career on stage, "The incidents of my performances would suffice to fill several volumes. For without interruption, adventures succeeded one another to such an extent that I shall never undertake the work of describing them all."  She developed her signature Serpentine Dance in New York in 1890; in 1892, she became an overnight sensation in Paris, where she lived for the rest of her life. Loie's inner circle included the novelist Alexandre Dumas, the Curie family, Sarah Bernhardt, and Queen Marie of Romania. She writes honestly about her qualities; for example, she states that she did not bother much about her personal appearance. Loie's exceptional memory serves her well in recalling conversations and other details of her experiences, which were sometimes humiliating and sometimes exalting. Loie's memoir is often referred to by biographers Richard and Marcia Current in Loie Fuller, Goddess of Light, which also offers a clear understanding of this very talented and unique American woman from Fullersburg, Il., who paved the way for modern dance and reflected the energy of the Art Nouveau movement. 

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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, although 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 full attention of the readers. 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 through gutenberg.org.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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 through gutenberg.org.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Of Plimouth Plantation by William Bradford (1590-1657) is the primary source account of the Pilgrims' struggles as they pursued religious freedom against the powerful Church of England, first moving from England to the Netherlands before sailing to America in 1620 on the Mayflower. The Pilgrims were also known as Separatists, or Puritans, as they wanted to "purify" the church from within. In Bradford's words, they wanted "the trueth prevaile, and ye churches of God reverte to their anciente puritie... ." Bradford details life aboard the Mayflower, including the harrowing experience of John Howland, who fell overboard in a storm, but survived by holding on to a dangling rope until others could haul him back on deck. Bradford became governor of the new colony of Plymouth in Massachusetts, a position he held for 30 years. He documents events from the group's early days in England through almost thirty years of colonial life at Plymouth. The manuscript was written from 1630-1648, ending with a list of the passengers on the Mayflower and what became of them, recorded in 1651. The journal was left in the Old South Meeting House during the Revolutionary War, and disappeared; it subsequently was discovered in England around 1850. In 1897, the manuscript was returned to Massachusetts, and it is now at the State Library of Massachusetts in the State House in Boston. The work is historically significant because it documents life in Plymouth Colony and also reflects Bradford's ability to separate religious and secular matters. The book can be found online through gutenberg.org.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

The Sauks and the Black Hawk War by P. A Armstrong (1823-1904) is a descriptive, colorful chronicle of Settlement Era northern Illinois that focuses on the Native American tribes and their relationships with white settlers. Armstrong was a young boy when the short-lived hostilities between the Sauk and the U.S. occurred (1832), which resulted in the "relocation" of indigenous people to territories west of the Mississippi River. The author's historical descriptions reflect insight and a deep understanding of contemporary events. Armstrong became a lawyer, and his writing illustrates an even-handedness while evaluating the background situations of Sauk Chief Black Hawk and Potawatomi Chief Shabbona, who opposed Black Hawk's declaration of war on the white settlers. The author describes the tense meeting between the two chiefs followed by Shabbona's frantic horseback ride warning the settlers while traveling "over a hundred miles through a trackless prairie, threaded with deep, unbridged streams, and almost impassable swamps and sloughs." The author also demonstrates his educated opinions and Christian faith in his work, along with an extensive vocabulary. His chronicle is over 700 pages, and includes illustrations and descriptions of indigenous villages, burial mounds, farming practices, social customs (including ceremonial dances) and individual stories about events and historical figures. The book can be found online (with a little persistence) through internet archives. 

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Travels and adventures in Canada and the Indian territories, between the years of 1760 and 1776 by Alexander Henry (1739-1824), originally published in 1809, is a riveting first hand account of an English colonial trader's years in Canada and Michigan during an era when a fierce rivalry existed between the British and French for control of the North American fur trade. There are several editions of this book, including Alexander Henry's Travels and Adventures in the Years 1760-1776 edited by Milo Quaife and published in 1921. Alexander not only faced the challenges presented by a harsh environment, but survived life-threatening situations during an era when the local Native Americans supported the French rather than the British. He witnessed violent uprisings and endured harsh conditions living among the Ojibwa (also known as Chippewa) in the Michilimackinac and Sault Ste. Marie area of northern Michigan. He kept a journal which documents his tremendous insight into Native American culture during this time frame, along with his personal historical observations. He notes of Chief Minavavana, "He was six feet in height, and had in his countenance an indescribable mixture of good and evil." His tone is matter-of-fact, even when describing events such as the massacre of English settlers in 1763 at Michilimackinac, when only the French settlers were spared. He survived this attack by hiding in the home of a Frenchman, but was later captured; he was allowed to escape due to his friendship with a chief named Wawatam. Alexander Henry (also known as the elder, as his nephew had the same name) lived an exciting life filled with travel, adventure, success, and failure. His personal account is highly educational and action-packed. The 1921 edition edited by Milo Quaife can be found at: https://archive.org/details/alexanderhenryst01henr.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Masters of Empire  Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America (Michael A. McDonnell, 2015) is a well-researched account of Native American life in the Northern Midwest, focusing on the Great Lakes region. McDonnell illustrates the importance of Michilimackinac (now Mackinaw City, MI) during the European fur trade era, and his content ties in with primary sources discussed above such as Juliette Kinzie's Wau-Bun and Alexander Henry's Travel and adventures in Canada and the Indian territories. McDonnell explores the rapid growth and development during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries as well as the important social and commercial interactions between the white settlers and the Native Americans. As McDonnell's geographic area of expertise is further north than that of scholar R. David Edmunds (author of The Potawatomis  Keepers of the Fire), the two books complement each other in a field of study that lacks sufficient indigenous primary source textual documentation. Interestingly, the author resides and teaches in Australia; his content, often in a first-person narrative, reflects a deep understanding of the Anishinaabe, the name used by Native tribes to identify themselves. McDonnell emphasizes the importance of the "pays d'en haut," or high country (the high land between Montreal and the Mississippi River) in America's settlement years. The author also demonstrates his insight into human interactions and their impact on history; for example, when discussing the expenses incurred by the British for gifts in order to maintain rapport with the Native Americans, McDonnell observes that they caused a subsequent need for higher taxes, and he remarks, "In this way the Odawa helped set the fuse that would ultimately ignite the American Revolution." The author's style is scholastic but casual, as if he were speaking in a college lecture hall. This book is available through libraries or book stores.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang (1997) is relevant to all historical eras and subjects as it explores human character in times of war. The book is a multi-faceted narration about the brutal Japanese invasion of Nanking (then Nanjing) in 1937; 300,000 civilians were killed, and the author's grandparents barely survived. Ms. Chang's haunting statement that "civilization itself is tissue-thin," stems from her observation that if humans are not held accountable, anything can occur, including mass genocide. The author points out how the Japanese imperial government encouraged cruelty in its soldiers, and the Chinese people were victimized a second time when the violent atrocities that occurred were not addressed. She contrasts this negativity by revealing how some Europeans and Americans created a safety net within the city of Nanjing that probably saved around 300,000 Chinese citizens. She interviewed survivors of the invasion who were living in poverty, however, as they did not receive any reparations. Ms. Chang won several awards for her journalism before beginning her career as a promising author, but passed away in 2004. This book is available through libraries or bookstores.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

The Underground Railroad by Pulitzer Prize winning author Colson Whitehead is a historic novel about a young female slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia who joins her male counterpart in escaping through an underground system of tunnels on their journey to freedom. Whitehead conveys the extremely harsh conditions endured by African slaves during their abduction, journey across the ocean, and forced labor on plantations in the American South. The author researched first-personal oral history of slaves' lives that had been recorded during the Federal Writers' Project in the 1930's, which resulted in 2,300 documented biographical accounts. While the author's reference to a large network of tracks beneath the ground is not historically based, his ability to capture the physical and emotional pain of the victims of slavery and their relationships is extraordinary. This book can be purchased in bookstores or other sources, and the oral histories of slaves studied by the author can be found at the Library of Congress online by searching "Federal Writers' Project" plus "slavery." 

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Autobiography of Henry W. Blodgett (by Henry W. Blodgett, 1821-1905), University of Illinois, Champaign, 1906 is

the life story about a pioneer who had unique experiences and adventures in nineteenth century Illinois. Henry personally knew Abraham Lincoln and other leaders who shaped his desire to become a district judge in northern Illinois. Henry was the son of Israel and Avis Blodgett, who settled west of Chicago in 1831, when Henry was eleven. Henry writes of the family's genuine affection for a Potawatomi chief named Aptakisic, who awakened the Blodgett family with a whoop late one night in May, 1832. Aptakisic , also known as Half Day, warned them to take immediate shelter at Fort Dearborn in Chicago in order to avoid Black Hawk and his band of Sak warriors, who declared war on the white settlers ignorer to recover land that had been formerly occupied by Native Americans. Henry states that Aptakisic, who had often been at their home, accompanied the family and other settlers until they were in sight of the fort, then "waived us goodbye with his hand, turned his horse, and then disappeared." Henry developed compassion for both Native Americans and enslaved African Americans, as he had observed his parents' sympathy toward enslaved Africans before the Civil War. Henry studied law, as health problems prevented him from pursuing farming and other professions that required physical strength. He became a highly effective attorney before the Civil War broke out; he visited active battlefields during the war and cared for his injured brother after a battle in Tennessee, bringing him home to Illinois. Henry subsequently became District Judge of the of the Northern District of Illinois from 1869-1893. Henry's work ethic and his moral character are inspirational, and his unusual experiences contribute to his interesting autobiography. 

The Autobiography of Henry W. Blodgett can be found online at:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiuo.ark:/13960/t3rv1642p.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

The Wisdom of the Native Americans (edited by Kent Nerburn, Ph.D) is a compilation of notable quotes and speeches by Native American chiefs and spiritual leaders. The editor organizes his subject matter into three parts, "The Ways of the Native Americans," "The Soul of an Indian," and "The Wisdom of the Great Chiefs." Each part has several chapters, which include topics such as land, learning, leading, believing, and numerous other aspects of life. Nerburn also demonstrates his broad knowledge about Native American history by including quotes by tribal members who lived from coast to coast and from different eras. While Nerburn allows the powerful words of numerous indigenous leaders to project their own message (without comment), he discusses the intense effort by the highly educated Sioux Ohiyesa to reconcile the clashing cultures of Indian and non-Indians in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Nerburn's empathy toward Native Americans is reflected in his own quote, "The spirit of the Native people, the first people, has never died. It lives in the rocks and the forests, the rivers and the mountains. It murmurs in the brooks and whispers in the trees. The hearts of these people were formed of the earth that we now walk, and their voice can never be silenced." This historically relevant book can be obtained through library loan or by purchase, perhaps most easily through internet sources.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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