Suggested Reading

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.

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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