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.

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 https://archive.org/details/historyofcountyoOOrich

Sue Devick, M.A., Fullersburg Historic Foundation

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