200 Years After a Massacre in the Heart of Chicago

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearbon (click here for the entry in the Encyclopedia of Chicago), which was held in what is today downtown Chicago during the War of 1812. On August 15th, 1812, over 75 US soldiers, Indians, women, and children died in what became known at the Massacre of Fort Dearborn. The attack was instigated by local Potawatomi Indians due to a misunderstanding that occurred during the evacuation of the fort. In the scope of the War of 1812, this was a very small skirmish, but in the history of Chicago and Illinois, this battle set a tone that would have future impact. In fact, the brutality of the battle and how we remember it still reverberates today (see 200 Years Later, Chicago Battle Provokes New Fight).

If you are interested in the War of 1812, you may want to check out these items in our library’s collection: War of 1812.

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