The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago Before the Fire
March 23, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
When Juliette Kinzie first visited Chicago in 1831, it was anything but a city. An outpost in the shadow of Fort Dearborn, it had no streets, no sidewalks, no schools, no river-spanning bridges. And with two hundred disconnected residents, it lacked any sense of community. Juliette is one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city,” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors.
Ann Durkin Keating, one of the foremost experts on nineteenth-century Chicago, offers a moving portrait of a trailblazing and complicated woman. Keating takes us to the corner of Cass and Michigan (now Wabash and Hubbard), Juliette’s home base. Through Juliette’s eyes, our understanding of early Chicago expands from a city of boosters and speculators to include the world that women created in and between households. Keating draws on a wealth of sources, including hundreds of Juliette’s personal letters, allowing Juliette to tell much of her story in her own words.
Ann Durkin Keating is Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She is coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, the editor of Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide, and the author of Rising Up from Indian Country: The Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Birth of Chicago, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
This program will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, March 23 – 6:30-7:30 pm. Admission: $10. EHC Members are free!
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