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Yankee Recollection

Yankee Recollection

When Judge Henry W. Blodgett arrived in Chicago as a young boy in 1831, his family located on the east branch of the DuPage River in what is now Naperville. Writing over 60 years later, Blodgett remembered that the Potawatomis lived in the country around his family:

[T]he band of the tribe of which Half-Day or Ap-ta-ke-sic was the chief, had free range for hunting, trapping, and fishing over the territory between the Fox River and Lake Michigan extending north as far as, or further than where Racine is now located, and south nearly, if not quite, to the Kankakee River.

The special hunting grounds of Ap-ta-ke-sic and the members of his family were upon the east branch of the DuPage, although their corn fields were on the Des Plaines River near the mouth of Indian Creek, not far from the site of the present village of Half Day in Lake County.

It was not long after we got into our log cabin before we had visits from the old chief and members of his family, and my father being a blacksmith, had frequent calls to mend their traps and guns, so that we all became quite intimate with them.... At that time, Ap-ta-ke-sic was probably about forty-five or fifty years old. He was a man of fine figure and presence, over six feet in height, straight, well proportioned, with clear bright eyes and a pleasant face and manner.

Letter from Judge Henry W. Blodgett to Hon. A. H. Burley, Waukegan, January 23, 1893. Chicago Historical Society.