Listening to the first episode you learned the ground-breaking, new story of Chicago’s discovery and who truly was the first European to pass through Chicago.  In this second part of our interview with historian John Swenson, he says, “if you know where the portage is, then Marquette tells you where he was,” and that is place the Indians called “Chicagoua.”  And this place Chicagoua has nothing to do with the city of today.  Adding the account of Henri Joutel (La Salle’s chronicler) he confirms where this place is.

The Windy City Historian’s interview with retired attorney and historian John Swenson will make Chicago history. 


Links to Research and History Documents

In the second Episode – The Place Called Chicagoua we continue our interview with retired lawyer and historian John Swenson about the place the Indians called Chicagoua. Below are links to historic items we discussed and some additional relevant research for those interested in a deeper dive into the history.

5 comments on Episode 2: The Place Called Chicagoua

  1. Jack Lydon says:

    I’m dying here. End of April? What are you doing to me? Where is the place call Chicago? On Marquette’s Mound five miles from the portage. Okay, where is that? You’re killing me!

    1. Patrick McBriarty says:

      Hello again Jack,

      Yes, I know. It’s just these things take a lot of time to produce and completed to ensure they are high quality. I hope you will bear with us.


    2. Patrick McBriarty says:

      Jack – you may be pleased to know the second episode is now available. Sorry for the wait — these do take a great deal of effort and time to put together and we do not have a staff nor resources to produce these weekly. However, we think they are worth the wait and hope you will agree. Thanks so much for listening!


  2. David Gudewicz says:

    Can one visit the mound or butte mentioned in this podcast? If yes, where exactly is it?

    Also, I wonder if the folks at the Chicago History Museum / Newberry / CPL are aware of John Swenson’s work.

    Interestng stuff. Looking forward to the next episode.

    1. Patrick McBriarty says:


      There is no restriction at this point to visiting the mound in Spirit Trail Park. The site is registered with the State of Illinois so as John Swenson says, “you could not take a tea spoon of earth from that mound,” as such archeological sites are protected under the law. So naturally the area should be treated with respect as it is a spiritual place for early Native Americans.

      Swenson has shared these findings with Russell Lewis at the CHM (but unsure if there is another appropriate contact now) and is scheduled to speak on Nov. 21 at the Chicago Map Society meeting at the Newberry Library this fall.

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