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Episode 3: Urbs in Horto?

Released Friday, May 31, 2019 – What’s in a name? “Urbs in Horto” or as translated from Latin “City in the Garden” is the motto on the seal of the City of Chicago, which nicely ties together the third interview with historian and retired attorney John Swenson. Swenson presents the final and most amazing piece of early Chicago history revealing the details of this ancient place called Chicagoua and the platform mound two-leagues from the Chicagoua Portage, the area’s earliest known civic and cultural center some 40 miles from today’s downtown Chicago!

We visit the mound, twice, and interview Adler Planetarium Astronomer Mark Hammergren regarding the astronomical significance of the mound, and learn some fascinating insights into Chicago’s ancient culture and peoples. This brand-new history and discovery grew out of Swenson’s passion for horticulture, history, and etymology. His initial dig into Chicago’s origin story and the wild allium the city was named for has grown into an entirely new landscape for Chicago history, the City in the Garden and hence the name of our third Episode: “Urbs in Horto?”

PREVIEW OF EPISODE 3: Urbs in Horto?

Episode 2: The Place Called Chicagoua

Released Friday, April 26th, 2019 – Listening to the first episode you learn the ground-breaking, new story of Chicago’s discovery and who truly was the first European to pass through Chicago.  In the second part of this two-part interview with historian John Swenson, he explains, “if you know where the portage is, the Marquette tells you where he was,” and that is place the Indians called “Chicagoua,” which has nothing to do with today’s city limits.  And by adding Henri Joutel’s (La Salle’s chronicler) account of this area he confirms where this place is and reveals an ancient Indian mound.

The second of a three part series of the Windy City Historian’s interview with retired attorney and historian John Swenson which will make Chicago history.  You will hear where the place “Chicagoua” was that was created nearly a thousand years ago and that it still exists today, hiding in plain sight in a Chicago suburb.

PREVIEW OF EPISODE II : The Place Called Chicagoua

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.

  • Franquelin Map of Louisiana of 1684
    • There are several terms on the Franquelin map are helpful to know:
      • Chicagoumeaman – refers to the northern portage route of today’s Chicago River to Mud Lake (or Oak Point Lake) to the Des Plains River and the literal translation from Kaskaskian (an Algonquin dialect) is “false Chicago” for Native Americans this river was not the way to Chicagoua.
      • Shiskikmoaskiki – refers to the Des Plains River and the literal translation from Kaskaskian (an Algonquin dialect) is the “pissing tree” referring to the swamp maples that were native to the banks of this river that could be tapped to make maple syrup.
      • Makaregemou – refers to the Calumet and Little Calumet Rivers and the literal translation from Kaskaskian (an Algonquin dialect) is “crooked river” due to its meandering course and many tributaries.
  • Marquette’s Journal in the Jesuit Relations
  • Henri Joutel’s Account – A Journal of the Last Voyage Perform’d by Monfr. de la Salle, written in French by Monsieur Joutel, first translation by Melville B. Anderson 1896
  • See our website page for Episode 1 – Who Was First? for additional links and historic references and new maps Windy City Historians commissioned of the northern and southern portage routes. (These maps are copyrighted for use or republishing please contact info@WindyCityHistorians.com.)