Encyclopedia letter U

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Uncle Sam  280-ton steamboat from Buffalo under Captain McKinstry, built at Grosse Isle, MI, in 1832; called at Chicago with passengers, furniture, &c.; on June 14, 1834, and again on July 9; a third call on July 29, coming from Detroit, was made under the command of Captain Lundy. [48]

Underwood, John Milton  arrived from Massachusetts in 1835; 1839 City Directory: bookkeeper, Kinzie & Hunter; married J. Helen Sturtevant in 1842; later returned to Massachusetts where he lived at Danvers in 1885. [12, 243] [351]

United States Army Corps of Engineers   see Corps of Engineers.

United States Factory System  suggested by President Washington, an idea to supply the wants of the aboriginal population by establishing “Indian stores” and to undermine the commerce of the established British traders with the Indians, the first two factories were opened in the SW in 1795, then four more under President Jefferson in 1803, one each in Fort Wayne and Detroit; in 1805 four additional ones at Fort Dearborn, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, and Fort Edwards were intended to break British control of the trade and cultivate friendly relations with the Indians by supplying superior goods at reasonable prices; their impact was limited, in spite of an Embargo Act introduced by Congress. In particular, the enterprising British trader [see] Robert Dickson was adept in circumventing the embargo by using circuitous routes of transportation for his trade goods. Between 1805 and 1808, three different factors administered at Fort Dearborn in short succession: Ebenezer Bellknap, Thomas Hayward, and Joseph B. Varnum [the latter in 1807 and 1808], brother of Jacob B. Varnum (see below). Matthew Irwin successfully served from 1809 to 1812. During the time of the first fort, the factors lived in a house built for them by the soldiers in 1805 on the S side of the river, between the agency house and the fort, the same location where the lighthouse would be built in 1832. In 1807 Commandant Whistler intended to build a new factory house on the N side of the river within easy view of the fort, informing General Dearborn with the following [unedited] letter:
Capt. J. Whistler to the Honorabl Henry Dearborn
Secretary of War
Fort Dearborn 9th Octr 1807
Sir I have the honor to incloase you a copy of the invantory of provisions, on hand unexpended 30th Sep agreeable to the contract—I have also the honor to inform you that I compleated shingling the garrison, and sinc I have built two shops for the armer in the Indian department the first was consumed by Fi
 [re I am now building a house for the agent and Factor Interpretor on the opisite side of the River I first examined the ground and found it could be protected by boath Block Houses and then Commenced other reason for having it built on that side the river was it is greater resort for Indians in camping than on the side of the river which stands the garrison on—I hoope this building will be the last for the Company wants dicipline, however I exersise them regularly twise a week—
Sir I have the honor to be with great respect Your very Hum Ser J. Whistler Capt Comm

However, only a house for the Factor Interpreter (Jean Baptiste Lalime) was completed, while the Factor continued to occupy the agency house on the S side of the river, built in 1805. In 1812 the Indians burned the fort, the agency, and the factory. [Where the agency house had stood, the soldiers would eventually erect a large hexagonal barn.] Jacob B. Varnum served as factor from 1816 until 1822. During the time of the second fort, the factory building was located immediately S of the fort. By 1820, the factory system was critically evaluated for its continued existence [see entry under Morse, Rev. Jedediah]; opposition from powerful private companies, their influence in Congress, and unfavorable reports from territorial governors such as Cass, all foreshadowed its demise; for a sample from such a report, one by T.L. McKenney of the Office for Indian Trade and directed to the secretary of war, see below. Congress abolished the factory system in 1822; for the end of the factory at Fort Dearborn, also see Lindsley, A.B.
[July 5, 1821] Sir — I have the honor respectfully to represent that for three years last past the two factories on the Lakes, one at Chicago, the other at Green Bay, have been in a measure useless to the Indians and in a pecuniary point of view to the Govt. also. This state of things is owing entirely to the unsuitable provisions which exist for the regulation of the trade. Hordes of private adventurers availing themselves of the looseness of the system have crowded into these parts on acct. of the superiority of the Furs which are taken there, and level all sorts of policy but their own, by the powerful agency which they derive from the free use of spirituous liquors as an article of their commerce, and after which the Indians, however afflicting they know the consequence to be, will go. [T.L. McKenney of the Office for Indian Trade to the secretary of war] [105, 206b, 664a] [12]

United States Hotel    see Sauganash Hotel.

United States Indian Agency    see United States Office of Indian Affairs.

United States Land Office  opened on May 28, 1835, in Thomas Church`s frame house on the S side of Lake Street (between Clark and Dearborn; land office upstairs, Church`s grocery store downstairs), with James Whitlock as registrar, Col. E.D. Taylor as receiver of public funds, and Fernando Jones as clerk; in the same month the office held its first sale of public land in Chicago and the entire northern Illinois district and thereby contributed strongly to the increasing flood of new arrivals, such as farmers, speculators, and adventurers. The receipts for land sales during the first two weeks exceeded half a million dollars.

United States Office of Indian Affairs  created by Congress, which gave to the President the authority to appoint Indian agents in 1793; agencies were centers through which the office administered and maintained relations with one or more tribes; until 1849 the office was under the War Department, thereafter under the Department of the Interior; the first Indian agent who granted a license to trade with the Indians at “Chicagou” was William Wells of Fort Wayne on Aug. 30, 1803; for Indian agents at Fort Dearborn, see Jouett, Charles (1804-1811 and 1816-1818); see Wolcott, Alexander (1818-1830); see Owen, T.J.V. (1831-1833). In a letter to the Indian Agents of April 22, 1818, Gov. Lewis Cass delineated the borders of the Agency at Chicago as follows: The Agency at Fort Wayne will … be divided from the Agency at Chicago by a line including Tippekanoe and running thence due North to the Kankakee, up the Kankakee to Oak Point, thence to the Cow pen, thence to and including Morains village. The Agency at Chicago will be divided from the Agency at Fort Wayne by the last mentioned line, and will extend on the East side of Lake Michigan to the Dead mans River on the West side of Lake Michigan North to Millewakee and include the Indians at the mouth of that River. For the work and concerns of Indian agents, as reflected within correspondence between Governor Edwards to Agent Thomas Forsyth, see the following letters. [12, 105, 262a]
[Edwards to Forsyth]
Elvirado, Illinois Terr., May 16, 1814.
The object of my wishing you to return to Peoria, is the preservation of peace between us, and the Potawatomies. As however experience has fully convinced us that there can be no neutrality with savages, in the vicinity of conflicting powers, and as we have found them faithless in all their promises, it becomes equally our interest and our duty, …

[Forsyth to Edwards] St. Louis, Sept. 3, 1814.
I wrote by the mail that left this place on the 21st ult. which I hope you received safe. You will please observe, that the Indians are all now busily employed with their corn, and as soon as that is done, (which will be towards the latter end of the month) they will remove to their wintering places. I do not see how the Potawatomies of Illinois river can commence their hunt, as they receive no presents, can get no credit and having nothing to purchase ammunition to commence hunting: and as they are surrounded by Indians who receive presents from us and the British, they must and will be obliged to visit the enemy at Green Bay or Chicago, should the latter make an establishment at that place [or] at Chicago, according to the promise to the Indians formerly. It is true that should Mackinaw fall, it may have a great effect, but nevertheless presents are very tempting to the Indians, particularly to whose who are naked, for I can assure you that I never saw Indians so much in want of everything, as the Potawatamies of Illinois river are at present. … At the distribution of gunpowder at Rock River which the Saukies, Foxes, Kickapoos &c; received from the British at Prairie du Chien, they shewed it to the Potawatamies who were there, and asked them if their American Father gave them any gunpowder, saying you see how your British Fathers his children.

United States  37-ton steamboat from Buffalo under Capt. Asa E. Hart, built at Huron, OH, in 1835; called at Chicago with freight and passengers on July 16, 1835, and again on October 8 that same year. [48]

United States  schooner from Buffalo, NY; arrived under Captain Burk at Chicago with passengers and merchandise on September 30, as noted in the Chicago American on October 3, 1835.

Updike, Peter Lewis  (1809–December 1850) born near Princeton, NJ; learned the builders` trade, practicing in Philadelphia one year, came to Chicago in September 1833 and witnessed the Indians surrendering claim to Great Lakes land by signing the treaty; an architect and builder; was Second Assistant Engineer of the fire engine company No.1 (“Fire Kings”) in December 1835, a town trustee in 1836; married to Elizabeth (née Trowbridge); the couple had five children: Susan J., Henry E., Emily F., Charles M., and Frederick J.; 1839 City Directory: Updike & McClure (Andrew), carpenters and builders (Court Place) Dearborn Street; in 1849 was one of the incorporators of the Chicago Gas Light & Coke Co. Also see Updyke, P.J. [12, 243, 273] [351]

Updyke T.J.  also P.J.; was listed among “500 Chicagoans” on the census which Commissioner Thomas J.V. Owen took prior to the incorporation of Chicago as a town in early August 1833; subscribed to the Chicago Democrat in November; possibly [see] Updike, Peter Lewis. [319]

Urbs in Horto  Latin, `city in a garden`; inscription on Chicago`s seal; for probable origin, see Birkbeck, Morris. [56]

Urocyon cinereoargenteus  see fox.

Ursus americanus  see bear.

Utica  schooner from Buffalo under Captain Rhodes, first called at Chicago on July 24, 1835, and made five additional visits that year.