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Juliette Augusta Magill was born in Middletown, Connecticut to a family descended from statesmen and businessmen dating back to the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When she was 14, the family moved to New York State. She was tutored in Latin and other languages by her mother and uncle, and briefly attended boarding school in New Haven, Connecticut, and Emma Willard's school in Troy, New York. In 1830, she married John H. Kinzie, a fur trader, and moved with him to Detroit. Together they traveled by boat to Fort Winnebago, in the area that is now Wisconsin, which guarded the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. Her husband was assigned by the U.S. government as an agent to the Winnebago people. They lived there three years and had the first of their seven children. After the treaty ending the Sauk War of 1832 forced the Winnebago to move west of the Mississippi River, the Kinzies moved to Chicago, Illinois, where his family owned a tract of land bordering the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Juliette Kinzie became active in charitable and church activities, including helping to found St. Luke's Hospital and the Chicago Historical Society. In 1844, she published her first book, Narrative of the Massacre at Chicago, August 15, 1812, and of Some Preceding Events. Her second book Wau-Bun: The "Early Day" in the North West (1856), recounted her experiences at Fort Winnebago as well as those of her mother-in-law and other relatives during the Black Hawk War. Both books were unusual for their day in being sympathetic to Native Americans displaced by white settlers. In 1869, she published a novel, Walter Ogilby. These works and her letters and journals provide acute and valuable observations of life on the American frontier and the establishment of the city of Chicago. Her namesake granddaughter Juliette Gordon Low became the founder of the Girl Scouts of America in 1912.
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