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Why Didn’t Lake Michigan Provide Chicagoans Safety from the Great Fire?

Pictures, drawings and eyewitness reports regarding the Great Fire, as it occurred in parts of Chicago and Peshtigo, reveal that the waters of Lake Michigan and the Peshtigo River did not provide safety for everyone who was fleeing the flames.

What does the report from eyewitness, James Goodsell, tell us about fire refugees who expected safety when they reached the waters of Lake Michigan?  

Were those expectations reasonable?  Why, or why not?


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