Chicagoans Root for France

Saturday, February 4, 1871

At a rally in Crosby’s Opera House under the auspices of the French Producers’ Association, Chicagoans gather for the purpose of aiding the people of France suffering from the ravages of the Franco-Prussian War.  At the meeting, Chicago banker and leading citizen William F. Coolbaugh reminds listeners how during the American Revolution the French answered the patriots' call for help.  “They responded promptly,” Coolbaugh declares, “they answered with money and with ships of war, and with thousands of strong hands and brave hearts; and, side by side with Washington and his gallant companions, they fought the battles of the Revolution and helped to achieve the independence of these United States of America.”  His rousing address is greeted with applause.  A fundraising concert held on February 24 draws an enthusiastic but small audience.