Sutter, John


Sutter, John

▪ American pioneer
in full  John Augustus Sutter , original name  Johann August Suter 
born Feb. 15, 1803, Kandern, Baden [now in Germany]
died June 18, 1880, Washington, D.C.
 German-born Swiss pioneer settler and colonizer in California; the discovery of gold on his land in 1848 precipitated the California Gold Rush (gold rush).

      Sutter spent much of his early life in Switzerland; he was a Swiss citizen and served in the Swiss army. Fleeing from bankruptcy and financial failures and leaving his wife and children in Switzerland, he reached California in 1839 and persuaded the Mexican governor to grant him lands on the Sacramento River. There, at its junction with the American River, he established the colony of Nueva Helvetia (New Switzerland), later to become Sacramento. He built “Sutter's Fort” (1841), set up frontier industries, and, in spite of his enormous debts, provided lavish hospitality, and often employment, to traders, trappers, immigrants, and Native Americans who came to his fort.

      Discovery of gold on his land brought disaster to Sutter. In the process of building a water-powered sawmill, a carpenter named James W. Marshall found flakes of gold in a streambed (January 24, 1848). The two men tried to keep the find a secret, but the news leaked out. Workers deserted the colony; gold seekers and squatters overran Sutter's land, stealing and destroying his goods and livestock. When the U.S. courts denied title to his Mexican grants, his ruin was complete. By 1852 he was bankrupt.

      In the early 1850s Sutter moved to Hock Farm, his estate on the Feather River, and in 1864 he was awarded a monthly pension by the California legislature. The following year, however, arsonists destroyed his home, and by 1871 Sutter had settled in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He frequently traveled to Washington, D.C., continuing his attempt to gain redress through the U.S. Congress. Sutter Street, in San Francisco, and Sutter County commemorate his name.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sutter, John (Augustus) — orig. Johann August Suter born Feb. 15, 1803, Kandern, Baden died June 18, 1880, Washington, D.C., U.S. German born U.S. pioneer. Fleeing financial failures, he left his family in Switzerland and arrived in the U.S. in 1834. He obtained a land… …   Universalium

  • Sutter, John (Augustus) — orig. Johann August Suter (15 feb. 1803, Kandern, Baden–18 jun. 1880, Washington, D.C., EE.UU.). Pionero estadounidense de origen Suizo. Huyendo de fracasos financieros, dejó a su familia en Suiza y llegó a EE.UU. en 1834. Obtuvo una concesión de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sutter,John Augustus — Sut·ter (sŭtʹər), John Augustus. 1803 1880. American pioneer, raised in Switzerland. The discovery of gold on his land led to the California gold rush (1848 1849). * * * …   Universalium

  • John Augustus Sutter — Sutter, eigentl. Suter 1866 Johann August Sutter, eigentlich Suter, (* 28. Februar 1803 in Kandern, Baden; † 18. Juni 1880 in Washington, D.C.), auch General Sutter oder John Augustus Sutter oder auch Der Kaiser von Kalifornien, war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Sutter — Sutter, eigentl. Suter 1866 Johann August Sutter, eigentlich Suter, (* 28. Februar 1803 in Kandern, Baden; † 18. Juni 1880 in Washington, D.C.), auch General Sutter oder John Augustus Sutter oder auch Der Kaiser von Kalifornien, war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Sutter — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Suter. John Sutter …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sutter Hock Farm — The Sutter Hock Farm is the first non Indian settlement in Sutter County, USA established in 1841 by John Augustus Sutter. John Sutter s Hock Farm was the first large scale agricultural settlement in Northern California, composed of grain, cattle …   Wikipedia

  • john — /jon/, n. Slang. 1. a toilet or bathroom. 2. (sometimes cap.) a fellow; guy. 3. (sometimes cap.) a prostitute s customer. [generic use of the proper name] * * * I known as John Lackland born Dec. 24, 1167, Oxford, Eng. died Oct. 18/19, 1216,… …   Universalium

  • John — /jon/, n. 1. the apostle John, believed to be the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and the book of Revelation. 2. See John the Baptist. 3. (John Lackland) 1167? 1216, king of England 1199 1216; signer of the Magna Carta 1215 (son of… …   Universalium

  • Sutter's Mill — was a sawmill owned by 19th century pioneer John Sutter. It was located in Coloma, California, USA at the bank of the American River. Sutter s Mill is most famous for its association with the California Gold Rush. It was here that an… …   Wikipedia


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