Facts about John Sutter
An unfulfilled pioneer
Despite his efforts, John never really succeeded in the pioneer business. This may have been due to the troubled times in which he operated, or perhaps to his character and his dealings with the native Californians. In any case, he devoted his entire life to the development of settlement in California, the flourishing of which paradoxically contributed to his bankruptcy.
1John Augustus Sutter was born on February 23, 1803, in Kandern, former Holy Roman Empire.
Kandern is now a part of Germany.
2He got married to Annette Dubold in 1824.
They had five children. His oldest son, John Augustus Sutter was a founder of Sacramento.
3He tended to squander the family fortune and quickly fell into debt.
Young John was threatened with imprisonment, so he came up with the idea of emigrating to North America.
4In 1834, he left his wife and five kids and fled from Europe.
Sutter boarded ship Sully in Le Havre, France and arrived in New York on July 14, 1834.
5Sutter claimed he was a member of the Royal Swiss Guard and introduced himself as Captain John Sutter.
To this day his claims have not been verified. Either way, he titled himself that way which helped his career as a colonizer of California.
6He spoke three languages.
Besides Swiss French, which was his native language, he also learned English and Spanish before traveling to the USA.
7He arrived in Alta California in 1839.
W towarzystwie trzech europejskich imigrantów, rdzennie amerykańskiego chłopca i dziesięciu ludzi, których zatrudnił na Hawajach, założył mały obóz, który miał stać się znaczącą placówką meksykańską w okolicy.
8He was granted by Mexico land of 48,4 thousand acres (19,6 thousand hectares).
After erecting a camp, Sutter contacted local Nisenan and Miwok people, to whom offered work with expanding the settlement and building a fort.
9The settlement was named Nueva Helvetia, which is now part of Sacramento.
Sutter's Fort construction began in 1841, but due to an invasion of gold prospectors, it was abandoned in 1850.
10He enslaved, mistreated, and abused Indians who were forced to work for him. Any sign of resistance was considered hostile and tribal villages were raided and destroyed and their inhabitants murdered or kidnapped.
According to reports from travelers who visited Nueva Helvetia, Sutter enslaved many natives and forced them to work in the settlement. They were kept in inhumane conditions, imprisoned and deprived of their rights to basic hygiene. He was also convinced of rapes, not only of adult women but also of girls as young as twelve.