LIFE his home land of Baden Germany to
LIFE CHART NAME OF BIOGRAPHEE: John Augustus Sutter (born Johann August Suter) BIRTH DATE: February 15, 1803 DEATH DATE: June 18, 1880 PLACE OF BIRTH: Kandern, Baden, Germany (near Switzerland) WHERE DID THIS INDIVIDUAL SPEND HIS OR HER EARLY LIFE? Switzerland DESCRIBE HIS OR HER EDUCATION: military academy, apprenticeship to printers and booksellers NAME OF SPOUSE: Anette D’Beld NUMBER OF CHILDREN: 5 NAMES OF SIGNIFICANT RELATIVES: none CAREER(S): Clerk, Businessman, Innkeeper, Merchant, Farmer, Miner MOST SIGNIFICANT CAREER(S): Merchant, Farmer, MinerDURING WHAT YEARS DID THE BIOGRAPHEE HAVE HIS OR HER MOST SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES? 1848 ABOUT HOW OLD WAS THE BIOGRAPHEE WHEN HE OR SHE HAD HIS OR HER MOST IMPORTANT EFFECT OF AMERICAN HISTORY? 45 LIST ANY SIGNIFICANT LIFE EXPERIENCES THAT HAD A MAJOR EFFECT ON THE BIOGRAPHEE: 1. In 1834, creditors came after him to collect on his debts forcing him to flee to the United States. This is significant because otherwise he might have stayed in Switzerland and never had anything to do with the Gold Rush.
2.In 1848, gold was found on his land. This is the start of the Gold Rush. PART II: CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY January 24, 1848 the first official day of the California gold rush this would bring tens of thousands of people from Europe, China, Latin America and Australia in an attempt to gain vast amounts of fortune and fame. One man would leave his home land of Baden Germany to seek riches that lie within the land of opportunity, however he would do this fourteen years before the discovery of gold in California, he would be the man to start the gold rush.John Augustus Sutter, was a dreamer, a man who wished to escape poverty and the debts that he had sunken himself into. Most men or women who met Captain Sutter would tell tales of his heroic duties in the Swiss army or perhaps other adventures that he likely made up to inflate his already massive ego.
John Sutter showed no history of any involvement in any kind of military, the title Captain would be one which he would bestow upon himself, he simply was as I stated before a dreamer, with high hope of real adventures like the ones he had spent most his days reading about in history books.Despite his pattern of boasting of things which had never happened and his continuous display of irresponsibility in many business endeavors, he was viewed by people as an honest hard working and respectable man. 1However his true identity would not be revealed for years to come. History would show he left his wife and five children in poverty as he would change his name and give himself a fake background while trying to flee imprisonment due to huge debts he could not repay. 1. Pashnit.
“SuttersFort he Birth of Gold Rush. ” Accessed July 19, 2011. ttp://www. pashnit.
com/roads/cal/SuttersFort. htm. 1. Pashnit. “SuttersFort he Birth of Gold Rush. ” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://www.
pashnit. com/roads/cal/SuttersFort. htm. Although ambitious and goal oriented it seems Captain Sutter was just that, he appears to come off as a bit lazy and self-centered.
Do not get me wrong he did create Sutter’s Fort and Sutter Mills which would prove to be prosperous, but his overall focus seems to have been a bit fogged and self-indulged. With a lack of responsibility to, well really anything.PART III: IMPORTANCE IN U. S. HISTORY Despite John Sutter’s immaturity and the great debts he had created he was still a man that seemed to have somehow created very promising establishment. It seemed as though being a great dreamer was something that fueled him and would eventually lead to his few successful creations. John Sutter established Sutter’s Fort in 1839.
He had to make peace with the Indians in order to ensure security and peace within the fort. The Indians and Sutter became friends through generous gifts of livestock and job offers by Sutter.The Indians became so appreciating of Captain Sutter that they even went as far as to build him a house to show their appreciation. John Sutter called the place New Helvetia or “New Switzerland. ”Homage to the land he had come from. Sutter’s Fort had a central building made of adobe bricks, surrounded by a high wall with protection on opposite corners to guard against attack. The fort was positioned at an excellent strategic location, directly on the immigrant route from Missouri to Willamette Rivers overland to San Francisco Bay, and dominated the northern half of California’s great Valley.
It also had workshops and stores that produced all goods necessary for the New Helvetia settlement. 2 2. Sutter, John A. “Diary of John A.
Sutter. ” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://www. sfmuseum. org/hist2/sutdiary2. html#1845.
2. Sutter, John A. “Diary of John A. Sutter. ” Accessed July 19, 2011.
http://www. sfmuseum. org/hist2/sutdiary2. html#1845. Sutter became vastly interested in industrial ventures, most of these ventures would fail due to his lack of experience in managing such projects but one of these would prove to be very significant to California’s history Sutter Sawmill.
For this venture Sutter would need a partner someone who knew how to operate such a project it was then that Sutter met James Marshall a carpenter who would become business partners with Sutter and oversee the building of the Mill. The plan was a simple for Marshall, build a dam from the south side of the sea to divert water into a channel, a third of the way down was to be deepened in which the mill was to be built. As it seemed the project was underway with little interruptions, a new Sawmill in such a prime location would bring Sutter’s Fort great fortune and continue to fuel its markets.It would greatly increase the popularity of the already prosperous Sutter Fort. However on January 24, 1848 James Marshall would make a routine check up on the mill to discover something that he and Captain Sutter would think could only make them richer, when in fact it would lead to the down fall of all of Sutter’s ventures. 3 Sutter attempted to mine as much of the gold as possible while keeping it a secret, however likely to most his miners keeping most the gold for themselves the discovery only hurt his career.Leaked information about the gold in Sutter Mills lead to rushing mobs of gold seekers who would destroy fences that held in livestock and trample over precious crops in an attempt to get to the gold as fast as possible.
Fences being destroyed would lead to livestock escaping and in some cases being stolen by bandits and thieves. Sutter’s Fort was bleeding dry due to the loss of livestock and crops to sell. John needed to make money and fast. John soon discovered the only way for him to make money in his current situation was to sell his land, turning his land into a town seemed to be a logical idea that could bring tons of fortune.He designed and laid out the boundaries and plots of land for a new town on a large portion of his property. Proudly he named the town Sutterville. He thought the town would be a big hit.
But no one wanted to buy his town. So he decided to sell his other land. But the agents who agreed to sell portions of his property cheated him out of his money. He was in debt once again. Sutter ended up giving his son his remaining land, and his son started making plans to build a new city which would become the capitol of California, Sacramento. 3.
Yuba City. John Augustus Sutter. ” Accessed July 19, 2011 http://www. syix. com/yubacity/johnsutter. html. 3.
Yuba City. “John Augustus Sutter. ” Accessed July 19, 2011 http://www. syix.
com/yubacity/johnsutter. html. Industrial investments seemed to be where Captain Sutter was most experienced but even in such investments his lack of responsibility and carelessness lead to Sutter’s Fort being virtually destroyed.
With Sutter’s Fort being out of the picture and most his land being given to his son Sutter Mill was also rendered useless in profit sense.Once again John Sutter would have to move his life somewhere else to start over. PART IV: ASSESSMENT: OTHERS’ OPINIONS Through the forty two years that John Sutter lived in America he had accomplished quite a bit and had become rather well known for Sutter Fort and especially the gold rush. As I said early in this paper majority opinion about Captain John Sutter was probably pretty positive with little remarks to his vandalized investments, likely pinning the blame of most his failed investments on others.
But what did the people who were closest to him think of him?The people who knew of his generally exaggerated stories and flat out lies of his past. A man by the name of James Marshall would become Captain Sutter’s business partner before the down fall of Sutter Fort and Sutter Mills. James would tell people who asked about John Sutter that he was a nice a gracious man who lived everyday as an adventure, a man who has given Indians and poor folk an opportunity to make something of themselves by hiring them under his employ at Sutter mills and Sutter fort. James Marshall seemed to have had a great deal of faith in Captain Sutter.During the time of the gold rush when Sutter fort and Sutter mills were in decline he remained under Sutter’s employ, even after John Sutter sold Marshalls share of the Mill he would remain under his employ.
While this seems odd that he would speak so gracious about Sutter it makes a bit more sense when you see what kind of man Marshal was as well, the kind of man who claimed he had supernatural powers that allowed him to find the gold in an attempt to rob miners of money while selling information of its whereabouts. 4 4. West, Wild. “James Marshall: California’s Gold Discoverer. Accessed July 19, 2011. http://www.
historynet. com/james-marshall-californias-gold-discoverer. htm. 4.
West, Wild. “James Marshall: California’s Gold Discoverer. ” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://www.
historynet. com/james-marshall-californias-gold-discoverer. htm. In 1840 John Augustus Sutter Jr. would begin creating a layout for what would eventually become the city of Sacramento. Once this layout was finished he would present it to his father he ultimately declined his layout saying it was too large and not coherent enough, this would cause a strain in the twos relationship making Sutter Jr.
eave the project entirely. Sutter Jr. wrote that he believed his father’s many failed investments that had left him in debt has also left him ignorant to why they had failed. Believing that his father simply did not have the mind for this kind of business, that he was too hopeful without actions and to adventurous without caution. He would also go on to state that his father many times greatly exaggerated the situations of investments leaving Sutter Jr.
to discover for himself the state of things whilst helping his father. Robert Wynn, a historian who wrote an article about Captain John Sutter seems to share some similar view points that I have expressed in this paper. Robert Wynn writes that he never found any information ever stating that John Sutter was ever in any military of any kind, aside from of course Sutter’s own stories and the stories he had told others. Wynn continues to say he believed Sutter used the title Captain in an attempt to gain popularity and respect as well as trust, using it to slightly boost his own ego seems to be another motive Wynn comments on.
Throughout the article Wynn also seems to subtle hint on his feelings of Sutter’s irresponsible manor, saying his biggest down fall was his never turning anyone down for a job, simply handing out jobs to lazy workers and anyone who wanted one. 6 It seems as though almost anyone who had spent enough time around John Sutter or done enough research began seeing through his display of clever business man and began seeing more the side of insanely lucky investor who happened to discover gold on his land. 5. Milado, Rowena. “John A. Sutter, Jr. ” Accessed July 19, 2011.
http://sacramento. about. om/od/historylandmarks/ig/Sacramento-Old-City-Cemetery/John-A–Sutter–Jr-. htm. 6. Wynn, Robert.
“John Augustus Sutter!. ” http://www. robertwynn.
com/Sutter. htm. 5.
Milado, Rowena. “John A. Sutter, Jr.
” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://sacramento. about.
com/od/historylandmarks/ig/Sacramento-Old-City-Cemetery/John-A–Sutter–Jr-. htm. 6. Wynn, Robert. “John Augustus Sutter!. ” http://www.
robertwynn. com/Sutter. htm. PART V: YOUR OPINION To say that John Sutter contributed nothing to American history would be absurd he did discover gold in California which arguably led to California’s great success as a state.
He also co-created the capitol of this state and Sutter’s Fort a very strong and successful creation that would provide tons of jobs and a great deal of wealth to California, even to this day. So do I think he contributed to American history yes, despite how I may feel about his character and his seemingly careless attitude to his family and his business, he did contribute. Now the question is do I believe he was accurately depicted in history for his contributions? No, I believe a great deal of information on John Sutter states that at the time he was making a name for himself he appeared to be a legitimate, honest, hardworking business man.Its only now that we can see when looking through all the information we have access to that he wasn’t as creditable as he seemed. The discovery of gold was important so John Sutter’s claim to fame makes him important. But is that importance something that should be noted? Gold was being sought after everywhere in America it was only a matter of time before it would be discovered in California.
I think his discovery of gold drowns out his far more important ventures such as Sutter’s Fort and Sutter Mills. I believe it also helps to shadow his true nature in history as well. ———————————————— ————————————————- Whether or not Captain John Augustus Sutter was an important part of American history there is no denying his contribution to the state of California. He will remain to be seen as an important part of California’s history.
PART VI: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Milado, Rowena. “John A. Sutter, Jr.
” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://sacramento. about. com/od/historylandmarks/ig/Sacramento-Old-City-Cemetery/John-A–Sutter–Jr-.
htm •John Sutter Jr. s opinion of his father: his success of creating the city of Sacramento and the strain in the relationship between father and son. Pashnit. “SuttersFort he Birth of Gold Rush. ” Accessed July 19, 2011.
http://www. pashnit. com/roads/cal/SuttersFort. htm. •Most people of that time found John Sutter to be a respectable man despite his poor business ventures.
Sutter’s dreamer and adventurous attitude. Primary Source: Sutter, John A. “Diary of John A. Sutter. ” Accessed July 19, 2011.
http://www. sfmuseum. org/hist2/sutdiary2. html#1845. Learned about the building of Sutter Fort and his treatment of the native americans who inhabited the area, as well as some details of its excellent positioning.
West, Wild. “James Marshall: California’s Gold Discoverer. ” Accessed July 19, 2011. http://www. historynet. com/james-marshall-californias-gold-discoverer. htm •Discovered James Marshalls’ personality as well as his views of Captain Sutter.
How he would talk of Sutter as well as how he handled his own business ventures. ” Wynn, Robert. “John Augustus Sutter!. ” http://www. robertwynn.
com/Sutter. htm. •John Sutter seems to have never