Monday, October 15, 2012

Exploration 7, Peter Vaccarella, John Sutter

In chapter 19 the book mentions Sutter's land.  This phrase refers to the land granted by the Mexican government in Sacramento Valley, California to a German/Swiss immigrant named John Augustus Sutter.  This area is claimed to be where the California gold rush begun.  John Sutter first moved to America after dodging a trial for his enormous debts.  He spent a lot of his first moments in America by traveling and visiting different places.  He eventually settled in California after the Mexican Governor granted him land.  He received over 48,000 acres of land and he started hiring Native Americans to work for him (at this time Native Americans were the majority of the population in California).  He planned on having a agriculture utopia on his land and wanted to be protected by the French army.  Once the United States seized control of this once Mexican land, Sutter agreed to turn his fort over simply because he was way out numbered.

Sutter started building a new sawmill when he noticed a gold looking nugget in the ground.  He performed basic tests to prove that it in fact was gold.  Sutter knew what that he needed to keep this a secret so he could expand his land as much as possible around where he found the gold.  His attempt at keeping his findings a secret failed once a journalist found out about it and put it in the newspaper.  From then on people came through Sutter's farm and basically destroyed everything he had built so they could find the precious gold.  Sutter's life work was ruined and he ended up living a impoverished live for the rest of his days.

John Sutter aftewr his farm was ruined, 1866
Works Cited:
"John Sutter." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

1 comment:

  1. I think this relates to the Grapes of Wrath because there are so many migrant workers that are desperate for land. I think that pretty soon, the migrants might come together and take over some of the land, just like what happened to Sutter's land.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.