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General Sutter's Death


The news of the death of John A. Sutter, Californiaís oldest and most notable pioneer, came to us from the East with terrible suddenness. We all knew that he was an old man, and not likely, in the course of nature, to live very long; but we had heard nothing of any serious illness, and were quite unprepared to hear that he was dead. So many books and articles have been written about Sutter, and every Californian is so familiar with his wonderful history, that it is unnecessary to give a detailed biography of him here. To his name attaches the glory of having practically made California what she now is, for it is quite within the bounds of reason to believe that if Sutter had never established his fort in the Sacramento Valley, and thereby formed the nucleus of the foreign population which afterward gathered about him, California would have remained under Mexican rule much longer than she did. Nevertheless, in spite of all his claims on the gratitude of individuals and the Government, Sutter may be said to have lived and died a wronged and disappointed man. The last years of his life were spent in struggling to obtain a paltry pension, which the government first gave and then withheld, and of all the men whom he so generously assisted in early days none seems to served him well when their positions were reversed. Peace be to the brave old manís ashes!




San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser
June 26, 1880