John Sutter/David Fenimore – A Visit With John Sutter

Posted on May 7th, 2020 in American History,Chautauquan by Ignacio Ayala

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John Sutter was an émigré from Switzerland who came to California to establish his New Helvicia in the land of opportunity, located in what is now close to Sacramento, California. A man with vision and organization, and a liking to drink, Sutter built an economically thriving Anglo-American settlement outpost in what was then Mexican California. The economy was based on livestock and lumber and used forced Native American labor. The discovery of gold in 1849 at a mill owned by Sutter started the gold rush that ultimately led to his undoing, ruining him financially as the mass of humanity tramped through the lands he then claimed to own, on their rush to the gold fields. John Sutter was portrayed by historian David Fennimore and was part of “Rediscovering California at 150” the California sesquicentennial initiative produced by the California Council for the Humanities.

John Sutter recommends “Ivanhoe,” by Sir Walter Scott and “Report Concerning North America,” by Godfried Duden.

Originally Broadcast: February 20, 1998

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