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Guide to the John Augustus Sutter papers, 1846-1870
BANC MSS C-B 631  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: John Augustus Sutter Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1846-1870
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 631
    Creator: Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes and 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Includes letters from Sutter, documents relating to property, and copy of inventory of Russian-American Company property at Fort Ross and Bodega.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    Permission to reproduce the letters from the Huntington Library in whole or in part must be obtained from the Huntington Library.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Augustus Sutter papers, BANC MSS C-B 631, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    The following were removed from the collection for separate processing:
    • Watson, Douglas S.: Life of Johan August Sutter, 3 l.(?)
    • Portraits (3) and picture of Sutter's Fort
    • 4 newspaper clippings

    Biographical Sketch

    John Augustus Sutter, a colorful figure of Swiss parentage who came to the United States in 1834, first settled in Saint Louis, where he operated as a trader on the Santa Fe Trail. Then in 1838, he left for the West via the Oregon Trail with detours to Alaska and the Sandwich Islands before arriving in California in 1839. He obtained a land grant in what is now the Sacramento area, building a fort/trading/trapping post at New Helvetia in 1841 and acquiring property from the Russians at Fort Ross. The gold found in his property in 1848 led to his financial downfall. In 1849 he was one of the delegates to the state constitutional convention. He lived with his family at Hock Farm from 1850 until 1864 when his homestead was burned. He spent his last years in the east.

    Scope and Content

    The original material in this collection is mainly from the T. W. Norris Collection. Photocopy and transcripts of original Sutter letters in the Huntington Library and in the California State Library in Sacramento complete the collection. Permission to reproduce the letters from the Huntington Library in whole or in part must be obtained from the Huntington Library. Much of the photocopy and transcripts came from the Du Four material on Sutter, removed from the Bolton papers.