Sutter, a native of Germany, came to the U.S. in the mid-1830s and by the end of the decade had established a settlement in northern California. The site, called Sutter's Fort, became Sacramento, the capital of the state. Sutter developed his large tract of land into a farm that prospered until gold was discovered on it in 1848. Squatters then moved in on his land and by 1852 he was bankrupt. Petitions to Congress to obtain some sort of restitution had no success, and he died in Washington.
Bequest of Rufus W. Griswold
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