Monthly Archives: February 2018

Runaway Horses in 1851

I’ve been going through letters in the John Bidwell Papers in the California State Library. Bidwell was the kind of man who held on to all his correspondence, and kept it well organized. Most of the letters deal with mundane … Continue reading

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More about Sutter and the Mormons

At the same time that Captain Sutter was bragging to General Vallejo (in Spanish), about his wheat fields and his new saw mill and flour mill, he was also writing to Thomas O. Larkin (in slightly awkward English) on the … Continue reading

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The Best of Days for John A. Sutter

1847 was a good year for Captain John Sutter. Things were going well and prosperity lay all around. Here is a letter written from John A. Sutter to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo on October 31, 1847. (The original letter, in the … Continue reading

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Sutter’s Fort Restored

“In its broken, withered and dilapidated condition it offers sublime evidence of the devastation of time.” So wrote the Sacramento Daily Union on September 2, 1891. But by 1890, nostalgia for “the days of old, the days of gold, the … Continue reading

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Sutter’s Fort As It Was

This painting hangs in the California History Room at the State Library in Sacramento. It shows Sutter’s Fort, what was left of it, as it looked before its restoration in the 1890s. The fort had deteriorated quickly after the gold … Continue reading

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