John Augustus Sutter (1803 - 1880) MP

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John Sutter of Sutter's Mill's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Kandern, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: Died in District of Columbia, United States
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Occupation: Pioneer
Managed by: Carrie Theresa Pardini Bennett
Last Updated:

About John Augustus Sutter

John Augustus Sutter (1803 – 1880) was a Swiss-American pioneer of California known for his association with the California Gold Rush, and for establishing Sutter's Fort in the area that would eventually become Sacramento, the state's capital. Johann Augustus Suter, son of Johann Jakob Suter, Jr. and Christina Wilhelmine Stober, was born 15 Feburary 1803 at Kandern, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; he died of heart failure at the age of 77 on 18 June 1880 at Washington, D.C., and is buried at Moravian Cemetery, Lititz, Pennsylvania.

Marriage and Children

  1. Marriage of John to Anna Dubeld, 26 October 1826 Burgdorf, Switzerland
    1. John Augustus Sutter, Jr. (born 1826 Switzerland)
    2. Anna Eliza Sutter (born 1828)
    3. Emil Victor Sutter (born 1830)
    4. Alphons Wilhelm Sutter (born 1832)

Legendary Generosity

When Charles Stanton and William McCutchen arrived asking for food for the Donner Party, Sutter supplied dried meat, flour, mules to carry them, and detailed two of his vaqueros, Luis and Salvador, to help. Among the Reed Papers at Sutter's Fort is a document showing the calculations of how much each family owed Sutter for their share of the provisions.

Sutter's generosity to overland emigrants was legendary, and many others in addition to the Donner Party had reason to be grateful to him. The gold rush destroyed him, however, and he ended his life in obscurity and near-poverty, two days after Congress awarded him compensation for his losses.


He was born Johann Augustus Suter, pronounced "Sooter." This spelling and "Suitor" often appear in emigrant diaries and other early documents.


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John Sutter of Sutter's Mill's Timeline

February 15, 1803
Kandern, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
October 26, 1826
Age 23
October 26, 1826
Age 23
Burgdorf, Switzerland
Age 22
Age 24
Age 26
June 18, 1880
Age 77
District of Columbia, United States
June 26, 2010
Age 77
Sacramento, CA, USA

A benefit for the friends & family of Sutter's Fort will be held on June 26, 2010. The invitation is available in Photos and/or Documents under John August Sutter. If you are unable to attend please donate to this worthy cause. For more information on the benefit contact Lisa Mealoy at (916) 323-7626. For an emailed copy of the invitation contact me at Hope to see you there.

Lititz, Pennsylvania, United States