John Sutter of Sutter's Mill

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John Sutter of Sutter's Mill's Geni Profile

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John Augustus Sutter

Also Known As: "Johann Augustus Suter"
Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Kandern, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: June 18, 1880 (77)
District of Columbia, United States (Heart Failure)
Place of Burial: Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Johann Jakob Suter, II and Christina Wilhelmina Sutter
Husband of Anna Sutter
Father of John Sutter, II, Counsel to Mexico; Anna Eliza Link; Emil Victor Sutter; Alphons Wilhelm Sutter and Amelia Julia Sutter
Brother of Johann Jakob Sutter; Jakob Friedrich Sutter; Francis Xavier Sutter; Siemon Sutter; Johann Heinrich Sutter and 3 others

Occupation: Pioneer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Sutter of Sutter's Mill

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
Age 24
Age 26
Age 28
June 18, 1880
Age 77
District of Columbia, United States
June 18, 1880
Age 77
Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States