In the history of the American frontier, John Sutter (1803Â–1880) looms large. A Swiss expatriate who attempted to create a personal empire in Californiaâ€™s Sacramento Valley, he founded New Helvetia, a cosmopolitan settlement whose economy depended on Indian slaves and free laborers. New Helvetia drew overland immigrants to California in the 1840s and thenÂ—after gold was discovered by Sutterâ€™s employeesÂ—a flood of fortune seekers. Sutter was poised to become one of the richest men in the West, but rapacious settlers and his own poor business sense sent his dreams crashing.
Albert L. Hurtado has written the definitive biography of Sutter, mining a wealth of sources to create the first fully documented account of the man and his times. John Sutter explores Sutterâ€™s life in the broader context of Americaâ€™s rush for westward expansion while plumbing the inner dynamics of this erstwhile empire-builder.
Sutter was a quintessential outsider driven by anxiety over statusÂ—a man of talent, vision, and heroic ambitions who nevertheless became the victim of his own inadequacies as a businessman and his inability to adjust to a rapidly changing frontier. Sutter was full of contradictions. While building a reputation as a humanitarian friend of destitute immigrants, he callously exploited Indians. Nevertheless, this penniless dreamer became one of the most important men in California and a major player in the American conquest of the West.
Author : Dr. Albert L. Hurtado Ph.D
ISBN : 080613772X
Language : English
No of Pages : 412
Edition : 1
Publication Date : 10/9/2006
Format/Binding : Hardcover
Book dimensions : 10.1x6.9x1.4
Book weight : 0.02
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