John Sutter <click here for large picture>

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The date is August 1848, a mere 161 years ago this month, John A. Sutter Jr. arrives from his native Switzerland to go into business with his father our founder.

Upon seeing the growth of the West and an opportunity to turn the trade business into a much larger entity, he laid out plans to build a city where the 2 rivers meet, the city would be called Sacramento.

January 1849, Sacramento City is founded by John Sutter Jr. & Sam Brannan. The two begin to survey the land named as the city and begin to sell lots of land. This movement along with the demise of his trading post left John A. Sutter Sr. upset as he planned to make Sutterville the area city. A short time later John A. Sutter Sr. sold what was left of Sutter's Fort to Alden Bayly for $7,000 and moved to his Hock farm up North.

By mid 1849 Sacramento and other Northern California cities were recognized with the establishment of mail stops in Sacramento, Benecia, & San Jose. With people leaving in droves for the gold fields in the foothills, Sacramento still boasted a population of 2000.

In October of 1849 California's State Constitution is approved, the motto is to be Eureka. The following month California elected its first Governor, although John Sutter Sr. ran with a strong voter base, he was soundly defeated by Peter Burnett, Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court and an active member of the framing of the California Constitution.

Sacramento County is created in February 1850 and Congress grants statehood to California in September that same year, remarkably Sacramento isn't named the capitol until 4 years later in 1854.

With the population of the West increasing by as many as 15,000 a year, in 1860 the Pony Express names Sacramento as its main terminal in the West. Later that same year railroad magnates Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker begin planning for a Transcontinental railroad to connect the East to the New West naming Sacramento as one of only a few major stops.


Mike "Gunshot" Young, Historian