John A. Sutter, Jr. - Old City Cemetery - Sacramento, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
N 38° 33.819 W 121° 30.047
10S E 630616 N 4269421
Quick Description: The grave of John A. Sutter, Jr. resides in Old City Cemetery and is noted as being the founder and planner of the city of Sacramento.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 2/20/2015 10:21:31 AM
Waymark Code: WMNDDJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Manville Possum Hunters
Views: 2

Long Description:
Wrap Text around ImageLocated near the north entrance to Old City Cemetery is a large headstone containing the grave of John Augustus Sutter, Jr., known as the founder and planner of the city of Sacramento as well as being an American consul for the Port of Acapulco, Mexico, a title he held for 24 years. He was the son of John Augustus Sutter, Sr., who was also well known for being a founder of the Sacramento area and has a piece of land containing Sutter Fort for which Sutter, Sr. tried to establish a utopian society. Wikipedia contains a good bio of Sutter, Jr.'s life and reads:

John Augustus Sutter, Jr. was the founder and planner of the City of Sacramento, California, a U.S. Consul in Acapulco, Mexico and the son of Swiss-born American pioneer John Augustus Sutter, Sr.

Sutter was born in Burgdorf, Switzerland. His father, John Augustus Sutter, Sr., abandoned his family in Switzerland, for California to avoid debtors' prison. While in California, Sutter, Sr. managed to get into debt again. He decided to transfer some of his land holdings, from a Mexican land grant that Sutter, Sr. called New Helvetia, to his son, all while Sutter, Jr. was a minor and still in Europe. Sutter, Jr. was raised by his mother, Anna Sutter, and put through counting school before traveling to California to join his father.

When Sutter, Jr. arrived at New Helvetia, he found it to be unorganized and in need of leadership. Sutter's Fort was overrun by loiterers and drunkards. Sutter, Sr., soon after his son's arrival, left for Coloma, California, where gold was discovered, to start a business selling supplies to gold prospectors. Despite the fact that his father was planning on starting a town, named Sutterville, Sutter, Jr. planned and began to implement his vision for a city near the fork of the American & Sacramento Rivers. This was the beginning of the City of Sacramento which at that time was called Sacramento City.

The conflict put a strain on the relationship between father and son. Sutter, Jr. became ill and rarely left the family's residence, Hock Farm, on the Feather River. As Sutter, Jr.'s illness continued, he grew tired of his responsibilities. He contemplated selling his land, but thought that it would be difficult to sell such a large property. Some businessmen from Sacramento City heard that Sutter, Jr. was interested in selling his land. They worked together to buy the land from Sutter, Jr., but not by the most honest means. The businessmen, including Sam Brannan, would not bring the contract to purchase the land to Sutter, Jr. at Hock Farm, so he took a powerful medicine and met them in Sacramento City to sign the terms of the deal. After reading the contract Sutter, Jr. did not like the terms, but the businessmen urged him to sign the contract, get out of California and go somewhere with a climate more suitable to his condition. He reluctantly signed the deal.

Being rid of the property and the obligation to take care of it, in 1850, Sutter, Jr. moved south to find a climate that suited his needs. He made it as far as Acapulco, Mexico. There he met his first wife, María del Carmen Rivas. They were married in the latter part of 1850. Having recovered his health but never any money from his earlier business dealings he returned to California to try and force payment. Brannan waited until August was desperate then offered him $40,000 as payment in full for what was the final slice of his father's land. Panic stricken young August agreed but even then received no cash, only notes for which he signed receipts for $100,000 of which he also never saw a dime. Brannan's company then buried August with lawsuits to the point that he gladly received a mere $3,500 after which August still found himself in debt just over $300. With his nerves and health in shambles again and with nothing left to sell he again ran back to Mexico amid accusations of his squandering his father's fortune. In 1852, his first son, John Sutter III, was born in Northwest Mexico. During this time Sutter, Jr. was involved in many court cases over the sale of his property to Brannan and the lack of payment for the property. In some instances, these court cases went all the way to the Supreme Court of California. These court cases did not benefit Sutter, Jr. except to release him of the burden of caring for the estate.

In Acapulco, Sutter, Jr. worked and was partner in a small general store. When the principal owner died, Sutter took his share of the business. Because the business did so well, the Sutters were able to build a house near the ocean. In 1865, Sutter, Jr., on the recommendation of a U.S. Commercial Agent, became the Vice-Commercial Agent for the Port of Acapulco. Because of the ill health of the Commercial Agent, Sutter took his position in 1868. Many of Sutter's friends and business associates in the U.S. and Mexico wrote letters to President Johnson requesting that Sutter be made a U.S. Consul. The United States Department of State granted the requests and opened a full consulate in the District and Port of Acapulco. Sutter was named the U.S. consul by President Grant and U.S. Secretary of State Hamilton Fish on July 13, 1870.

Sometime around 1862, Sutter, Jr.'s first wife, María, left him. He was not able to get a proper divorce before she left. In 1870 Sutter, Jr. met Nicolasa Solís and began a relationship with her. This relationship would last until Sutter, Jr.'s death. Because he could not properly take care of the divorce from his first marriage, Sutter, Jr. and Solís did not marry until 1894. On May 24, 1887, he retired from his post as U.S. Consul to Acapulco. He and his wife lived on their plantation near Acapulco until his death. After his death, his wife had a difficult time keeping their property in Mexico. At this time, there was a revolution in Mexico. The Indians wanted land that they felt originally belonged to them. The revolutionaries targeted many American citizens and made life hard for the Sutters. Much of their property was destroyed. Solís moved, with her children, to San Francisco and for years fought to get back the Mexican land and some of the land in Sacramento that she felt belonged to her and her children, but to no avail.

Sutter, Jr. died in Acapulco, Mexico on September 21, 1897. He was originally interred in Acapulco, but was reinterred in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in Sacramento, California at the request of his daughter, Anna Sutter Young.

Sutter's original headstone from Acapulco is imbedded in the larger headstone. His daughter, Anna Sutter Young, is also buried with him.

Please read above text regarding the background and history of John A. Sutter, Jr.

Date of birth: 10/25/1826

Date of death: 9/21/1897

Area of notoriety: Other

Marker Type: Headstone

Setting: Outdoor

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Not listed

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