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Sutter, John Augustlocked

(15 February 1803–18 June 1880)
  • Richard H. Dillon


Sutter, John August (15 February 1803–18 June 1880), pioneer, was born Johann Augustus Suter in Kandern, Baden, the son of Johann Jakob Suter and Christine Wilhelmine Stober (or Stoberin). His father—of Swiss rather than German ancestry—was the manager of a modest paper mill in the village. After a local common school education and probably a stay in a Neuchâtel Gymnasium, Sutter became an apprentice, then a clerk, in a printing, publishing, and bookselling firm in Basel. When Sutter married Annette Dübeld in 1826, he opened his own dry goods and drapery store. In 1828 he volunteered for the reserve corps of the Canton of Berne’s militia and by 1831 was a first under-lieutenant. Sutter never forgot his brief military experience and later exaggerated it into French army service under Charles X....

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