Sacramento Bee

Yesterday the Sacramento Bee picked Man of War for their summer reading round-up. Learn more here.

If you’ve never been to Sacramento, it’s worth a visit. Very bike-friendly and full of a wide variety of imported trees. If you’re a history buff, like me, check out Sutter’s Fort while you’re there. Founded in 1839 by a charismatic (and complicated) Swiss named John Sutter, the fort was the epicenter of his colony, “New Helvetia.” Although it never materialized into the empire Sutter imagined, for nearly a decade the fortification functioned as a center of trade in what was America’s last frontier.

In 1848, John Marshall discovered gold on some of Sutter’s property fifty miles east of the fort. After the Gold Rush, Sutter fell on hard times, left California and settled on the east coast, dividing his time between Washington, D.C. and my hometown of Lititz, PA.

For further reading about this most complex frontier “king,” I suggest Albert Hurtado’s book, John Sutter: A Life on the North American Frontier.

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