The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 234
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
hence have no gauge to distinguish the real from the unreal-the
true from the false. Perhaps he had no desire to apply such a
measuring stick and is happy in the riot of his imagination.
But there are folk who accept as history the stories bearing the
labels of history, and it is for such as these that words of caution
may not be amiss. Not infrequently is it true that the contents
are palatable enough although the label is reprehensibly mislead-
ing. And in this day of pure food restriction one has a right,
generally speaking, to know the nature of what one consumes as
food for the body or for the mind.
Cendrars with impressionistic brush has painted a series of can-
vasses in all of which John A. Sutter is the central figure. In the
first of these our hero, wearing the cloak of mystery, arrives at the
sleepy vilage of Runenberg in the canton of Basle in Switzerland.
It seems that he is seeking a certificate of origin that will enable
him to procure a passport making it possible to leave those environs
without molestation. His dissatisfaction with the failure of his
mission he registers by spitting into the basin of the fountain in
plain sight of the curious villagers, and he then departs as sud-
denly as he came.
Sutter's birth and early life are then chronicled and he is next
visualized as on his way to America and described as "bankrupt,
fugitive, tramp, vagabond, thief and forger." If the evidence was
available to the author warranting the use of such adjectives he
undoubtedly had access to material the existence of which the
reviewer has had no reason even to suspect. If such evidence does
3iot exist or even if it belongs in the hearsay category, then surely
a very great stain has been attached to the name and memory of
one of California's most prominent pioneers and one whose in-
fluence in the critical forties as yet has not been completely
Hastening on through the gallery one passes in bewildered
review canvasses on which Sutter is pictured as slave trader in
Kanakas, as multimillionaire head of a frontier colony on the
Sacramento, as the man of the hour in the gold iush and as a
poor babbling wreck thereafter, until at the foot of the steps of
the capitol at Washington he waits for news of reimbursement for
his losses and then dies of joy at a false report of his success.
The coming of Madame Sutter and her children to share the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/254/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.