Text for Letter from J.A. Sutter, 1850


O.I.A. S. 508
Sacramento City, Cal.
[California] May 23, 1850

J. A. Sutter

Declines accepting the appointment of Sub-Ind. Agent on the Sacramento River & recommends Col. Johnston &c.

Respectfully referred to the Com. of Ind. Affairs
Dept. of the Interior
Jul. 20/50

Recd. Indian Office, July 26, 1850

[Letter P. 1]

Sacramento City, California
May 23rd, 1850. 


Your favor of November 24, enclosing a commission "constituting me sub-Indinn agent on the Sacramento river," &c., has been received and is before me. You will permit me to tender my sincere thanks for this honor and distinguished mark of confidence, while I must, at the same time, decline its acceptence, from the following considerations: My old age, and the decline of life, together with the multiplicity of my private business, would render it impossible for me to discharge the duties of the office in such manner as would be satisfactory to myself or acceptable to the governnment. While I decline accepting the commission myself, I hope I may be permitted to recommend to your favorable consideration Colonel Johnston, who is at present holding a similar office in the San Joaquin district. Colonel Johnston is fully competent to discharge the duties of this and the San Joaquin district; and I would respectfully suggest the propriety of but one sub-agent for both valleys, and to pay him a salary in keeping with 

[P. 2]

the business and prices of the country. It will also be necessary to make provision for more interpreters, as every tribe speaks a diflerent language. It will also be necessary to allow a much larger sum for contingent expenses, and in fact all other matters connected with the office. While I freely admit that, had it been in my power to pertorm the duties of the office at this advanced age of lite, I would not have interposed the pecuniary sacrifices necessarily consequent upon it, as an objection to its acceptance; yet I cannot pass the manner without calling the attention of your department to the fact that the Indians of this country are scattercd over a very wide extent of country, made up of very small tribes, and treaties must be made with each of these, if treaties are made at all.
With high consideration of regard, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, 
J. A. Sutter