A Mexican past -- Russian too

Just a quick note to say how much I appreciated your fine article on California’s Mexican past [“On a Mission to Our Past,” June 29].

When talking about that era, it is easy to fall into an unhelpful romantic nostalgia. Christopher Reynolds wrote a concise, clear and helpful essay. The section on Sutter was especially fine. Nicely done!

David Harrington Watt




As a native of Sacramento but a longtime resident of Southern California, I was reminded by your Sunday article of the relationship between Sutter’s Fort (Sacramento) and the Russian outpost of Ft. Ross. Many Californians do not realize that Russia had a settlement about 60 to 70 miles north of San Francisco from 1812 to 1841.

This is probably old news to you, but when the Ft. Ross settlement was abandoned, John Sutter (Sutter’s Fort) purchased the equipment from the settlement. Of course, when Sutter purchased the equipment, California was still part of Mexico and Sutter was a Mexican citizen.

Again, thanks for Reynolds’ many excellent articles in The Times.


Norman Chapman