The Midas who owned California, a visionary, a pioneer-adventurer, "the most important man in the United States," all of these was John sutter. With color and imagination, Marguerite Eyer Wilbur majestically unfolds before use the life of the Swiss born empire-builder. Grandson of a Calvinist pastor, John Sutter's life was a sedentary one, until he leaves his wife and four children and escapes tot he wilderness of California; where equipped with a drive for adventure, the dash of a borrowed French Army uniform, and the idol of his childhood dreams as an impetus, Sutter stages his own Napoleonic campaigns, giving his money and strength to the growth of this country during the 19th century. Sutter's Fort - now a legend - is vividly depicted, and we see John Sutter in his conquest and defeats, a man of great charm and manners, forceful and attractive in his passionate loves, and a paradox of evil and generosity. The historical events serve as a panoramic canvas, with the many-faceted personality of Captain Sutter as the highlights. Here is a story of a rugged fighter, a story told in counterpoint - each success marred by failure - ultimately his own vast empire, part of these growing United States -- Book jacket.