Squatter meetings continue

Sam Brannan's store

Sam Brannan’s store at Sutter’s Fort

From that December 4th 1849 meeting until well near the end of summer in 1850 squatter meetings continued to be held in Sacramento and the squatters themselves grew more violent and angry. At first these meetings were considered as mere boasting but in time they began to have an effect. Sam Brannan owned a store on John Sutter’s land and as one of the most active and influential men of the day, along with many other capitalists and politicians, he was on the side of Sutter’s grant. Because of these powerful men the city and county officials were also on the side of John Sutter. The officials thus treated the squatters poorly and in return whoever would use the strongest language against the sheriff, the mayor and the councilmen was the most loudly applauded at squatters meetings.

All was not talk however and force continued to be used against the squatters. On June 21st four or five people on the side of John Sutter tore down a squatter house that had been erected on one of their lots. The next day as many as thirty more men who sided with Sutter raided other lots now in possession of the squatters. On J Street they partly tore down one squatter’s house then pushed the remainder down onto the tent of another on the lot next door. They moved on, destroying other squatter homes as well as their fences in that same area. Their acts were witnessed by a number of citizens but none offered any opposition or even a protest. Soon a large crowd of squatters collected and the threats and shouting produced great excitement.

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