Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom continued our reckoning with California history by apologizing for the systematic oppression and violence against Native Americans, reminding us of the 1841 ‘extermination declaration’ made by California’s first governor, Peter Burnett.

Friends of Sutter’s Fort was honored to hear from acclaimed author Gregory Nokes last September about his latest book, The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California. As we learned, Burnett was ultimately undone by his own racist policies.

Read more from author Gregory Nokes in his latest CALmatters commentary, Gavin Newsome calls out Californa’s racist first governor. Who was Peter Hardeman Burnett? 

We continue to carry this book online and in our Sutter’s Fort Gift & Trade Store. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about this controversial figure to pick up a copy.