He put California on the U.S. map

leidesdorfffirsthotelsculpture

Frank Holland and Clint Reilly had been wondering for years about the name of the street next to their iconic Merchants Exchange building.  What they found was so astounding that an amazing new work of sculpture has been added to downtown San Francisco.

But, there was even more, I noted while discussing the inscription atop the historic building in the Clinton Reilly and Associates office.  They had collected many of the facts, but I wanted them to understand what the facts meant.

In my own case, it had taken almost 20 years to put the pieces together.   But the bottom line is that this sailor who spoke six languages put his own fortune on the line to make California part of the United States.    He was also the indispensable hub of commerce for a wide swath of northern California.   In fact, John Sutter was so indebted to William Alexander Leidesdorff that he offered him half of the gold findings at Sutter’s Mill to resolve his debts.

I’m looking forward to the full story getting out. Stay tuned.

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