John Augustus Sutter emigrated to California in 1834 from what is now Germany. Five years later the governor of Mexico gave him a large grant of land in the Sacramento Valley. Sutter then established a colony of Nueva Helvetia, which became a gathering point for settlers, traders, and trappers in the region. On January 24, 1848, while supervising a construction project, John Wilson Marshall discovered gold on Sutter's land. In the gold rush that followed, Sutter's land soon was overrun by fortune hunters. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the title to much of Sutter's land invalid, and he died bankrupt after unsuccessfully petitioning Congress for payment for his losses.