Looking Down the Yo-Semite

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Looking Down the Yo-Semite
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c1848 - Original, hand-colored lithograph titled “Looking Down the You-Semite.” Measures 16” by 12”. Not mounted. Classified medium folio sized. “Published by Currier and Ives” on the left side and “152 Nassau St New York” on the right. The border is yellowing and has some foxing. It seems to have been framed under glass at one time but not protected from light. The top has nicks and small tears. The left corners bear several folds. Each lithograph was finished with gum Arabic to give it a bit of a sheen at an angle, which is evidenced on this lithograph. Because this lithograph portrays Yosemite as a Garden of Eden, it may have been drawn by Fanny Palmer. The Yosemite Valley was first discovered by Anglo-Americans in 1833 when trappers from the Walker party ventured into the area. The next “reliable sighting of the Valley by a non-indigenous person occurred on 18 October 1849 by William P. Abrams and a companion. Abrams accurately described some landmarks but it is not known for sure whether or not he or his companion actually entered the Valley. In 1850, Nate Screech became the first confirmed non-indigenous [person] to enter Hatch Hatchie Valley.” With the Indian wars over in the valley, some whites settled in the area. Later “a Unitarian minister named Thomas Starr King visited the Valley in 1860 and saw some of the negative effects that homesteading and commercial activity were having on the area. Six travel letters by King were published in the Boston Evening Transcript in 1860 and 1861 (Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Greenleaf Whittier read and commented on them). King went on to become the first person with a nationally-recognized voice to call for a public Yosemite park. Pressure by King, photographs by famed photographer Carleton Watkins, and geologic data from the 1863 Whitney Survey of California prompted legislators to take notice” Eventually, “President Abraham Lincoln on June 30,1864, creat[ed] the Yosemite Grant as a public trust. Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove were ceded to California as a state park for ‘public use, resort and recreation.’" However, it was “naturalist John Muir [who] first came to California in 1868. . . [who wrote] articles . . . help[ing] to both popularize the area and increase scientific interest in it.” Finally in 1890, the land was withdrawn from the public domain and set aside for a national park. It was reported that “this was the first time the federal government set aside land for such a purpose; an act that is widely considered to be genesis of the national park idea” in the United States. [Ref: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/History_of_the_Yosemite_area]. Burger CollectionCity: Yo-semiteCounty: State: CADate: c1849