The History of Yosemite National Park

The History of Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite and its history, young to old the story of an area of land that is doomed to be mined, forcibly stripped naked of its natural resources. In 1864 Yosemite land grant was signed into act by president Abraham Lincoln, the first area of land set aside for preservation and protection. Yosemite being a very important historical plot of land, some time ago president Theodore Roosevelt visited the park managing to disappear from the secret service with John Muir. Through the years the contrast of ideas between the industrialists and the preservationists have clashed, Yosemite’s history both interesting and mysterious but more importantly inevitable .
Yosemite a plagiarism of the garden of Eden, in the first place Yosemite was inhabited by native Indians, Awahneechee tribe who called the land Awahnee “ place of a gaping mouth”. The “white man” came and took the land from the Awahneechee burning down any Indian homes found, after the destruction of the Awahneechee tribe the “white man” before leaving the park decided to name the land. Yosemite, thought to be the name of the tribe that inhabited the land, the industrialists, only interested in making money and violence, thought that driving out the native Indians from the land would prove an effective idea. The destruction of the Awahneechee Indians would give the men free roam of the land with no native interference, also giving free treatment of the land to their will. the name Yosemite in native tongue means “people who should be feared” meaning “they are killers”. A few years after the group of “Mariposa Battalion” left another group of “white men” came, but they were not armed for violence, but were tourists (The National Park: America‘s Best Idea). The industrialists raping the land, not simply picking flowers from the meadow, destruction, a literal hell in paradise. The only thing they have interest in was their on selfish wants, the land, the money, the irresistible hunger for power. Man has always been eager to make his way to the top, not caring who he brings down, steps on, humiliates, or even ruins. Man a beast, extremely hard to control like a mad bull in a china shop destroying everything in its path, only receiving the circumstances at a later date. Man has always been tricked, whether by human or beast it always ends the same way, with disaster.


The early 1860’s brought a “steady trickle” of tourists to Yosemite, the trip would take several days by train, stagecoach, or house.

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Most of the visitors being from San Francisco, over a 200 mile trip. In 1864 a group of “Californians” aware of the fate of Niagara Falls lobbied Abraham Lincoln successfully to sign a law, this law granting the seven square miles of the valley and Mariposa grove to the state. In 1868 Muir first came to Yosemite, he was looking for work, when he first arrived he found several year round residences living in the valley and even an apple orchard. Muir’s first visit lasted about 10 days, promising himself he would return to Yosemite soon (Perrottet 49). Yosemite a place thriving with scenery to be witnessed, a vast range of visitor came to view the park, to see its overwhelming landscape. Yosemite a place of sanction and peace that should be preserved and protected, that was exactly what a group from California thought when they visited the park. The first tract of land to be set aside for its Garden of Eden mirage. Aside from its wondrous views Yosemite brings people together, binds them in a way that's magical. The bond between people growing strong as well as our tie to the land, the irresistible urge to be part of something bigger and greater has always something man tries to become, whether its part of a club, leader of the team, or the ruler of the states. Man strives the be the “one”, merely because its human nature, in the blood.
In 1903 Roosevelt wrote Muir asking to go camping in Yosemite, returning home with a new point of view on nature. Roosevelt pushed congress to pass laws to protect the park. President Roosevelt became the fiercest protector of national parks, inspired by Muir he started creating national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and national forests (Presser). Roosevelt was a very big natures man, he loved the land and what ever lived on the land. He managed to slip away from the secret service and go into the wilderness with Muir, they believed Roosevelt was talked into passing laws for Yosemite. Roosevelt would soon save many places soon to become national parks. A man of his word, he did what he said he would. Roosevelt became one of the fiercest “nature lovers” of his time. While Roosevelt visited Yosemite he killed only one animal, a small rat, skinned the animal and brought it back to scientist to evaluate. He believed the rat was a scientific discovery being that he had never seen one like it before.
Thomas Ayres produced a portrait of Yosemite Valley during a visit in 1855. In 1871 when Muir discovered a “living glacier” in the sierra, years later in 1892 Muir and a very few of prominent Californians formed the Sierra Club to help promote Yosemite's protection. Yosemite attracted many people, artist, author, and even presidents, a painting of Yosemite demanding a price of 25,000 dollars (pbs.org). Yosemite already looked as if it had been painted by a masterful hand who strives in the architectural field. With the painting being a sure masterpiece it brought a high price, greed of man. Man will never change the way he thinks, his motives, nor will he let anything stand in his way of making a quick buck. Yosemite was doomed to be mined and the land raped of resources, where no goods would go to the ones who would care for Yosemite and love the park. The natives had an agreement with the land, what was given by the land would be put back by the natives in time.
Muir was for the “establishment” of Yosemite, But the work of individuals such as Galen Clark and Frederick Law Olmsted also had a “significance” in gaining federal protection. Clark first set foot in Yosemite in 1855 as a tourist, after 2 years he settled down and following the formation of the state park, he was “appointed guardian” of the park. In 1906, after persuaded by John Muir, President Roosevelt gave control of these areas from the state to the “federal government” (britannica.com). Muir was very important in getting national parks started, fighting his point Muir was able to convince presidents to save the plots of important land. People also wanted the park saved and would push to have it done, Yosemite was finally granted to the federal government. Many people love these national parks like they were their own, although most people just wanted to take and not give back. The beginning of the national parks would prevent this from happening and only love would come to the lands, even with that in place people still tried to take from the land and some people still do. Park rangers where formed from the army at first in Yosemite to help keep the land scape safe, they would tell the people to leave. The rangers even went as far as confiscate guns as people enter the park, because they were afraid people would shoot the wild life withing the park. The national park area not only protected the land it also protected the wild life withing it. A person could not kill an animal on the national park grounds.
Yosemite has had a lot of problems in its history such as rock slides, murders, and diseases. In June 14, 1999 A rock slide sent boulders falling near a popular Yosemite National Park village, killing one climber and injuring four others. March 27, 1999 FBI found a body near Yosemite, a 15 year old girl went missing along with her mother and her friend. Hantavirus hit Yosemite in 2012, infecting people sickening (chicagotribune.com). Even a place in wonderful views the devil lurks, finding things to cause havoc and distress like the Garden of Eden burdened by disaster plagued with sorrow, the tears of the fallen simply dropping into the depths of despair, perfect paradise lost forever.
Yosemite a place forever wondrous by its views and waterfalls, everyone and thing withing the park become one. Unity under the National state park law, like the Bible, we are all equal. The history of Yosemite both frightening and wonderful, leaving awe in anyone who enters. Peace and fear the things that bring everyone together, for better or worse, nature loving or industrialists, the park makes us all one.


Works Cited

Britannica,
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