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In the Heart of the Sierras, by James M. Hutchings (1888)


Preface.


The inquires made by appreciative and intelligent visitors to the Yo Semite Valley, have suggestively prompted the themes that should be descanted upon in this volume. The information desired I have endeavored to embody and present. In this labor of love my long residence, and many attendant circumstances, have been supplemented by valuable historic and scientific details, obtained from various sources. For early records of the Valley I am mainly indebted to Dr. L. H. Bunnell, who was not only one of its first visitors, and discoverers, but its earliest and principal historian;* [* See “Discovery of the Yo Semite,” an invaluable and deeply interesting narrative of personal observation and adventure.] and through the kindness of Hon. W. J. Howard, of Mariposa, and Major James Burney, of Modesto, California, and others, I have been able to supply the missing links needed for the completion of the historical chain of events, so much desired, and so unavailingly sought after, by Dr. Bunnell, concerning some of the Valley’s earlier history.† [† Ibid, page 30.]

The designs for the embossed covers, in black and gold, are by Mr. Thomas Hill, the eminent and well-known California artist; who has also generously furnished other sketches for this work. To Mr. George Fiske, the resident photographic artist of Yo Semite, Mr. S. C. Walker, Taber, and other photographers, I desired to acknowledge my obligations for many of the representative subjects here presented. And to those who by their financial aid have made the publication of this work possible, I gratefully tender my sincere thanks.

Nor would I forget the faithful Indian “Tom,” who, no matter how biting cold the weather, or deep the snow in winter, not only brought us our letters and papers, but supplied us with much interesting data of his race in connection with the Valley and its primitive inhabitants, and I thank him.

By the courteous permission of the Chief of Engineers of the U.S.A., Washington, D.C., I am enabled to publish their official map of the Valley and its surroundings.

To the Pacific Press Publishing House, Oakland, California, I desire to acknowledge my many obligations for the uniform and untiring urbanity and kindly services of every officer and employé. The workmanship of its multifarious departments will speak for itself in this volume.

It will readily be seen that in addition to the many finely executed wood engravings that were expressly prepared for this book, I have pressed into service the new and beautiful process of photo-lithography for its more complete embellishment.

For the convenience of those who may be desirous of making hurried consultations of portions of this work, sub-headings will be found running through its various chapters

Having done the very best that I would, I now leave the success of my endeavor in the hands of my friends and the public.

J. M. H.


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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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