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Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties (1868) by John S. Hittell

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EMINENT VISITORS.

Among the visitors to the valley have been a number of eminent men, but no list of them has been kept. In August, 1859, Horace Greeley made the trip, riding through from Bear Valley at one beat, a distance of fifty-seven miles. He did not reach the cabin opposite the great cataract till one o’clock in the morning. After breakfast, he rode up to Mirror Lake, rode back to the cabin, took dinner, and at two o’clock started back. He has never been accused of lounging about Yosemite. In August, 1865, a party, including Schuyler Colfax, Samuel Bowles, A. D. Richardson, F. L. Olmstead, W. D. Bross, and William Ashburner, entered the valley, and spent four days there. Thomas Starr King was in the valley in the latter part of July, 1860. F. C. Ewer, who wrote the first long description of the scenery, in 1859; J. D. Whitney and W. H. Brewer, members of the State Geological Survey, and the former, for a time, one of the Commissioners, Fitzhugh Ludlow, Dr. Bellows, Dr. E. S. Torrey, and Gen. McDowell have also been at Yosemite.

The most noted artists who have visited the Yosemite, have been Albert Bierstadt, Virgil Williams, E. W. Perry, Thomas, Hill, and F. A. Butman, and each took sketches, from which he has since painted pictures that have been sold in San Francisco or New York. The largest and best Yosemite pictures in California are those in the dining-room of the Lick House by Thomas Hill. Bierstadt’s paintings of the valley were all finished in the Eastern States or Europe, and none of them has reached the Pacific Coast. The first pictures of Yosemite were painted by Thomas Ayres, who was there in 1855, but these have since been eclipsed by others.


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