In 1846, Thomas Larkin, American council general to the Mexican government in California, purchased a Mexican land grant, Las Mariposas, for Col. John C. Fremont. The grant consisted of 10 square leagues of grazing land located near the Merced River and west of the Sierra. In 1848, when California became the possession of the United States, the treaty called for the recognition of preexisting grants. Gold was discovered in the foothills of the Sierra that same year. Fremont floated his questionable Mexican grant into the gold discovery region. With the formation of the State of California in 1850, one of the original counties was named Mariposa, Spanish for "butterflies." Located within the county was the Fremont grant and much of the yet undiscovered Yosemite region of the Sierra. Encounters with Native Americans near the mining camps lead to the formation of the Mariposa Battalion, and a search for the natives led to the American discovery of Yosemite Valley. Thus, it was custodians and photographers such as Charles Leander Weed, Carlton E Watkins, J.J. Riley, George Fiske, Ansel Adams, and many others that interpreted and introduced Yosemite to the world.
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About the Author
In this volume, historian and photographer Leroy Radanovich presents the legendary locals and their stories that crafted the rich history of Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Gathering of Legends 9
Chapter 2 A Legendary Bandit and the Evolution of Mining 27
Chapter 3 Legends Following the Gold Rush 55
Chapter 4 A Few Legends of Impact 69
Chapter 5 The Legendary Educators 95
Chapter 6 Further Legends of Mariposa County 105
Chapter 7 Legends of Character in Mariposa County 113