- On March 25th, 1851 the Mariposa Battalion under James Savage became the first non-Indians to enter Yosemite Valley. Dr. Lafayette Bunnell kept a record of their meetings with Chief Tenaya’s Ahwahneechees as well as many descriptions of the scenery. Bunnell and the Mariposa Battalion recorded the name of the Valley as “Yosemite.”
- In 1853, Chief Tenaya of the Ahwahneechee died along with five other Yosemite Indians in a skirmish with Mono Lake Paiutes.
- In 1855, James Mason Hutchings led the first tourist party into the Yosemite area. In this year, a total of 42 tourists visited Yosemite. One of these visitors, artist Thomas Ayres, published the first sketches of Yosemite Valley. The first published description of the Yosemite Valley appeared in Hutching’s “Mariposa Gazette.”
- In 1857, Galen Clark explored and publicized the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Image credit: Captain Boling and the Mariposa Battalion entering Yosemite Valley. Painting by Henry Shlefeld (from “Diaries of Robert Ecchleston”)