Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916)
Remarkable images that inspired Abraham Lincoln to ensure Yosemite was protected in perpetuity by law, paving the way for national Park legislation
Carleton's main focus was on landscape photos, and Yosemite was a favorite subject of his. His photos of the valley inspired Abraham Lincoln to change the course of environmental history significantly influencing the United States Congress' United decision to preserve it as a National Park. Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act on June 30th 1864 establishing Yosemite Valle and Mariposa Grove as protected wilderness areas.