Part of the Trunk of the Grizzly Giant
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Carleton E. Watkins
American, Mariposa, California, negative 1861; print about 1866
Albumen print
15 7/8 x 20 13/16 in.

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Carleton Watkins's guide into Yosemite Valley, Galen Clark, stands at the thirty-three foot wide base of a sequoia tree known as "the grizzly giant," legitimizing the larger-than-life tales of the western wilderness. The sequoia's fallen branches at Clark's feet are so large they are the size of ordinary trees. After Abraham Lincoln ceded the area to California in 1864, Clark was officially appointed the Guardian of Yosemite. As its caretaker, he received an annual salary of five hundred dollars.