Story: National parks

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

New Zealand politician William Fox painted this view of the Cap of Liberty in Yosemite Valley when he visited California, possibly in 1875. US president Abraham Lincoln had set the valley aside in public trust in 1864, because of its scenic beauty. It was the first time land had been protected simply for public enjoyment. This idea led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park – the world’s first – in 1872, in the north-west of America. The example of the United States influenced some prominent New Zealanders like Fox to support the establishment of national parks in the 19th century.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: WC-222
Watercolour by William Fox

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'National parks - National parks – the beginnings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/14419/yosemite-valley (accessed 24 September 2019)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Aug 2015