Charles Leander Weed

Photographer, Visual Artist

1824 – 1904

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Who was Charles Leander Weed?

Charles Leander Weed was an American photographer, who was born in New York state in 1824, and died in 1903. He is perhaps best known for being one of the earliest photographers, if not the first photographer, to enter and photograph what is now Yosemite National Park.

In 1854, during the California Gold Rush, Weed moved to Sacramento, California, and was a camera operator in the daguerreotype portrait studio of George J. Watson. In 1855, Weed adopted the wet collodion technique, and his photographs of Gold Rush miners and settlement were much admired.

Entrepreneur James Hutchings and others ventured into the area of what is now known as Yosemite Valley in 1855, becoming the Valley's first tourists. After returning to Mariposa Hutchings wrote an article about his experience which appeared in the August 9, 1855 issue of the Mariposa Gazette and was later published in various forms nationally.

Hutchings brought Weed to the Valley in the summer of 1859. Weed took the first known photographs of the Valley's features, and a September exhibition in San Francisco presented them to the public.

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Born
1824
United States of America
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Died
1904

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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