Lafayette Houghton Bunnell (1824 - 1903)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Lafayette Houghton Bunnell

Lafayette Houghton Bunnell (1824–1903) was an American physician, author, and an explorer of Yosemite Valley, born in Rochester, New York.


In 1851, Bunnell was a member of the Mariposa Battalion that became the non-indigenous discoverers of the Yosemite Valley. Discovery was not the main purpose of the trip: the Battalion rode out in search of Native American tribal leaders involved in recent raids on American settlements. Bunnell explored the Valley and named many of its features. Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian war of 1851 (1880) contains his account of his exploration and the actions of the Battalion. The majority of what is known about Chief Tenaya and the Ahwahnechee was from Bunnell's written accounts. Bunnell was the first person who encountered Chief Tenaya who subsequently wrote a book.

Bunnell later served as a surgeon in the American Civil War.

Bunnell Point at the east end of Little Yosemite Valley is named in his honour.


Bunnell, Lafayette Houghton (2003) [1880]. Discovery of the Yosemite and the Indian War of 1851 Which Led to That Event. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, National Digital Library Program. OCLC 51675913. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
Bunnell, Lafayette Houghton. Winona (We-No-Nah) and Its Environs on the Mississippi in Ancient and Modern Days. Winona, Minn: Jones & Kroeger, printers and publishers, 1897.
Bunnell, Lafayette Houghton. The Date of the Discovery of the Yosemite. New York: Century Co, 1890.

Lafayette Bunnell's Timeline

Age 79