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Lafayette Bunnell
Born Lafayette Houghton Bunnell
Rochester, New York, USA
Died 1903
Nationality United States

Lafayette Houghton Bunnell (1824–1903) was an American physician, explorer, 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 Ahwahnees was from Bunnell's written accounts. Bunnell was the first person who encountered Chief Tenaya who subsequently wrote a book.[1]

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.[2]



  1. Cossley-Batt, Jill (1928). The Last of the California Rangers (First ed.). New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. ISBN 1600551. 
  2. Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). "B - Bunnel Point". Place Names of the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club. OCLC 2871447. 

External links[]

  • Hank Johnston, Yosemite Yesterdays v. 2 chapter 1 has a biography of Dr. Bunnell


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