Also around 1855, a homesteader in southern Yosemite, came across the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The homesteader, Galen Clark, was so impressed with the trees, that he would start a fight to preserve them from logging. Soon after, that fight would include preserving Yosemite Valley. After gathering support from photographer Carlton Watkins, and U.S. Senator John Conness, the Yosemite Grant was drafted and submitted to Congress. In 1864, during the heat of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant that protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as the first territory ever set aside by Congress for public use and preservation (although in its initial years it was a California State Park).