Click our logo for the Sierra Club homepage.
Printer-friendly version Share:  Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page by emailShare this page with other services

Joseph Nisbet LeConte

Joseph Nisbet LeConte (known as "Little Joe") was the son of Professor Joseph LeConte, the University of California geology professor who had confirmed John Muir's glacial theory of the origin of Yosemite Valley.

"Little Joe" LeConte served the Club for fifty years, beginning as a director of the Sierra Club from from 1898 to 1940. He was the Club's second President, serving after John Muir and before William E. Colby, for the years 1915 - 1917.

He served for many years in various other capacities of the Club, including vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and chair of the Outings Committee. In 1931, he was made an honorary president, which he remained until his death in 1950.

Joseph N. LeConte, loved Yosemite, not just the Valley itself, but the whole extent of it. His photographs of Hetch Hetchy Valley before the dam remain an inspiration.

Joseph N. LeConte made many mountaineering trips in the Sierra beginning in 1887. He made a series of triangulations of major peaks from Mt. Ritter to Mt. Whitney to facilitate accurate map-making. He recounted numerous Sierra Club outings in the Sierra Club Bulletin, both in writing and in some of the finest early photographs available.

"Little Joe" was a professor of mechanical and hydraulic engineering.at the University of California, Berkeley.

See examples of LeConte's photographs, or his 1896 Sierra map.

Photo courtesy Sierra Club Archives/Colby Library. All rights reserved.


Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2017 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.