It’s difficult not think about Lincoln when you compare the Republican Party of today and its founding principles. Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves and willingness to fight to keep the nation together were the stuff of statesmanship — not pandering. It signified that he believed there was a role for government in upholding values. His decision to sign Conness’ Yosemite grant legislation on June 30, 1864, followed the same principles. He cited the land grant for setting aside Yosemite "for public use, resort and recreation, [to be] held inalienable for all time."