The year is 1846, and 12yearold virginia and her family are traveling with the donner party to california, but they are lost and running low on supplies. The name of the donner party has come to symbolize the struggle of all. In july of that year, following the advice of a guide book written by a persuasive promoter named lansford w. I dont have anything else to compare it to, because it is the first book ive ever read about the donner party, but i thought it was a well written pageturner. Nov 01, 2017 stay alive to survive and win the donner dinner party. Feb 01, 2004 the expedition of the donner party and its tragic fate by houghton.
Of the 89 emigrants who set out with the donner party en route to california, only 45 survived. Setting the record straight on the donner party whats. Donner party reed family 1 of 2 info file 2 donner party reed family 2 of 2 info file 2 donner party requests from public and media info file 2 donner party 2 of 2 info file 2 donner party breen cabin site info file 2 donner party, 1 of 2 info file 2 donner state historic park info file 2. This is a story of my own writing, written based off of the donner party. The donner party was a group of californiabound american settlers caught up in the western expansion of the 1840s.
Louis, the donner party followed the california trail until they reached little sandy river, in what is now wyoming, where they camped alongside other groups of travelers. Scott enjoys reading and writing poetry and stories. The donner party was a group of american pioneers who migrated to california in a wagon. The donner party spurned the advice of a mountain man they met, who. A novel of the donner party stanford general books. The donner and reed families had fractured from the main wagon train because of the hastings cutoff decision, and the now socalled donner party faced starvation. Researchers guide to sutters forts collections of donner. Video, the weather channel, usa news, family travel, world, school, videos, winter. Donner party, writing a book, california, beef, history, artwork, folklore, creepy, faces. Trusting an overly optimistic guidebook, the donner party sets out for the promised land in may of 1846unaware that theyre following only rumorfueled speculations.
See more ideas about donner party, party, california trail. In 1846 eightyseven peoplemen, women, and childrenset out for california, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. They were behind schedule and had lost many supplies and animals during unanticipated hardships theyd suffered traveling along the humboldt river during their detour, and in. The californiabound families were mostly from illinois and iowa, and most prominent among them were the two donner families and the reed family. One week later, the donner party rolled into fort bridger, two log cabins and a corral run as a trading post by a celebrated mountain man named jim bridger. Because im in california, information about the donners counts as local history, but i dont think poetry about the donners actually fits in this category. There was just enough extraneous historical detail to give some context to the story i especially enjoyed reading about birth control in the 1840s, and the parts about the disaster. Wallis, who has written books about route 66 and the famed outlaw billy the kid, will give a presentation and sign books at the wyndham springfield city center, 700 e. It took two months and four relief parties to rescue the entire surviving donner party. It was widely circulated that members of the party resorted to cannibalism after their food ran out, giving the party its lasting notoriety. Based on the real events of the donner party tragedy.
The harrowing saga of the donner party kindle edition by brown, daniel james. Fiftynine people in the vanguard were forced to take refuge near truckee lake now donner lake, while the rest of the party, consisting of 22, was snowbound in a meadow six miles back. Fresh look at manifest destiny and horrific fate of donner party. The story of the illfated donner partys trek across the country is the reverse image of lewis and clarks. Pioneers versus cannibals in this strategic party game. Donner party artifacts truckee, california atlas obscura. Jul 07, 2017 fiftynine people in the vanguard were forced to take refuge near truckee lake now donner lake, while the rest of the party, consisting of 22, was snowbound in a meadow six miles back. A novel of the donner party stanford general books reprint by richard rhodes isbn. Eliza houghton was the daughter of george and tamsen donner. The author conveys much of the experience through the eyes of survivor. The story of the donner party, the illfated wagon train that faced horrific circumstances on its way to california, is the subject of books, videos, and, now, web sites.
This work is entirely fictional, although it is kept as historically accurate as possible. The donner party was a wagon train of about 80 pioneers who set out for california from independence, missouri, in 1846. I own and have read a whole lot of donner party books. Calabros operation grizzly bear gripping account of the donner. Delayed by a series of mishaps, they spent the winter of 18461847 snowbound in the sierra nevada mountain range. The expedition of the donner party and its tragic fate full. Fellow pioneer jesse quinn thornton traveled part of the way with donner and reed, and in his book from oregon and california in. In terms of sheer tragedy, few incidents in the history of the west surpass the story of the group of 89 emigrants who headed their wagons westward in the summer of 1846 lamar, 316. When an october snowstorm hit, the party was just 100 miles from their destination. The donner party had a few more disadvantages that other parties, much of the party was composed of farmers and a high proportion of women, elderly and children ficklin. In the donner party tragedy, twothirds of the men in the party perished, while twothirds of the women and children lived.
Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the donner party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode. Jun 17, 2010 burton is a writer closing in on 70 whose near lifelong obsession with tamsen donner the wife of the leader of the notorious donner party has produced two recent books. Welvaert lives in chaska, minnesota, with his wife and two daughters. What is the best book youve read about the donner party. No work of fiction has rendered this remarkable epic of ordeal with more vividness and power than richard rhodess novel of the donner party, the ungodly.
For years ive waited for a book that delivers an indepth information on a 19 th century tragedy so great, its memory still dominates californias pregold rush era history that event was the winter stranding of the reed donner party high in the sierra nevada, the year before gold was discovered by millwright james marshall on the south fork of the american river in columa, ca. Mcglashan was the newspaper publisher of the local paper in truckee, california, the closest town to the donner pass. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading the indifferent stars above. Donner party by tod olson scholastic books for kids. History of the donner party, a tragedy of the sierra, by c. It was the first serious attempt to consult authorative sources, weigh evidence, collect detached episodes into an organized whole, and extend the story of the donner party from a sensational incident to an important chapter in california history.
Using a letter reed wrote to her cousin reprinted in its entirety at the books. An evenhanded, briskly written history of the party, destined to become the standard account of this horrid chapter of. First edition of this account of the donner party tragedy, written by one of the survivors. Calabros offering is a fine addition to the donner party canon and particularly well suited to its young audience, for whom the story of hardship and survival will be nothing. Hoping to make the sacramento valley by autumn, they fell behind schedule after taking an untried shortcut through the great salt lake desert.
Written like a novel, but based purely on fact, this book is compelling reading for anyone interested in the part of american history dealing with overland migration and the challenges it brings. Watch the donner party american experience official site pbs. There have been many books, stories, and videos about the donner party. List of books and articles about donner party online. The tragedy of the donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the american west. They had been delayed by rain and a rising river, but tamsen donner wrote to a friend in. The group was named for the expeditions captain, george donner. The expedition of the donner party and its tragic fate by. The donner party in the age of manifest destiny by michael wallis isbn.
Originally published in 1880, mcglashans history of the donner party remains in steady demand as an authoritative account of the tragic episode. The best land under heaven is incredibly i picked it up in a bookstore in truckee in part because it was the staff pickif youre looking for a book on the donner party, the locals in an indie bookstore ought to know the contendersand because of those two, selfproclaimed selling points. Donner party, group of american pioneers stranded en route to california in 1846. Previous parties where led by experienced mountain men, whereas the donner party was, because of their decision to travel by hastings cutoff, to be led by a man that had. Most recently, he has written about helen keller, the donner party, and thomas edison. Donner party, group of emigrants to california who in the winter of 184647 met with one of the most famous tragedies in western history. Discover donner party artifacts in truckee, california. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read the donner party. History of the donner party first edition bauman rare books. The great hinckley firestorm of 1894 2006 and the indifferent stars above. A cautionary tale at the time, it becomes in michael walliss thorough and.
Five members of the party, now living, claim to have been eyewitnesses. These people were forced to save themselves by doing the unthinkable. The prosperous donner brothers and their friend, confident in their preparations, are leading their numerous children and grandchildren on a treacherous 2,500mile trek to california. The perilous journey of the donner party 0046442866101. The donner party sometimes called the donnerreed party was a group of american pioneers who migrated to california in a wagon train from the midwest. His book was by far the most informed account of its time of the donner party.
The story of the donner party is integral to that part of the countrys past. Ethan rarick has written a good book, worthy of reading even if you have read other donner party books or seen donner party videos. There are better poetry books and better books about the donners. Drawing from the classic american horror legends of the donner party, alferd packer, and the wendigo, the ted griffinpenned film has a whole lot of morbid fun with the idea that certain transgressions in this case, cannibalism might make us subhuman as well as superhuman. Download it once and read it on your kindle device, pc, phones or tablets. Over an 18 month period, mcglashan published serialized articles in his paper and turned his articles into a book. Since then he has earned a ba in english from the university of california at berkeley and an ma in english from ucla. First edition of mcglashans definitive treatise on the tragedy of the donner party zamorano 80, very scarce in original cloth.
The tragic story of the donner party legends of america. Over the years the donner story has been told by many different people in many different ways, but much of what has been written about the donner party is fiction. Keseberg was the last member of the donner party to arrive at sutters fort on april 29th. Jun 27, 2017 author wants to stop sensationalizing the donner party in the best land under heaven, michael wallis chronicles the saga of a band of pioneers who resorted to cannibalism after getting stranded en. The saga of the donner party is one of the most horrific and fascinating events in the history of the american west.
Some of the migrants resorted to cannibalism to survive, eating the bodies of those who had succumbed to starvation and sickness. Watch the donner party american experience official. The donner party was a group of 89 emigrants from illinois who purportedly turned to cannibalism to survive after getting trapped by snowfall while on a westward journey in 1846. The donner party is a 1992 documentary film that traces the history of the donner party, an illfated pioneer group that trekked from springfield, illinois to sutters fort, california a disastrous journey of 2500 miles made famous by the tales of cannibalism the survivors told upon reaching their destination.
Mcglashan interviewed the survivors of the donner party, gathered artifacts and amassed an enormous amount of secondary information. History of the donner party donner summit historical. Daniel james brown fell in love with the written word when he was five and his mother first read danny and the dinosaur to him. With crispin glover, clayne crawford, michele santopietro, mark boone junior.
Farnham html at loc california 46 to 88, by jacob wright harlan html at loc filed under. One author s interpretation has become the next generation s fact, and few have stopped to question commonly held beliefs. A new history of the donner party and the dark side of. He also enjoys playing video games and watching the star wars movies with his children. Bits and pieces from the illfated donner partys winter cabins. Desperate passage the donner party donner summit historical. The terror of the donner partyoriginal audiobook youtube.
The editors have added newly discovered information and photographs to their foreword, which is based on material in family documents and on the authors own recollections. The first part of the book accounts the tragic journey and rescue attempts. Compulsive readinga wonderful account, both scholarly and gripping, of a horrifying episode in the history of the west. The experiences of the donner party members as they attempted to reach california illustrate that people sometimes do incredible things in order to survive. Even before the last survivor was rescued from the snowy sierras, myths about the donner ordeal were created, and exaggerated. No other portion of the history of the donner party, as contributed by the survivors, has been so variously stated as this reedsnyder affair. The latest chronicler is michael wallis, the author of numerous books. New light on the donner party kristin johnson home page. On april 16, 1846, a group of 33 settlers, their goods, and animals began moving west by wagon train from springfield, illinois, to california. Tamsen and george donner, james reed and family, pat breen, ike buford and hannah price are just a few of the party that left springfield, ill. After becoming snowbound in the sierra nevada during the winter of 18461847, a number of the trapped settlers. Upon its initial printing in 1973, rhodess masterful tale was praised for its realistic and gripping depiction of the struggles faced by that illfated group of men, women, and children.477 1471 1100 983 1223 134 392 1150 977 957 1113 1569 151 899 196 1471 378 1541 222 969 251 1664 1411 67 1297 1547 216 680 312 1251 1403 574 681 1381 1130