When did the Donners and Reeds leave Springfield? This most basic of questions has had historians scratching their heads for decades. Members of the Reed familywhen they give an exact date, consistently state that the Donners and Reeds left Springfield on April 14,
Of the 81 pioneers who were trapped in the Sierra during the winter ofnearly half had died of cold and starvation. The rest had made it to central California. The riveting story remains popular today because it chronicles how humans cope with severe hardship and seemingly insurmountable odds.
Gold Rush Storms The Donner tragedy was not lost on California's civilian population or on its government. Three years after the Donner survivors were rescued, early winter storms once again battered the Sierra. They came in October and Novemberthe first year of the gold rush. California's military governor, Major General Persifer F.
In earlya new map of the California Trail was published. Instructions on the map warned: Those who expect to cross in safety must reach the Truckee Donner Pass by October 1st.
If you arrive late and encounter snow, do not attempt to cross the mountain, but scatter into small parties and retreat to the Truckee Meadows Reno. Stay there and cross at the Truckee Pass when the snow is gone in the spring.
For example, women survived better than the men. Family groups and children also faired better than singles and older people. What Happened to the Survivors? Most of the Donner party who lived through the ordeal enjoyed long and productive lives. Teenager Mary Murphy had lost her mother and five other family members, but within one month of reaching Johnson's Ranch, she married William Johnson, co-owner of the ranch.
She later divorced Johnson and married Charles Covillaud, who named the city of Marysville, California, for her. The Breen family survived intact and settled in San Juan Bautista, where they operated an inn.
Patrick Breen became a rancher, school trustee, postmaster, and Monterey County supervisor. William Eddy, who lost his wife, two children, and all of his material possessions, settled in Gilroy, CA where he married and had three children.
He has relatives living at Lake Tahoe today. Franklin and Elizabeth Graves died in the mountains, but six of their eight children survived.
They married and had children of their own. Because the killing of American Indians was not a crime at that time, William was never tried for the deaths of Luis and Salvador.
The two Donner families suffered greatly; all four of the parents perished. The surviving children reached Sutter's Fort as orphans, but they all found good homes.
Like the Breens, all of the Reed family members escaped the disaster alive.10 Things You Should Know About the Donner Party. Explore 10 key facts about one of the most gruesome episodes from the era of westward expansion. Author: Evan Andrews. Trapped, the party built crude tents and tepees, covered with clothing, blankets, and animal hides.
To survive, the Donner party was forced to eat mice, their rugs, and even their shoes. In the end, surviving members of the party escaped starvation only by eating the flesh of those who died. Donner Party Tracker: Aftermath - & One hundred and sixty-plus years ago in April, the saga of the Donner Party was over.
Of the 81 pioneers who were trapped in the Sierra during the winter of , nearly half had died of cold and starvation. Jun 17, · The story of the Donner Party is a HUMAN story of people who suffered greatly and tried mightily to survive.
A story of people for whom the American dream--heading west for a better life- . scrapbooks refer to the Donner Party tragedy and the many efforts to reconstruct its details and commemorate the event, as well as biographical information on some of the victims, survivors, members of the rescue parties, and their descendants, and the.
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