Donner Party

Topics: Donner Party, Truckee, California, Tragedy Pages: 2 (607 words) Published: February 28, 2013
The Donner Party is a tragic story about eighty-seven people going on a journey leaving only forty-six surviving. The main originator of this group was a man named James Reed. Reed had recently read the book The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California by Landsford W. Hastings who proposed a new shortcut across the Great Basin. This route appealed to travelers because it would save them 350-400 miles on a terrain. However, Reed did not know that the Hastings Route had never been tested. The information given was false that would lead the Donner Party to doom. Reed quickly found others that were willing to try the new short cut which where the Donner Family, Graves, Breens, Murphys, Eddys, McCutcheons, Kesebergs, and the Wolfingers, seven teamsters, and a number of bachelors. Most people’s goal for the trip was fortune and adventure.

There was a lack of preparations for this trip. They seemed more focused on comfort then they where for their necessities. For example, Reed’s wagon was a fancy two-story wagon with a built-in iron stove, spring-cushioned seats and bunks for sleeping. Reed’s 12 year old daughter Virginia named it "The Pioneer Palace Car.” Instead of Reed focusing on extra food and medicine he put his focus on comfort items.

The tragedies of the Donner Party are extensive. Eliza P. Donner had many devastating quotes on how tragic the Donner Party was to her as a child. For example, she made a very sorrowful remark on her Father‘s death during the Donner Party, “I have been sad, oh!… It is still hard for me to realize he is dead. How generous, noble, and good he was…” She also made a very depressing statement on how hard her childhood was during that time, “And I, a child then, scarcely four years of age, was too young to do more than watch and suffer with other children the lesser privations of our snow-beleaguered camp; and with them survive, because the fathers and mothers hungered in order that the children might live.”

They made many...
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