William H. Russell

Donner Party

Part 1: The Picnic

The Donner Party was a group of families that set off overland for California in ox-drawn covered wagons in 1846. They planned a two-thousand-mile, five-month walk across the continent to new opportunities, but were trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains by the terrible winter of 1846-47.
About half died, and some of the survivors resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Their story has become a tragic icon of the American West.

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