Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Donner Party and cannibalism

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1847 The first rescue party reached the Donner Party.

On April 15 [qv], 1846, the families of James F Reed and George and Jacob Donner, 31 people in nine wagons, left Springfield, Illinois, USA. It was the commencement of the Donner Party, the most famous group of American emigrants ever to attempt the cross-country wagon journey to California. Almost ninety wagon train emigrants were unable to cross the Sierra Nevada before winter, and almost one-half starved to death.

However, it was noted that some of the survivors seemed to be remarkably well fed, considering their ordeal. In 2003 near the modern city of Truckee, California by Lake Tahoe, near Alder Creek, archaeologists found a campfire pit and solid evidence that cannibalism took place.

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Anonymous Julie said...

I assume you do know that the allegations of cannibalism date back to the event itself. One man, Louis Keseberg (if I've spelled it right) was actually tried for cannibalism.

The story of the rescue is fictionalized nicely in "River of Red Gold," by Naida West.

12:41 PM  

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