The Donner Party
Springfield, Illinois (April 1846) Eight families, a total of 32 persons, started their journey to find a new life beyond the Rockies. The journey was organized by a businessman, James Reed. His hope was to become wealthier as well as wanting his wife, Margaret, to live a less painful life. He was told the higher elevations would improve her headaches. Mr. Reed decided to appoint George & Jacob Donner, two brothers, as the leaders of the wagon train.
Fort Bridger (July 1846) Along their journey and stop at Fort Bridger the Donner party had added onto their wagon train. By the time they came to the fort the entire party going West together added up to be around 87 people. In the spring of 1846, a group of nearly 90 emigrants left Springfield, Illinois, and headed west. Led by brothers Jacob and George Donner, the group attempted
Sierra Mountains (December 1846) December 11th fifteen people were determined to go to Sutter's Fort to find help, while only seven survived. Days later the Donner parties food suply had ran out, including all of their cattle. Due to several days of no food and many difficulties many people died (Antonio, Patrick Dolan, Franklin Graves, and Lemuel Murphy). With everyone else being desperate and helpless, they began to eat the dead, cannibalism.
Independence, Missouri (May 11,1846) The wagon train re-stocked, then headed west once again the following day, during a thunderstorm. A week later larger wagon trains began to join the Donner Party on their journey west.
The Horrid Decision James Reed had first heard of a route that took 300 miles off of the journey to California. After losing many days of the journey, Reed had decided to take this "shortcut" Lansford Hastings wrote about. It turns out this does not take any time off of their long way west, and only adds on more time. Passes were blocked with sic feet of snow, and axle was broken, and a wagon even feel behind (22 people).
Saved at last (Late February 1847) Four Rescue parties were sent to save the Donner Party. In the end, 48/87 people had survived and were lead saftely into California.
Saved at Last (Late February 1847) The seven people (Five women & two man) who survived the journey to Sutter's Fort had told everyone of the current events conscerning the Donner Party. Four rescue teams were sent to rescue the remaining survivors. All together 48/87 people had survived the horrid journey, and were lead safely into California.

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