Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Whats the Donner Party?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    they were pioneers who froze to death in the rocky mountains in Colorado. Alfred Packer is the only person to be convicted of cannibalism in Colorado.

    Source(s): Alfred Packer Grill at CU. classy huh?
  • 1 decade ago

    Several things.

    First and foremost, the Donner Party was a group of settlers heading for California who ended up trapped in the Sierra Nevadas by a severe snowstorm at a time when their supplies were low and some of the survivors resulted to eating the flesh of the dead to stay alive.

    Second, the Donner Party is a '92 PBS documentary by the brother of Ken Burns. As the title of the documentary would suggest, it was all about the Donner Party (see above).

    Third, the Donner Party is a song by Alkaline Trio on their Good Morning album. "Donner Party (All Night)" is the tenth track.

    Fourth, the Donner Party is the seventh track on Thanks for the Ether by Rasputina. It's a monologue.

    Fifth, the Donner Party is the name of an '80s folk band from California.

  • sunny
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The Donner Party was a group of pioneers who were traveling across the U.S. with wagons and oxen. They left the east a little bit late in the year and found themselves trapped in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area if the Sierra Madre mountains for an entire winter. They suffered terribly and many perished. The small number of survivors made their way to California in the spring did so because they ate the bodies of those family members and friends who had died. There are several books on the story. It is a fascinating and touching tale.

  • 1 decade ago

    "The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the "westering fever" of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode."

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  • 1 decade ago

    the donner party was a group of wagons that was planning to go to the west. but the took a shortcut instead of taking the original route and that was the wrong decision because the shortcut was covered of snow. but the snow kept falling and the got lost in the forest. the donner party and other people that followed the party was hungry and cold. some of the party had to eat the people that were died in order to survive. out of the hundreds of people in the party only about 6-10 made it to california.

    Source(s): history books and i did a report on the subject and got an A+ on it
  • 1 decade ago

    The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the "westering fever" of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode.

    The nucleus of the party consisted of the families of George Donner, his brother Jacob, and James F. Reed of Springfield, Illinois, plus their hired hands, about 33 people in all. They set out for California in mid-April 1846, arrived at Independence, Missouri, on May 10, 1846, and left two days later.

    On May 19 the Donners and Reeds joined a large wagon train captained by William H. Russell. Most of those who became members of the Donner Party were also in this group. For the next two months the travelers followed the California Trail until they reached the Little Sandy River, in what is now Wyoming, where they camped alongside several other overland parties. There, those emigrants who had decided to take a new route ("Hastings Cutoff", named after its promoter, Lansford Hastings), formed a new wagon train. They elected George Donner their captain, creating the Donner Party, on July 19. [1]

    The Donner Party continued westward to Fort Bridger, where Hastings Cutoff began, and set out on the new route on August 31. They endured great hardships while crossing the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake Desert and finally rejoined the California Trail, near modern Elko, Nevada, on September 26. The "shortcut" had taken them three weeks longer than the customary route. They met further setbacks and delays while traveling along Nevada's Humboldt River.[1]

    When they reached the Sierra Nevada at the end of October, a snowstorm blocked the pass. Demoralized and low on supplies, about two thirds of the emigrants camped at a lake (now called Donner Lake), while the Donner families and a few others camped about six miles (ten kilometers) away, at Alder Creek.[1]

    The emigrants slaughtered their oxen, but there was not enough meat to feed so many for long. In mid-December, fifteen of the trapped emigrants, later known as the Forlorn Hope, set out on snowshoes for Sutter's Fort, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, to seek help. When one man gave out and had to be left behind, the others continued, but soon became lost and ran out of food. Caught without shelter in a raging blizzard, four of the party died. The survivors resorted to cannibalism, then continued on their journey; three more died and were also cannibalized. Close to death, the seven surviving snowshoers finally reached safety on the western side of the mountains on January 18, 1847.[1]

    Donner Pass in the 1870s.Californians rallied to save the Donner Party and equipped a total of four rescue parties, or "reliefs." When the First Relief arrived, 14 emigrants had died at the camps and the rest were extremely weak. Most had been surviving on boiled ox hide, but there had been no cannibalism. The First Relief set out with 21 refugees on February 22.

    When the Second Relief arrived a week later, they found that some of the 31 emigrants left behind at the camps had begun to eat the dead. The Second Relief took 17 emigrants with them, the Third Relief four. By the time the Fourth Relief had reached the camp, only one man was alive. The last member of the Donner Party arrived at Sutter's Fort on April 29.[1]

    Of the original 87 pioneers, 39 died and 48 survived.[2]

    Donner Memorial State Park, near the eastern shore of Donner Lake, commemorates the disaster; the area where the Donner families camped at Alder Creek has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Donner party was a group of folks who set out on the Oregon Trail(I think). They got stranded and ended up eating some of their dead. I think there is some controversy regarding this but I can't remember what.

  • KJC
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    the Donner Party is famous because they got caught in a blizzard in the Donner Pass (in California) and they ended up eating each other.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Are you starved for knowledge? I was at their party. There was plenty to drink but nothing to eat. We later went to Denny's and put down our name on a list. Donner Party of 40, and are we ever hungry. They were an unfortunate group of pioneers who got trapped in the Sierra Nevadas in 1847, I think. It was a heavier than usual snow pack. It was late fall and they couldn't get out until spring. They ran out of food. They ate pine needles, leather, tree bark and even the tar of the roof of a cabin. They may even have eaten one or two of their own party. "We are going to miss Fred, but he sure tasted better than pine cones." It was pretty grim. A few men left the group to go down the mountains to search for help. Many starved. They started their trek up the mountains too late and got hit by a blizzard that pinned them down for the winter.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe those are a group of people who were traveling on the Oregon Trail. Someone told them that there was a quicker route to California (this was during the Gold Rush) if they traveled on this trail that went through Utah. They ended up falling way behind because the trail was very rugged. They didn't make it over the mountains before winter hit and they were stuck. They began to starve and they eventually resorted to cannibalism.

    Source(s): Learned about it in history class.
  • 1 decade ago

    a group of settlers traveling about 100 years ago to California. They went through the mountain and got trapped and eventually they resulted to cannibalism for survival.

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