The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate (Google eBook)
Eliza Houghton (b. 1843) was the youngest child of George Donner, one of two Springfield, Illinois, brothers who organized the ill-fated California-bound emigrant party that bore their name. Eliza and her older sisters were rescued by relief parties that made their way to the stranded travellers at Donner Lake, but their parents perished, and the girls were left to make their way alone in the West. The expedition of the Donner party and its tragic fate (1911) begins with Mrs. Houghton's account of her childhood and the family's tragic overland journey, and rescue. She continues with her life as an orphan, first at Fort Sutter, and then with a family in Sonoma and with her older half-sister in Sacramento. She describes the impact of the gold rush and new immigration on the area, farm work and domestic work, and her own education in public schools and St. Catherine's Convent in Benicia. She writes at length of the emotional scars caused by contemporary rumors of cannibalism among the Donner Party and offers full accounts of Donner family history as well as the background of her husband, Samuel Houghton. An appendix contains several documentary sources for the history of the Donner Party.
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Review: The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic FateUser Review - Scrumhalf - Goodreads
Decent but not what I expected. Read full review
Review: The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic FateUser Review - Kashmir White - Goodreads
What a grim and harrowing ordeal the Donner party and their companions went through. In spite of that, I really enjoyed this memoir from one of the surviving Donner children. The writing itself is ... Read full review