Donner, Party of 31…

The Donner Party is a large part of our collective American West mythology.  In 1846, they set out for California, but through bad luck and bad planning were caught in the Sierra Nevadas as winter storms blanketed the mountains. This in itself is an interesting story, but add in the cannibalism of some of the survivors and you have a horror story that still resonates.

Read more about the Donner Party here:



The Archaeology of the Donner Party by Donald L. Hardesty

The Donner Party Chronicles: A Day-by-Day Account of  Doomed Wagon Train, 1846-1847 by Frank Mullen

The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate by Eliza Poor Donner Houghton

The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride by Daniel Brown

Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party by George Rippey Stewart

Unfortunate Emigrants: Narratives of the Donner Party edited by Kristin Johnson


The American River by Gary McCarthy

The Mothers: An American Saga of Courage by Vardis Fisher

Snow Mountain Passage: A Novel of the Donner Party by James D. Houston



The Donner Party

The Donner Party (Nova ScienceNow)

The Donner Party (Wikipedia)

Living Through the Donner Party (Discover article by Jared Diamond)

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