Survivors Of The Donner Party Essay

1450 words - 6 pages

Abigail HallEDUC_717B11801406In the winter of 1846 to 1847 a small party of emigrants found themselves trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains, just a few days away from their destination of California. Of the 81 people who became stranded, only 45 survived. James Reed , Virginia Reed and Eliza Donner were among the survivors. Their stories of tragedy and survival would help the story of the Donner Party to live on.James Reed was born in Northern Ireland of Polish decent. When he was a child his widowed mother brought him the United States. As a young man he moved to Illinois. He served during the Black Hawk War under Abraham Lincoln, and later settled in Springfield, Illinois.When Reed decided to go west, he was in mid-forties. He and his wife Margaret, and their four children, intended to leave for California in the spring of 1846. Heading west was an unusual decision for James Reed. He ran a successful mill and furniture making business and was considered to be a man of means. The journey would be hard on his family, especially his wife Margaret, who suffered from "sick headaches", (Calabro 21) probably migraines, and yet he never doubted his decision to head west. He was adventurous and competitive and saw California as a place of opportunity. He had done well for himself and his family in Illinois, but knew he could do even better in California.James Reed had money and had no difficulty in spending it. Before trains existed or roads were paved, wagons were the way to go west. Reed made sure his wagon was the most luxurious for the time. He had a wagon specially built, that his daughter Virginia nicknamed the Pioneer Palace Car. Unlike other wagons, it had a door on the side, like a stagecoach, and a wood stove with a chimney that poled through the roof. There were built in beds and even a loft for the children. (Calabro 22) There were two additional wagons as well, to carry supplies, and men hired to drive them.James Reed's Palace Car was a way for him to flaunt his wealth. He liked being admired and envied which will manifest itself on the trail. When the train was impressed with some hunters shooting a buffalo, he made sure to go out and hunt one himself. He made sure to take note of the fact that he was hailed as the " the acknowledged hero of the day". (Rarick 26)As the Donner Party travelled on the situation got more and more desperate. The Reeds were forced to abandon the majority of their wagons and supplies as they crossed the desert and they lost most of their oxen. Emotions were stressed and tense and escalated into violence. On October 5, 1846 the Reeds' teamster tried to pass another teamster, John Snyder, and their oxen got entangled. They began cursing at each other and Snyder began beating the animals. James Reed came forward and Snyder threated to beat him too. After Snyder hit Reed with his whip, Reed stabbed him in the chest, killing him. As punishment, Reed was forced to leave the group.Although James Reed was forced to...

Find Another Essay On Survivors of the Donner Party

Reliability of Testimonies of the Holocaust Survivors: Elie Wiesel's Night and Binjamin Wilkomirski's 'Fragments'

3334 words - 13 pages generally perceived, was not a witness and his text exploits the literary form of survivor testimony and genuine memory. The role his memory plays in the text is completely detached from the events in the death camps.The role of the witness when applied to the Holocaust takes on a special significance, since it is only the survivors who can give a true account of the atrocities which took place. The vast majority of textual evidence relating to

Comparison of Federalist Party to the Whig Party.

1393 words - 6 pages AP US HistoryEvolution: Federalists to WhigsAmerica's early history is marked with drastic changes in political situations and public opinions, leading to the inception and termination of various political parties. These parties came and went, but at any single moment in time, America's government was controlled by one party, with a second vying for power. One such party was born out of the controversy over the adoption of the proposed Federal

The Rise of the Nazi Party

1068 words - 4 pages The Rise of the Nazi Party Hitler’s rise to power was the result of many factors, but Hitler’s ability to take advantage of Germany’s poor leadership and economical and political conditions was the most significant factor. His ability to manipulate the media and the German public whilst taking advantage of Germany’s poor leadership resulted in both the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler and the nazi party. During the

The Manifesto of the Communist Party

1603 words - 6 pages The Manifesto of the Communist Party Drafted in 1848 by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” outlines the views, tendencies, and aims of the communist party through the so-called philosophy of historical materialism (Distante). These views were expressed throughout four distinct sections of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” The first section describes the relationship between the bourgeois

The Success of the Nazi Party

1341 words - 5 pages The Success of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party's leadership encompassed many aspects. Not least of those was the use of fear and terror. Helping control the populace and ensuring they remained subdued was a key factor in Nazi success. However other factors were involved such as Hitler's economic policies and foreign policy. Hence, how important was the use of fear and terror to the Nazi Party's survival. Fear and

Origin Factors of the Tea Party Patriots

1591 words - 6 pages The Tea Party Patriots was one of the first SMOs to organize within the Tea Party movement, launching their website only weeks after the approximate beginning of the movement (Burchart 80). Due to this close timing, I will treat the causes of the Tea Party Patriots to be the same as those which galvanized the greater Tea Party movement. I will argue that grievance theory, identity theory, and resource mobilization theory best explain the origins

The Details of Planning a Party

613 words - 2 pages where you plan the party. You try to figure out how to throw the party, by doing this you have to first come up with an idea, reason, or a theme. After this is complete, the decision making for the rest of the party will be easier. First step to planning a party, is to decide on a date, time, and location. You will need to make sure that the date, time and location is convenient for the person, you are throwing the party for. You also need to

Current State of the Republican Party

1642 words - 7 pages It was a commonly held belief among the Republican party that Mitt Romney was almost a guaranteed win in the 2012 presidential election. This view wasn't necessarily because Romney followed Republican policy to a T but rather because of Obama's disastrous job with the economy in the previous four years. History was well in the minds of most Republicans in that particular matter since no president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt had ever won a

The 25 Points of Hitler's Nazi Party

1674 words - 7 pages The 25 Points of Hitler's Nazi Party We demand the union of all Germans in a Great Germany on the basis of the principle of self-determination of all peoples. We demand that the German people have rights equal to those of other nations; and that the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain shall be abrogated. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the maintenance of our people and the settlement of our

The Impact of a Third Party America´s Two Party Political System

1242 words - 5 pages The Impact of a Third Party America´s Two Party Political System      For hundreds of years, the two party system has dominated the American culture, but many people are confused by what a two party system actually means. Although a two party system is defined as two parties that are bigger than the rest, third parties have greatly impacted elections for over a hundred years. Minor parties still continuously voice their opinions in issues

Compare/Contrast of Political Parties: American Independent Party and the Populist Party

805 words - 3 pages and taxpayers by the energy/utility monopolies;-Defend Second Amendment rights;-Restore a debt free, interest free money system;-Uphold traditional marriage and family values;2)History of the Independents-California's American Independent Party has been a ballot qualified political party since 1968. The American Independent Party, which now has some 300,000 registered members in California, is affiliated at the national level with the Constitution

Similar Essays

The Survival Of The Donner Party

1682 words - 7 pages more died and were also cannibalized. Seven survivors of the Forlorn Hope reach safety at Johnson's Ranch. Of the eight dead, seven have been cannibalized. Rescue parties were sent out quickly. George and Jacob Donner both perished. Of the 87 members of the Donner Party, forty-one died.This tragedy was no stranger to western trails, but the sad experience of this ill-fated group has come to symbolize the hardships of all. What is found in different

The Fate Of The Donner Party

1332 words - 5 pages Desperate times call for desperate measures. This advice has been used as a way to justify questionable actions in times of despair for many years. Following the advice, the Donner Party did whatever they could to survive. Stuck in a snowstorm, the group is believed to have reverted back to animalistic ways, and devoured each other to survive. While no one knows the truth of that fateful winter, many agree that cannibalism was their main form

The Donner Party. The Mistakes And Mishaps

2316 words - 9 pages reach help. After three weeks in the snow the rescue team, with eight people left found help. None of the members were well enough to lead a team back to the camp. Without a rescue member there was no way to find the dying Donner Party. The team had to wait for someone to get better so they could find the party. After a week two men were well enough to go back. There was still the problem of getting the survivors out, and to get them down to

Survivors Of The Holocaust Essay

951 words - 4 pages Holocaust Research Paper: The Survivors of the Holocaust The Holocaust was the organized massacre of about 11 million people 6 million of them were Jews; different groups of people were murdered by an association called the Nazis. The Holocaust which is also known as Shoah was a time when Hitler and the Nazis came to power. It started in 1933 and ended in 1945 when the war ended. The mass murder of these people took place in all over Europe