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The Donner Party is one of the most famous emigrant adventures in American history. Eliza Donner Houghton compassionately and accurately recounts this well-known journey and its aftermath. Her narrative is compelling both as story and as history. She combines her childhood recollections of life on the ill-fated wagon train with other survivors' accounts and historical sources. First published in 1911, her work remains one of the premier histories of the Donner Party.Thirty-two members of the Donner Party left Springfield, Illinois, in April 1846, unknowledgeable and unprepared in for the obstacles they would face. En route to California the group increased to 81. After numerous delays, often due to supposed shortcuts, the party unsuccessfully attempted to cross the Sierra Nevada late in the fall of 1846. Winter storms trapped the already weary travelers in the mountains for four months. Forty-two people succumbed to cold and starvation before relief from California reached the stranded emigrants.Numerous historians have retold the misfortunes of the Donner Party. This book is a basic source of information about those events because of Eliza Donner Houghton's personal experience. Mrs. Houghton does not spare the reader from the horrors and sufferings of the party. But unlike other records of the events, her account also shares the joys and romance of the overland journey, as well as describing her life in California after the tragedy. Her parents perished in the mountains, but she and her sisters were adopted by Mary and Christian Brunner. She reminds us that the survivors of the Donner Party were not doomed for the remainder of their lives. Once rescued, these people thrived in California, the land they endured so much to reach.This new printing includes a foreword by William N. Lindemann, Curator of the Donner Memorial State Park, in the Sierra District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.