Their plan was to move to California, acquire cheap land where e they could reap he benefits of rich soil and good climate that Springfield Illinois did not Provo De them. The journey to California was the beginning of a new life for The Donned party and for many others. The move westward worried many people because of the possible encounter with aggressive Indians, however the Indians should not have been their main worry. Uniform neatly the decision to follow a faulty guide westward to California led these travelers into challenge gees that they could not overcome.
The Donned Party's emigration west was marked as one of the most catastrophic journeys in the history of westward expansion. The Donned Party story began with a plan to move to California along the Oregon trail (the safest route) until reaching Hast inns cutoff where they began the dangerous trek towards California resulting in death and suffer ring until the rescue approximately one year later. Epola 2 James Reed and the Donned Brothers decided that they were going to leave S predefined Illinois and travel to California with their families leaving behind a prosperous life (Lavender 3).
Their plan was to follow a guide called "The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and C laboring" by Langford W. Hastings that will lead them to California using the shortcut know as the Hastings Cutoff, this would shorten the trip by three hundred miles (V. Murphy 19). In order to make this trip possible they needed to prepare themselves with food, supplies, suits blew clothing and method for transportation. James Reed created a luxurious wagon that was known as the "Pioneer palace car" due to his experience in furniture making.
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The wagon was equipped with a stove, beds and had ample space to bring supplies in order to make the trip comfortable and homelike (Clamor 21 They also brought with them oxen's, steers and horses to facilitate trans rotation and cows to provide milk. Enough supplies were gathered to get them through the first WI enter in California which they thought would take them six months (V. Murphy peg 2). Young men who wanted to go to California but could not afford it, known as Teamsters, were hired to do the hard work of walking beside the oxen's for the entire trek.
Their job was to care for oxen an d in return they were given food and space in the wagon to sleep (Lavender 13). Everybody ha ad role on this journey. Women were to cook, look after children and do laundry. The men h united, steered and maintained the wagons and cared for the animals. Ready to go, the three fame ices set out for the west on April 16, 1846 not knowing the challenges that they would face. The Donned Party arrived at their first destination on May 1 1, 1846, at Indeed emended Missouri, where they, along with everybody else moving west, would find the Oregon and California Trails.
This was the beginning point for travelers going west, even b jack in 1843 when the first wave of emigrants went west (B. Brooke). There they met up with anon there family Epola 3 traveling to California, the Breed family, and together they hurried to catch up to the other travelers ahead of them destined for California. After forty fives days of travel through changing climate that was troublesome for the emigrants they arrived at Fort Laramie, a famous Indian trading post.
They realized that the further west they traveled they encounter De more climate changes such as: infrequent rains, electric storms, dry sand dust and hot suns whine, that would make travel more difficult for the emigrants. The travelers, despite small prop elms along the way, seemed excited to reach new territory. At Fort Laramie they were please .NET greeted by Indians from the Sioux tribe and were able to finally take a rest from the journo eye and even elaborate Independence Day, then "America was turning seventy years old".
H ere James Reed came across an old friend, James Clammy, who had crossed the shortcut Hast nag's mentioned in the guide, but said that it was dangerous and that travelers should avoid cross sing that terrain. He recommended that people follow the know terrain of Fort Hall road that went northwest to California (Lavender 1824). Reed stayed focused on taking the shortcut because SE he felt the group could do so just as they had done making it to Fort Laramie from Index endurance, MO with its obstacles.
The wagon party voted to take the shorter route and elected Ego GE Donned the leader, the group from here on out was known as the Donned Party. Fort Bride gear was the final stop, before Hastings Cutoff, for the party to stock up on supplies, repair wag ones and purchase more livestock. They had reached the point of no return. On July 31 SST the part y set out on the dangerous unknown trek southwest following the guide book's shortcut that not even the author himself had crossed. From here on The Donned Party would find most of their troubles that events ally led them to tragedy.
The first challenge they came across, in what was to be a see ounce Of several Epola 4 starters, was at the base of Weber Canyon. That day, August 6th 1846, the D owner party found a letter from Hastings telling them that the trail was very dangerous and to w tit for him to return in order to guide them through another route (Clamor 53). Hastings did not d o as he promised on the note, so James Reed decided to travel ahead and find him for a solution. When James Reed spoke with Hastings he told him to avoid the canyon trail, recommended in hi s guide book, due to the narrow walls that would not allow wagons to pass .
Hastings pointed oh t to the distance a route that the Donned party should take. Once again, the decision to follow H castings directions failed them. They went off into new terrain, uphill's that were practically impose Siebel to ascend. What was supposed to take a week, took them one month (V. Murphy 20). The e Donned Party and their oxen, exhausted from the trip, arrived at the Great Salt Lakes on August 22, 1846. There they found another letter from Hastings stating that the trek across the salt d assert was forty miles and it would take them two days and TV nights to cross.
Proving Hastings in correct again, the trip actually took them five days to cross resulting in a shortage of supplies, d hydrated men and oxen, and wagons left behind. The extreme climate Of the desert also took an impact on the party (Clamor). On September 26th, knowing they did not have enough supplies to r each California, they arrived at the Humboldt River where Hastings cutoff met with the old trait l. In fact, the shorter route was 1 25 miles longer than the old route. Video Having fallen be hind they were desperate to reach the Sierra Nevada mountains in order to get to California before the winter.
October 1 6th they arrived in Truckee at the base of the mountains where they soon realized they came too late because a harsh winter had come. The Donned Party had travel De 2500 miles over a seven month period with only 1 50 more miles to Setters Fort, their final deist nation (R. Burns DVD). The winter snow forced them to set up camp at Truckee Lake, now know win as Donned Epola 5 Lake, where they would spend the entire winter. Some members of the group tried to cross the mountains a few times but were unable due to the weather conditions.
The WI enter brought heavy snowstorms trapping the members at Don newer Camp. After killing the last of t heir animals for food they began to eat materials that did not provide them with the nutrition added to survive the winter. It was noted that they ate twigs, bark, leaves, bones, and even boil De the leather from shoes to eat (Clamor 96). Many began to die from malnutrition and extreme c old conditions as the winter went on. In this time of extreme desperation the people had to rest rot to cannibalism for survival.
They marked the flesh so that no one had to eat the meat of their own kin. The people were in a dire situation of starvation and delirium. December 26th ma irked the first day that they ate a human, the dead body of Patrick Dolled was cut apart and coo ked on a the fire (Clamor 108). By January 1847 California had become territory of the United states after the defeat of the Mexicans. James Reed, who had separated from the group months back, was able to gather men and form a rescue party to relieve those at Donned Camp.
January 31 SST t he first rescue team set out for Donned Camp arriving on February 7th. They were shocked at the s eight of death and famine people. The completed rescue of those at Donned Camp required a t total of four rescue teams, the camp was evacuated by April 17th 1847. Of the original Donned pa arty that consisted of 87 members, 46 of them had survived. The entire Reed and Breed family s arrived however the Donned family was not as fortunate. Both Donned brothers had perished at Donned Camp during the dreadful winter, the only ones that survived were two of the Don ere children.
This tragic story of the Donned party was said to be a part of the American Dry am. "An American dream that has nightmares attached to them, and for many results d in disaster" video. Epola 6 Like many others the Donned Party followed a movement where people were encouraged to go west and settle in foreign land. Many thought this travel to be a new adventure but for the Donned Party it turned out to be the last trip of their lives, never reaching thee r dreams of a new life in California.
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