This person was forty-five years of age in 1846 when the Donner Party formed. He was a successful merchant who enjoyed success in the furniture-making and mill businesses, and he was known to be a wealthy man. With George and Jacob Donner, he agreed to form a wagon train to travel to California.
Lansford Warren Hastings
This person was the author of The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California. This person was a lawyer, described as part visionary and part fraud (p. 43). The Emigrants' Guide was supposedly culled from his own experiences on the trail, but in fact he was no frontiersman, and he had never personally taken the route he advocated in the book.
This person was a twelve-year-old girl who survived the trip. Her later account of the ordeal in a letter to her cousin was an important early document for historians to...
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