The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Marian Calabro
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why did Bridger promote the shortcut?
(a) He believed in Hastings.
(b) He had been on it himself and thought it was a wise plan.
(c) He was desperate for the business it would bring as people passed by his trading post.
(d) He heard good things about it.

2. What was Sutter's fort like?
(a) It was very small, but had enough supplies to fulfill their needs.
(b) It was too big to navigate in one day.
(c) It was falling apart.
(d) It was like a small city.

3. What sight did Reed see as he rode ahead?
(a) He found abandoned wagons.
(b) He found water shortly ahead.
(c) People were unyoking their oken and driving them ahead to find water.
(d) There were corpses on the ground.

4. How old was Virginia Elizabeth Backenstoe Reed when the family left Illinois?
(a) Almost 7
(b) Almost 13
(c) Almost 25
(d) Almost 18

5. Why did the travelers want to get to their destination by winter?
(a) The deep snows close the mountain passes.
(b) They were looking forward to warm weather in winter and no more snow.
(c) They wanted to celebrate Christmas in a new place.
(d) The mother was going to have a baby then.

Short Answer Questions

1. What West Hastings' occupation?

2. What happened to William Eddie's oxen?

3. What book did Reed and Donner use for guidance?

4. How far into the established route did Hastings Cutoff appear?

5. How many wagons did each family have?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was Independence, Missouri so famous?

2. How did Virginia feel about her traveling clothes?

3. What did the note that Hastings left tell the travelers? Was his statement valid?

4. What happened to James Reed after he killed Snyder?

5. What did the Donner party find when they emerged from the Cutoff?

6. What happened to the oxen during the six days it took to get through the desert?

7. What did James Reed say that persuaded the man to take Hastings' Cutoff?

8. How many miles a day did the Donner Party plan to go, and what with their actual pace?

9. Describe what would eventually become known as the Pioneer Palace Car.

10. What was crossing the desert like?

(see the answer keys)

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