The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party - Study Guide Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Marian Calabro
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Soon after James' banishment, the group forced the Reeds to abandon their Pioneer Palace Car, given the lack of oxen. Meanwhile, James Reed traveled far ahead with a man named Walter Herron, to summon help from California.

On October 8, a Belgian man named Hardcoop was simply abandoned by the side of the road. He was old and was thought to be a burden by the Kesebergs, who had accommodated him. Some wanted to turn back to at least give the man a proper burial, but they pressed ahead.

The Donner Party reached the Humboldt Sink (after the river) in mid-October. From there, it was the Forty-Mile Desert to the Truckee River. This desert was a junkyard of goods and broken wagons from previous expeditions. William Eddy lost his own wagon at the beginning of the desert, after Paiutes Indians stole or killed most of his...

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