Donner Partyby Susan Harkins
What would you do to survive? Most modern Americans never have to answer that question. In 1846, the members of the Donner Party did it. For months, they walked across the Great Plains. They spent the hottest months of the year using chains and ropes to pull their wagons over mountains. In a hurry to get to California and following bad advice, they forged into unknown territory, hoping to find a quicker route than others had taken. When the winter snows came early to the Sierra Nevada, they were trapped. They were exhausted, with no food and no shelter. One by one, they began to die of starvation and disease. With no rescue in sight, all but one family did the unthinkablethey ate the flesh of their dead companions in order to survive. Read the harrowing tale of the early pioneers' survival and persistence.
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