Saturday, February 10, 2018

Donner Party, and gruesome details, re-examined in book

Wild West historian Michael Wallis goes into a gruesome piece of that territory’s history with “The Best Land Under Heaven,” subtitled “The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny.”

More than 80 settlers were in the group when the snow blocked travel. More than 30 died in the Sierras before four rescue operations could get to them.
“What made the Donner Party so distinctive was that this group of people had originally set out to civilize what they saw as a barbaric land. The acts of survival cannibalism refigured their story with a cruel twist — the civilizers themselves became savages.”

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