PUBLISHING: California & Nevada
Camp of Death: the Donner Party mountain camp
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Camp of Death: the Donner Party mountain
by J. Quinn Thornton.
Author Thornton had traveled partway across the plains with the Donner party, then went
on to Oregon. Except for newspaper stories, his account, published in 1849 in New York,
was the first adequate record of the "camp of death" tragedy. He had interviewed
one of the survivors and his account holds up well with ones done afterward. Thornton went
on to become the first supreme judge of Oregon. Publication of this book (1849) was soon
enough to the time of the Donner party's ordeal (1846-47) that the 44 survivors were still
recovering from both the physical and mental effects of their overwinter encampment, in
which 36 of their companions died, some to be eaten to sustain the still living. The story
is grotesque, gory, and tragic horror--a negative episode in the winning of the West, but
it is true history and therefore important in understanding our roots. Period illustrations. 96 pages.
Order #: VIST0037 paper$9.95
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