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History of the Donner Party: A Tragedy of the Sierra

History of the Donner Party: A Tragedy of the Sierra (audio product)

MP3 Audio

C.F. McGlashan was the newspaper publisher of the local paper in Truckee, California, the closest town to the Donner Pass. McGlashan interviewed the survivors of the Donner Party, gathered artifacts and amassed an enormous amount of secondary information.

Over an 18 month period, McGlashan published serialized articles in his paper and turned his articles into a book. History of the Donner Party is considered the definitive account of one of the most notorious treks in American history.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 01/Donner Lake — A Famous Tourist Resort — Building the Central Pacific — California's Skating Park — The Pioneers — The Organization of the Donner Party — Ho! for California! — A Mammoth Train — The Dangers by the Way — False Accounts of the Sufferings Endured — Complete Roll of the Company — Impostors Claiming to Belong to the Party — Killed by the Pawnees — An Alarmed Camp — Resin Indians — A Mother's Death  
Chapter 02/Mrs. Donner's Letters — Life on the Plains — An Interesting Sketch — The Outfit Required — The Platte River — Botanizing — Five Hundred and Eighteen Wagons for California —  Burning "Buffalo Chips" —  The Fourth of July at Fort Laramie — Indian Discipline — Sioux Attempt to Purchase Mary Graves — George Donner Elected Captain — Letter of Stanton — Dissension — One Company Split up into Five — The Fatal Hastings Cut-off — Lowering Wagons over a Precipice — The First View of Great Salt Lake  
Chapter 03/A Grave of Salt —  Members of the Mystic Tie —  Twenty Wells —  A Desolate Alkaline Waste — Abandoned on the Desert — A Night of Horror — A Steer Maddened by Thirst — The Mirage — Yoking an Ox and a Cow — *'Caching" Goods — The Emigrants' Silent Logic — A Cry for Relief — Two Heroic Volunteers — A Perilous Journey — Letters to Captain Sutter  
Chapter 04/Gravelly Ford — The Character of James F Reed — Causes which Led to the Reed-Snyder Tragedy —John Snyder's Popularity — The Fatal Altercation — Conflicting Statements of Survivors — Snyder's Death — A Brave Girl — A Primitive Trial — A Court of Final Resort — Verdict of Banishment — A Sad Separation — George and Jacob Donner Ahead at the Time — Finding Letters in Split Sticks — Danger of Starvation  
Chapter 05/Great Hardships —  The Sink of the Humboldt —  Indians Stealing Cattle —  An Entire Company Compelled to Walk — Abandoned to Die — Wolfinger Murdered — Rhinehart's Confession — Arrival of C T Stanton —  A Temporary Relief —  A Fatal Accident —  The Sierra Nevada Mountains — Imprisoned in Snow — Struggles for Freedom — A Hopeless Situation — Digging for Cattle in Snow — How the Breen Cabin Happened to be Built — A Thrilling Sketch of a Solitary Winter —  Putting up Shelters — The Donners Have Nothing but Tents — Fishing for Trout  
Chapter 06/Endeavors to Cross the Mountains — Discouraging Failures — Eddy Kills a Bear — Making Snow-Shoes — Who composed the "Forlorn Hope" — Mary A Graves — An Irishman — A Generous Act — Six Days' Rations — Mary Graves' Account — Snow-Blind — C T Stanton's Death — "I Am Coming Soon" — Sketch of Stanton's Early Life — His Charity and Self-sacrifice — The Diamond Breast-pin — Stanton's Last Poem
Chapter 07/A Wife's Devotion — The Smoky Gorge — Caught in a Storm — Casting Lots to See Who should Die — A Hidden River — The Delirium of Starvation — Franklin Ward Graves — His Dying Advice — A Frontiersman's Plan — The Camp of Death — A Dread Resort — A Sister's Agony — The Indians Refuse to Eat — Lewis and Salvador Flee for Their Lives — Killing a Deer — Tracks Marked by Blood-Nine Days without Food  
Chapter 08/Starvation at Donner Lake — Preparing Rawhide for Food — Eating the Fire rug — Shoveling Snow off the Beds — Playing they were Tea-cups of Custard — A Starving Baby — Pleading with Silent Eloquence — Patrick Breen's Diary — Jacob Donner's Death — A Child's Vow — A Christmas Dinner — Lost on the Summits — A Stump Twenty-two Feet High — Seven Nursing Babes at Donner Lake — A Devout Father — A Dying Boy — Sorrow and Suffering at the Cabins
Chapter 09/The Last Resort — Two Reports of a Gun —  Only Temporary Relief —  Weary Traveling — The Snow Bridges — Human Tracks! — An Indian Rancherie — Acorn Bread — Starving Five Times! — Carried Six Miles — Bravery of John Rhodes — A Thirty-two Days' Journey — Organizing the First Relief Party — Alcalde Sinclair's Address — Capt. R.P. Tucker's Companions
Chapter 10/A Lost Age in California History — The Change Wrought by the Discovery of Gold — The Start from Johnson's Ranch — A Bucking Horse — A Night Ride — Lost in the Mountains — A Terrible Night — A Flooded Camp —  Crossing a Mountain Torrent — Mule Springs — A Crazy Companion — Howlings of Gray Wolves — A Deer Rendezvous — A Midnight Thief —  Frightening Indians — The Diary of the First Relief Party
Chapter 11/Hardships of Reed and Herron — Generosity of Captain Sutter — Attempts to Cross the Mountains with Provisions — Curtis' Dog — Compelled to Turn Back — Hostilities with Mexico —  Memorial to Gov Stockton — Verba Buena's Generosity — Johnson's Liberality — Pitiful Scenes at Donner Lake — Noble Mothers — Dying rather than Eat Human Flesh — A Mother's Prayer — Tears of Joy —  Eating the Shoestrings
Chapter 12/School Discipline — Capt George Donner's Appearance — Parting Scenes at Alder Creek — Starting over the Mountains — A Baby's Death — A Mason's Vow — Crossing the Snow Barrier — More Precious than Gold or Diamonds — Elitha Donner's Kindness
Chapter 13/Death of Ada Keseberg — Denton Discovering Gold — A Poem Composed while Dying — The Caches of Provisions Robbed by Fishers — The Sequel to the Reed-Snyder Tragedy — Death from Overeating — The Agony of Frozen Feet — An Interrupted Prayer — Stanton, after Death, Guides the Relief Party! — The Second Relief Party Arrives — A Solitary Indian — Patty Reed and Her Father — Starving Children Lying in Bed — Mrs. Graves' Money still Buried at Donner Lake
Chapter 14/Leaving Three Men in the Mountains — The Emigrants Quite Helpless — Bear Tracks in the Snow — The Clumps of Tamarack — Wounding a Bear — Blood Stains upon the Snow — A Weary Chase — A Momentous Day — Stone and Cady Leave the Sufferers — A Mother Offering Five Hundred Dollars — Mrs. Donner Parting from her Children — "God will Take Care of You" — Buried in Snow without Food or Fire — Pines Uprooted by the Storm — A Grave Cut in the Snow — The Cub's Cave — Firing at Random — A Desperate Undertaking — Preparing for a Hand-to-hand Battle — Precipitated into the Cave — Seizing the Bear — Mrs. Elizabeth Donner's Death — Clarke and Baptiste Attempt to Escape  — A Death more Cruel than Starvation
Chapter 15/A Mountain Storm — Provisions Exhausted — Battling the Storm Fiends — Black Despair — Icy Coldness — A Picture of Desolation — The Sleep of Death — A Piteous Farewell — Falling into the Fire-well — Isaac Donner's Death — Living upon Snow Water — Excruciating Pain — A Vision of Angels —  "Patty is Dying" —  The Thumb of a Mitten —  A Child's Treasures — The "Dolly" of the Donner Party  
Chapter 16/A Mother at Starved Camp — Repeating the Litany — Hoping in Despair — Wasting Away — The Precious Lump of Sugar — "James is Dying" — Restoring a Life — Relentless Hunger — The Silent Night Vigils — The Sight of Earth —  Descending the Snow Pit —  The Flesh of the Dead —  Refusing to Eat — The Morning Star —  The Mercy of God —  The Mutilated Forms — The Dizziness of Delirium — Faith Rewarded — "There is Mrs. Breen."
Chapter 17/The Rescue — California Aroused — A Verba Buena Newspaper — Tidings of Woe — A Cry of Distress — Noble Generosity — Subscriptions for the Donner Party — The First and Second Reliefs — Organization of the Third — The Dilemma — Voting to Abandon a Family — The Fatal Ayes — John Stark's Bravery — Carrying the Starved Children — A Plea for the Relief Party
Chapter 18/Arrival of the Third Relief —  The Living and the Dead — Captain George Donner Dying — Mrs. Murphy's Words — Foster and Eddy at the Lake — Tamsen Donner and Her Children — A Fearful Struggle — The Husband's Wishes — Walking Fourteen Miles — Wifely Devotion — Choosing Death — The Night Journey — An Unparalleled Ordeal —  An Honored Name —  Three Little Waifs —  "And Our Parents are Dead."
Chapter 19/False Ideas about the Donner Party — Accused of Six Murders — Interviews with Lewis Keseberg — His Statement — An Educated German — A Predestined Fate — Keseberg's Lameness — Slanderous Reports — Covered with Snow — "Loathsome, Insipid, and Disgusting" — Longings toward Suicide —  Tamsen Donner's Death — Going to Get the Treasure — Suspended over a Hidden Stream — "Where is Donner's Money?" — Extorting a Confession
Chapter 20/Dates of the Rescues — Arrival of the Fourth Relief — A Scene Beggaring Description — The Wealth of the Donners — An Appeal to the Highest Court — A Dreadful Shock — Saved from a Grizzly Bear — A Trial for Slander — Keseberg Vindicated — Two Kettles of Human Blood — The Enmity of the Relief Party —  "Born under an Evil Star" —  "Stone Him I Stone Him!" — Fire and Flood — Keseberg's Reputation for Honesty — A Prisoner in His Own House — The Most Miserable of Men
Chapter 21/Sketch of Gen. John A. Sutter —  The Donner Party's Benefactor —  The Least and Most that Earth can Bestow — The Survivors' Request — His Birth and Parentage — Efforts to Reach California — New Helvetia — A Puny Army — Uninviting Isolation — Ross and Bodega — Unbounded Generosity —  Sutter's Wealth —  Effect of the Gold Fever —  Wholesale Robbery — The Sobrante Decision — A "Genuine and Meritorious" Grant —  Utter Ruin —  Hock Farm —  Gen. Sutter's Death —  Mrs. E. P. Houghton's Tribute
Chapter 22/The Death List —  The Forty-two Who Perished —  Names of Those Saved —  Forty-eight Survivors — Traversing Snow-belt Five Times — Burying the Dead — An Appalling Spectacle — Tamsen Donner's Last Act of Devotion — A Remarkable Proposal — Twenty-six Present Survivors — McCutchen — Keseberg — The Graves Family — The Murphys — Naming Marysville — The Reeds — The Breens
Chapter 23/The Orphan Children of George and Tamsen Donner — Sutter, the Philanthropist — "If Mother Would Only Come" — Christian and Mary Brunner — An Enchanting Home — "Can't You Keep Both of Us?" — Eliza Donner Crossing the Torrent — Earning a Silver Dollar — The Gold Excitement — Getting an Education — Elitha C. Donner — Leanna C. Donner — Frances E. Donner — Georgia A. Donner — Eliza P. Donner
Chapter 24/Afterword

C. F. McGlashan
Charles Fayette McGlashan (1847-1931) was born in Wisconsin, but came to Northern California as a toddler. McGlashan began his career as an educator, tried politics and even practiced law for a few years. His true passion was journalism and he kept returning to writing.

Alcazar AudioWorks publishes solely unabridged works.
ISBN: 9781939444349
Read by: Bobbie Frohman
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Suggested Ages: Adult

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File Last Updated:
May 31, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on April 26, 2018.