By Virginia Reed Murphy
This tragic tale of Virginia Reed?s trip west is advised via her memoirs of the twelve-year-old woman, with supplementary money owed in line with her father's letters and the diary of one other visitor. Given the delicate nature of facets of the adventure, younger readers will locate the history notes and explanatory reviews worthwhile. Maps and diverse reproductions incorporated.
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Additional resources for Across the Plains in the Donner Party
After two exhausting days, Reed and his men finally saw the top of a cabin just peering above the surface of the snow. As they approached it, Mr. Reed saw his daughter sitting upon the corner of the roof, her feet resting upon the snow. Little could exceed the joy of each when they saw each other. A few minutes later, Reed entered the cabin where he found his son Tommy – alive! Members of the rescue party immediately began to distribute food, and as they worked their way from one cabin to another, they saw much that horrified them.
The trail over the Sierra Nevada from Donner Lake. It was more than sixty miles to Johnson’s ranch, and then another twenty-five 37or so to Sutter’s Fort – a long way to walk for people who were starving and freezing to death. Courtesy of Karen Zeinert. November 25 Cloudy. Looks like the eve of a storm. Our mountaineers intend trying to cross the summit tomorrow if weather permits, without mules. Froze hard last night. November 26 It began to snow yesterday in the evening. Now it rains or sleets.
Tommy was left with the Breens, Patty with the Kesebergs, and James with the Graves family. Then, with no guide but a compass, my mother, Milt Elliott, our hired girl Eliza, and I started out. Milt wore snowshoes, and we followed in his tracks. We were in the mountains for five days. Eliza gave out the first day, and she had to return. We kept on, climbing one summit after another, only to see others higher still ahead. Often I would have to crawl up the mountains, being too tired to walk. We had no shelter in which to sleep.