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 according to her father's letters and the diary of one other tourist. Given the delicate nature of facets of the adventure, younger readers will locate the heritage notes and explanatory reviews valuable. Maps and various reproductions integrated.

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Keseberg added a lean-to to this shelter for his family. Mrs. McCutchen and her baby stayed with the Graves family, and Stanton and the two Indians made their home with us. 35 Next, most of the cattle were slaughtered, and the meat was buried in the snow for preservation. My mother had no cattle to kill, but she made arrangements for some, promising to give two for one in California. All parts of the carcasses were used, even the animals' hides, which were thrown over our roofs to help keep out the snow.

Dull prospects for crossing the mountains. November 28 Snowing fast. November 29 Still snowing, Now about three feet deep. Hard to get wood. November 30 Snowing fast, looks likely to continue. No drifts. Snow is about four or five feet deep. No living thing without wings can get about. December 1 Still snowing. Snow is almost six feet deep. No going from the house, completely housed up. More snow likely. Stanton's mules wandered off during the night, lost in the snow, no hopes of finding them alive.

Peggy and Edward sick last night. Landrum very low. In great danger if relief doesn't come soon. Hides are all the go [in demand], little else to eat in camp. January 20 Expecting some person across the mountain this week. January 21 Denton came this morning with Eliza. She won't eat hides. Mrs. Reed sent her back to live or die on them. January 26 Cleared up yesterday. Today fine and pleasant. In hopes we are done with snowstorms. Those who went to Sutter's not yet returned. Provisions scant. People getting weak.

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Across the Plains in the Donner Party by Virginia Reed Murphy
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