Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is odd to watch with what feverish ardor Americans pursue prosperity. Ever tormented by the shadowy suspicion that they may not have chosen the shortest route to get it.
They had endured months of cold and hunger. Donner party Donner-Reed party had set out for California in in a journey that normally took four to six months. But after trying a new route, called Hastings Cutoff, rugged terrain left the group snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. Now a new book analyzing one of the most spectacular tragedies in American history reveals what the 81 pioneers ate before resorting to eating each other in a desperate attempt to survive.
The book, "An Archaeology of Desperation: No human bone was identified in the fragments analyzed from the extensive bone sample at Alder Creek, but the researchers conclude that "some Donner Party members participated in cannibalism" during the last week of February Donner Party Ate Family Dog, Maybe Not People Co-editor Kelly Dixon, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Montana, told Discovery News that she and her colleagues "are emphasizing the fact that the historical and archaeological sources present a complicated story about humans doing whatever possible, including eating hide and strings as well as consuming their dogs, before making the desperate decision to cannibalize.
Thus, the bone remains at the site indicate an avoidance of cannibalism The historical record, consisting of letters and journals kept by members of the Donner Party and rescue groups, as well as the memories of some survivors, supports that the trapped members first ate all of their animals, including captured mice and the family dogs, as well as wild game.
Of the family dog "Cash," emigrant Virginia Reed Murphy wrote, "We ate his head and feet -- hide -- everything about him. The Donner's dog Uno, itself hungry enough to eat a child's shoe, may have also been consumed. Johnson continued that, based on the historical record, some members tried to eat "a decayed buffalo robe, but it was too tough and there was no nourishment in it.
Johnson reports that James Frazier Reed, who left and then returned with men to help at Jacob Donner's camp, "found a gruesome scene. Humans Still Eating Humans Hair, bones, skulls, and the fragments of half-consumed limbs were said to be around the fire.
Jacob Donner's body was found with his heart and liver removed and his limbs and arms cut off.
Another account describes children having blood on their faces, after trying to consume such flesh. In human history, several different types of cannibalism exist. Exocannibalism is when a culture, group or tribe consumes members of another group, while mortuary cannibalism is the practice of eating deceased relatives for ritualistic purposes.
There is little doubt that Donner Party members who resorted to eating human flesh exemplified "survival cannibalism. But they add, "If the Donner families consumed only flesh and organs, as would be expected from comparative cases of survival cannibalism, then only soft tissue would have been cooked over a fire or boiled in a pot.Aug 21, · Watch video · The Donner party left Springfield, Illinois, in April Led by two wealthy brothers, Jacob and George Donner, the emigrants initially followed the regular California Trail westward to Fort.
The Donner Party, or Donner–Reed Party, was a group of American pioneers that set out for California in a wagon train in May Departing from Independence, Missouri, they were delayed by a series of mishaps and mistakes, and spent the winter of –47 snowbound in the Sierra webkandii.com of the pioneers resorted to cannibalism to .
Apr 14, · Explore 10 key facts about one of the most gruesome episodes from the era of westward expansion. If it had worked out differently, the group of settlers that came to be known as the Donner Party would have slipped over the Sierra Nevada into California—and obscurity.
But poor planning, a. Donner party, group of American pioneers stranded en route to webkandii.com late , 87 immigrants led by George and Jacob Donner were trapped by heavy snow in . In April , a group of pioneers who came to be known as the Donner-Reed Party departed Springfield, Illinois, headed for the Mexican province of Alta California.