The Donner Party

Westward Expansion Activity


The Donner Party, was a train of wagons traveling the California Trail. The train consisted of 81 American Pioneers who found themselves trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada in 1846.


  • The Donner Party was a tragic event that became popular very quick. The group received false information about a cutoff in the mountains, leaving them stranded in awful weather conditions for 9 months.
  • Starvation among the group resulted in cannibalism. 45 out of 81 members survived this incident.
  • The topic is still relevant because, it shows that in the worst imaginable times, people can still lose their humanity.