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The Resource The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis

The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis

Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Title
The best land under heaven
Title remainder
the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Statement of responsibility
Michael Wallis
Title variation
Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • An account of the 1846 Donner-Reed expedition reveals the true events surrounding the tragedy, profiling the adventurous characters who shaped the group and how various interpersonal factors led to their harrowing experiences
  • "'Westward ho! For Oregon and California!' In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. Now, historian Michael Wallis continues his life's work of parsing fact from fiction to tell the true story of one of the most embroidered sagas in Western history. Wallis begins the story in 1846, a momentous "year of decision" for the nation, when incredible territorial strides were being made in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Against this dramatic backdrop, an unlikely band of travelers appeared, stratified in age, wealth, education and ethnicity. At the forefront were the Donners: brothers George and Jacob, true sons of the soil determined to tame the wild land of California; and the Reeds, headed by adventurous, business-savvy patriarch James. In total, the Donner-Reed group would reach eighty-seven men, women, and children, and though personal motives varied--bachelors thirsting for adventure, parents wanting greater futures for their children--everyone was linked by the same unwavering belief that California was theirs for the taking. Skeptical of previous accounts of how the group ended up in peril, Wallis has spent years retracing its ill-fated journey, uncovering hundreds of new documents that illuminate how a combination of greed, backbiting, and recklessness led the group to become hopelessly snowbound at the infamous Donner Pass in present-day California. Climaxing with the grim stories of how the party's paltry rations soon gave way to unimaginable hunger, Wallis not only details the cannibalism that has in perpetuity haunted their legacy but also the heroic rescue parties that managed to reach the stranded, only to discover that just forty-eight had survived the ordeal. An unflinching and historically invaluable account of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny, The Best Land Under Heaven offers a brilliant, revisionist examination of one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes."--Publisher's description
Biography type
contains biographical information
Cataloging source
DLC
Dewey number
978/.02
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
F868.N5
LC item number
W36 2017
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction : 1846 -- Prologue : Donner Lake, June 6, 1918 -- One. Call of the West. 1. A migrating people -- 2. The best land under heaven -- 3. Gray gold -- 4. Snake heads -- 5. California dreaming -- 6. The bold plunge -- 7. Wagons ho! April 1846 -- 8. Farewell, April 14-15, 1846 -- 9. Independence bound, April 15-May 10, 1846 -- Two. The journey -- 10. Queen city of the trails, May 10-12, 1846 -- 11. Indian country, May 12-18, 1846 -- 12. Soldier Creek, May 19, 1846 -- 13. The others, May 20, 1846 -- 14. People of the south wind, May 21-24, 1846 -- 15. Alcove Spring, May 25-29, 1846 -- 16. The rhetoric of fear, May 30-June 2, 1846 -- 17. Ebb and flow, June 3-7, 1846 -- 18. On the Platte, June 8-10, 1846 -- 19. Life goes on, June 10-15, 1846 -- 20. A letter from Tamzene Donner, June 16, 1846 -- Three. The promised land -- 21. Change of command, June 16-19, 1846 -- 22. Chasing mirages, June 19-25, 1846 -- 23. Sage advice, June 26-27, 1846 -- 24. A sense of urgency, June 28-July 12, 1846 -- 25. Parting of the ways, July 13-19, 1846 -- 26. The Donner party, July 20-28, 1846 -- 27. Betrayed, July 28-31, 1846 -- 28. The Hastings cutoff, August 1-22, 1846 -- 29. The fearful long drive, August 23-September 10, 1846 -- 30. Race against time, September 11-October 4, 1846 -- 31. Blood rage, October 5-20, 1846 -- 32. Perseverance, October 21-30, 1846 -- Four. Out of time -- 33. Snowbound, November 1846 -- 34. Desperate times, desperate measures, November-December 1846 -- 35. The forlorn hope, December 1846 -- 36. Camp of death, December 1846 -- 39. The starving time, January 1847 -- 38. In dire straits, January-February 1847 -- 39. Man on a mission, January-February 1847 -- 40. To the rescue, February 1847 -- 41. The first relief -- 42. The second relief -- 43. The third relief -- 44. The fourth relief -- Aftermath
Control code
ocn978252186
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First Edition
Extent
xx, 455 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780871407696
Lccn
2017012937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)978252186
Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction : 1846 -- Prologue : Donner Lake, June 6, 1918 -- One. Call of the West. 1. A migrating people -- 2. The best land under heaven -- 3. Gray gold -- 4. Snake heads -- 5. California dreaming -- 6. The bold plunge -- 7. Wagons ho! April 1846 -- 8. Farewell, April 14-15, 1846 -- 9. Independence bound, April 15-May 10, 1846 -- Two. The journey -- 10. Queen city of the trails, May 10-12, 1846 -- 11. Indian country, May 12-18, 1846 -- 12. Soldier Creek, May 19, 1846 -- 13. The others, May 20, 1846 -- 14. People of the south wind, May 21-24, 1846 -- 15. Alcove Spring, May 25-29, 1846 -- 16. The rhetoric of fear, May 30-June 2, 1846 -- 17. Ebb and flow, June 3-7, 1846 -- 18. On the Platte, June 8-10, 1846 -- 19. Life goes on, June 10-15, 1846 -- 20. A letter from Tamzene Donner, June 16, 1846 -- Three. The promised land -- 21. Change of command, June 16-19, 1846 -- 22. Chasing mirages, June 19-25, 1846 -- 23. Sage advice, June 26-27, 1846 -- 24. A sense of urgency, June 28-July 12, 1846 -- 25. Parting of the ways, July 13-19, 1846 -- 26. The Donner party, July 20-28, 1846 -- 27. Betrayed, July 28-31, 1846 -- 28. The Hastings cutoff, August 1-22, 1846 -- 29. The fearful long drive, August 23-September 10, 1846 -- 30. Race against time, September 11-October 4, 1846 -- 31. Blood rage, October 5-20, 1846 -- 32. Perseverance, October 21-30, 1846 -- Four. Out of time -- 33. Snowbound, November 1846 -- 34. Desperate times, desperate measures, November-December 1846 -- 35. The forlorn hope, December 1846 -- 36. Camp of death, December 1846 -- 39. The starving time, January 1847 -- 38. In dire straits, January-February 1847 -- 39. Man on a mission, January-February 1847 -- 40. To the rescue, February 1847 -- 41. The first relief -- 42. The second relief -- 43. The third relief -- 44. The fourth relief -- Aftermath
Control code
ocn978252186
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First Edition
Extent
xx, 455 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780871407696
Lccn
2017012937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)978252186

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