Books, articles, and commentaries have told the story of how the storm of the century in the fall of 1846 trapped eighty-one innocent men, women, and children in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and how brave men risked their lives to save them. In Saving the Donner Party, author Dr. Richard F. Kaufman tells the story of the rescuers of the Donner Party.
During the last two decades, Dr. Kaufman has compiled a record of historical documents and letters from Sutter’s Fort State Park and the California State Library. He reviews the older literature with a more modern approach, introducing orbital satellite studies with panoramic descriptions of travel routes not seen before. Using historical weather statistics and tree ring technology, he presents a more thorough understanding of the so-called “storm of the century” that enveloped the Donner Party. His account focuses on the massive effort and expenditure of resources by the rescue parties, involving the progress of the Mexican War going on at that time.
Saving the Donner Party presents an in-depth interpretation of the event with surprising revelations that changed the historical setting and legacy of California, adding richly to the literature of this topic and updating the knowledge of the Donner Party episode.