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This report is not intended to offend you or to make you ponder The Donner Partys motives It is however intended to inform you So you might be wondering who exactly was the Donner Party When Lewis and Clark finished their expedition the President gave American families the option of staying on the East Coast or moving west and exploring new land and opportunities Some things the settlers took west were clothing rations books furniture money family oxen water guns and ammunition and personal items Among the settlers were George Donner and his family the Jacob Donner family and the James Reed family George Donner 62 was a successful farmer from Springfield Illinois He was six feet tall with black eyes and hair to match He was traveling with his third wife Tasmen 45 and their three children Francis 6 Georgina 4 and Eliza 2 George had also brought along with them his two daughters from a previous marriage Elitha 14 and Leanna 12 The G Donner family brought along their friends Noah James 20 Samuel Shoemaker 25 and John Denton 28 His teamster was Hiram Miller 28 George also convinced his brother Jacob to come Jacob Donner 65 was traveling with his wife Elizabeth 45 and their five children George 9 Mary 7 Isaac 5 Samuel 4 and Lewis 3 Also with them were Elizabeths sons from a past marriage William and Solomon Hook 14 and 12 respectively James Reed 45 was born in Ireland He came from a Protestant family with Polish roots He was an avid hunter and had fought beside Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War Because he was extremely rich he hired three teamsters and two servants Reed built the infamous Palace Car for the trip west The Palace Car was not just any wagon It required four yoke of oxen and had a built-in stove and looking glass It had two floors
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